Beyond is an exclusive title for PlayStation 3 and probably, “A last hurrah” for the current PS generation. The game stars Ellen Page as the protagonist alongside Willem Dafoe.
The game is no way close to “shoot the cr*p out of all” type games we’ve been seeing lately. Beyond requires a mature mind to enjoy the subtlety of the story. Throughout the game there aren’t many choices to make, and the player decisions don’t really affect the progress of the plot much. Most of flow is set in stone, which is why more than a game, it feels like a “user-controlled” movie. Yet, the game is enjoyable because of its strong plot and the eeriness that accompanies the characters throughout the game.
The game is centred around the life of Jodie, who has a psychic connection with a supernatural entity called Aiden. This enables Jodie to perform telekinetic acts, communicate with the dead, move through walls and a variety of ‘paranormal’ things. The game begins with loosely connected scenes from Jodie’s past. At once instance, the player will be controlling 8 year old Jodie in a lab where her paranormal behaviour is being studied. Few scenes later, Jodie will be in her 20s training with the CIA to become an agent. This confusion generates enough curiosity to make the player complete the game to unfold the climax.
As the story moves ahead, the player will become emotionally invested in Jodie’s character. This makes the gameplay all the more entertaining. In one of the scenes, Jodie attends her neighbour’s party where she’s shooed away and locked up. The control shifts to the supernatural being Aiden, who takes the revenge on her behalf. Objects can be displaced, characters can be made to feel uneasy, and various freaky things can be done. But all of it, eventually leads to the destruction of the house which is essential for the story to progress. The game creates the illusion of having multiple choices when there aren’t any and is successful in concealing it.
The theme of fear and insecurity is brought up constantly. The surroundings, the emotions on Jodie’s face, sound effects and almost every component seems to be contributing something to it. The special effects added to the game make the story appealing and relevant. A casual gamer is more likely to enjoy this game compared to a serious gamer. The plot is singular, the graphics are decent and the gameplay doesn’t permit much freedom. The game has a ‘co-op’ mode which allows two players to play the game, but assigns each one a different character. Either Aiden or Jodie. So there isn’t any multiplayer capability in the game.
To wrap up, Beyond : Two Souls is a very different game. I’d give it a 7.5 – great plot, lack of interactivity, ellen page, realistic environment setups and an interesting climax.