Beyond Two Souls review

I get spooked in my review of Beyond Two Souls for the Playstation3. rated 7 out of 10
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Beyond: Two Souls is the last big release on the PS3 before the PS4 arrives at the end of November and I for one have been looking forward to it. After enjoying Quantic Dreams’ last game Heavy Rain I was also prepared for this game to be more of the same - that is less of an actual game and more of an experience which is essentially a load of interactive cut scenes. Beyond Two Souls tells the story of Jodie played by Ellen Page and her ghostly bond named Aiden.

The game flits around a timeline shown on screen in a non-sequential order as we learn about her spooky childhood, her troubled teens and how she gets enrolled by the CIA as a kind of psychic spy in adulthood. Willem Dafoe also does a fantastic job in a supporting role where he plays a scientist who mentors, cares for and studies her.

It’s fair to say that this is without a doubt one of the best looking games I have ever played. It’s almost photo realistic at times and occasionally even transcends that uncanny valley where I actually forgot I was watching the actions of characters in a video game. This in turn means that real emotion is conveyed and there were times when Jodie channeled the spirits of dead loved ones where I did get a lump in my throat. Similarly, when things kick off as you play as the spirit of Aiden or see other ghosts enter the world, shivers did run down my spine. It’s really immersive at times but sometimes this is let down by some mundane actions you may have to perform.

Simple gestures are used to interact with the environment or run through the world but sometimes you use them to tidy up, cook dinner or do other boring chores you wouldn’t want to do in real life, never mind in a game. Things get interesting though when you press triangle to look at the world through Aiden, an entity you can’t quite work out is on Jodie’s side or has some other malevolent plan. Using the analogue sticks and L1 you can knock items over, kill people directly, possess them to do your bidding or just roam around the world looking for secrets.

There are also moments of action. When fighting you move the analogue stick in the direction Jodie is moving to hit or evade and, unlike Heavy Rain, I never let a fight once. There are plenty of opportunities to misfire and I guess this is because, like in a movie, the main character dying wouldn’t go down too well.

The game’s a trifle too long and I’m not compelled to play it more than once to see if my decisions really did affect how the game played out, but it did hold my attention and make me want to know what happens and that’s mostly down to the amazing art direction, not only in the characters but also in the environments and set pieces.

Hardcore gamers will probably snub this game but if you play games for their story and not for high scores, it’s a story that should have you gripped for the most part. It gets 7 out of 10.

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Related: Heavy Rain, Ellen Page, Beyond Two Souls review on Youtube

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