Reviews for Beyond Two Souls

85

A story worth telling

Elfangorax | Jan. 25, 2014 | See all Elfangorax's reviews ยป

This game is a visual masterpiece and puts this to great effect in taking us through the extraordinary life of Jodie Holmes. The actors, coupled with the graphical fidelity of their performance, really help bring the story to life.

Unfortunately, that story is told in a rather unwieldy fashion, jumping back and forth along Jodie's timeline, which has a jarring effect on the tone. There is a narrative reason for this, which is alluded to in the Prologue and spelled out in the Epilogue, but it doesn't make the approach feel much more fitting.

The degree of agency the player has over the events of the game can impress or disappoint, depending on expectations. As in most games which offer choice like this, several of those choices ultimately count for naught, and it can be frustrating to never see the payoff for a decision deemed important at the time. On the other hand, the number of small decisions -- dialogue choices; objects to interact with; etc -- can enrich the story and really help the player to shape what kind of person Jodie is. A particular sequence in which a teenage Jodie has to decide which of her childhood mementos to keep allows the player to speak volumes about her feelings, without using any words.

In spite of its flaws, this game is a wonderful example of the kind of "interactive experience" that Quantic Dream specialise in. It is a unique and powerful work that belongs in your PS3.