Beyond Two Souls Fast Forward 2013
2013 has already started and this new year also promises to be fantastic. We can expect many new games and just like every year the editors of GamersNET let you know what’s coming up and what they’re excited about. December and January are therefore dominated by the Fast Forwards 2013. Today Caron is delving into Beyond Two Souls and lead actress Ellen Page.
The French developer Quantic Dream is one that does not shy away from experimentation. In fact, it seems to be a developer eager to embrace virgin territory, with titles like Fahrenheit (2005) and Heavy Rain (2010) to prove it. The emphasis in these games is mainly on the emotional cinematic experience, where the choices the player makes determine the course of the game. Heavy Rain, for example, has a total of more than twenty different final conclusions, which greatly improves replayability. The game is also supported by beautiful graphics, in which the flexibility in the facial expressions of the characters is particularly striking. Critics also praised the game’s graphical performance, although various comments were also made about the level of gameplay. Wasn’t Heavy Rain just a film tied together by means of quick time events?
After Quantic Dream blew us off our seats last March with Kara, a tech demo showing the developer’s upgraded graphics engine, this year we can enjoy the game that will run on this engine: Beyond Two Souls.
Ellen Page: a savory candy
When the 2,000-page script for Beyond Two Souls was completed, all the studio needed was an actress to take the lead role. Game director (and co-CEO) David Cage had only one person on the list: Ellen Page (Inception, 2010). Page is a fantastic actress who has shown throughout her film career that she is capable of creating very diverse characters. From a stubborn but warm teenage mother-to-be in Juno (2007) to a sadistic ice bunny in Hard Candy (2005); she does it convincingly. Cage later admitted in an interview that he had been in quite a bit of trouble when the Canadian actress turned down the role.
He also praised working with a talent like Ellen Page, which he compared to driving a Ferrari; “It’s really sensitive. You need to be very careful about what you say because she’s going to give it to you.” Page was filmed for months at Quantic Dreams motion capture studio in Paris and from what we’ve seen in footage so far, we can conclude that it paid off.
In Beyond Two Souls, Ellen Page portrays Jodie Holmes, a girl who has contact with an unseen entity called Aiden. It is unknown who, or what, Aiden is exactly. Jodie herself does not know about this, she only knows that she has been in contact with this “spirit” (soul?) since childhood. In the game we follow Jodie over a period of fifteen years in her life, during which she comes into contact with the arm of the law somewhere and is forced to flee. The exact cause of this event is not yet known, but we can assume that Jodie’s invisible friend has a lot to do with this.
Throughout the story, Jodie is able to summon Aiden’s help who can then free her from her plight. Based on the fact that she actually communicates with Aiden, Peter tentatively concludes in his E3 preview from last year that Aiden and Jodie are on the same side. Knowing Quantic Dream, it won’t be that easy and I’m sure we can expect some unforeseen plot twists just like in Heavy Rain.
When Beyond Two Souls will be released exactly is unknown, but we can assume that the game will still be playable on the PlayStation 3 this year. The interesting concept, the available footage, the presence of Ellen Page and the certainty that Quantic Dream is able to tell a good story in a professional way, indicate that this will be another success for the French studio.
The only unanswered question remains how the gameplay is going. Although according to David Cage there are certainly moments of direct gameplay in Beyond Two Souls, all available information so far points to a playing experience that will be fairly in line with predecessor Heavy Rain. As a result, the game may not be for everyone. However, gamers who like a good story with deep characters in a cinematic jacket will probably devour Beyond Two Souls with great pleasure. Partly because of Ellen Page a boiling hot GN barometer.