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“Beyond: Two Souls” in review

November 1, 2013

“Beyond: Two Souls” is a unique gaming experience, setting itself apart from other games through interesting narrative. The game follows the life of Jodie Holmes, who’s tied to a supernatural entity named Aiden. Aiden’s persistent presence creates an unsurprising love, and sometimes, hate relationship between the two. As the supernatural ability manifests, Jodie is sent to live under constant supervision in a government facility where her supernatural ability is exploited by the government for its own destructive purposes.

Jodie and Aiden are tethered together and the player experiences both characters’ points of view. The narrative revolves around Jodie wanting to live a normal life. Likewise, Aiden is stuck living a life that is not his own and is unable to communicate with others.

This unique narrative allows the player to understand both characters and creates a bond that strengthens as the game progresses. Yet, the jumps in the narration hinder the game and it would have enhanced the game experience if the story went in chronological order to avoid confusion.

“Beyond: Two Souls” provides a narrative experience that is moving at times, but the story ultimately doesn’t hold up under scrutiny due to some poor writing and character development.

Aside from the story, the game has hyper-realistic graphics that made me question whether or not I was looking at video game characters or real people. In addition to the astonishing realism of the extraordinary visuals and animations are great performances, led by Ellen Page as Jodie.

Page’s performance as Jodie adds depth to her character that creates an emotional connection with the player. Many of the characters throughout Jodie’s life have a long lasting impact that made me wonder what came of them after the game’s conclusion.

The game is mainly composed of quick time events and offers choices that have an impact on what direction the game takes. This game also has a combat system where the player moves the right analog stick in the direction of Jodie’s body movement to counter attacks.

The combat is sketchy and frustrating since it’s difficult to know where to move the analog stick. Moreover, playing as Aiden to solve puzzles was underutilized since many of the puzzles were too simplistic.

“Beyond: Two Souls” provides a rare gaming experience that is otherwise not shown in many other games. The player’s control of the character is limited compared to other games, but “Beyond” is a game that triggers emotions in the player that many other games fail to do. Even with some narrative flaws and poor combat this is definitely a game that is worth giving a try.

Jose Aranda
Contributing Writer

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