Friday, November 1, 2013

Video Game Review: Beyond - Two Souls

Hey guys, here is another video game review by me, Scared Sheetless. This time we’re going to be talking about Quantic Dream’s latest game Beyond: Two Souls. This comes from the very same team who brought us Heavy Rain a few years back. Did this do just as well? Let’s see.

Again, as I have to remind the readers every time, I generally don’t play video games, unless I have an interest to. Most times, I watch it for the story. This game, however, I think I would like to pick it up and give it a try. 

Please note: Due to that I thoroughly enjoyed watching this game, I do want to talk about some scenes. Spoiler alert! 

The Story Goes: 

You play through stages of a young girl named Jodie, who has a special ability. She was born in a facility called Unit 4 – the Paranormal unit. She has a ghost guide, if you will, by the name of Aidan, who helps her out and sometimes gets her into some sticky situations. Of course, due to the fact that Jodie can communicate with an invisible force, that must mean she is very popular. Not really. There is one part where Jodie goes to a birthday party, where you get your stereotypical teens, who are either jocks, jerks, or prissy bitches. At first, a nice London boy takes interested in Jodie, but suddenly he turns on her and calls her a slut. They lock her in a staircase closet and Jodie uses Aidan to get revenge. Is it a Carrie-esque type of revenge? Well, I’ll let you see for yourself. 

There are so many powerful, sometimes gut-wrenching scenes, that for once I can’t do a review without spoilers. One scene that got me so much that I actually had tears in my eyes, was the scene where Jodie sees her real mother for the first time. She had “parents,” but they were more guardians until this CIA unit needed her at a later time. Jodie was taken away from her mother, due to the CIA thought her mother was a risk to harm the baby or herself. The mother was eventually given so many drugs to induce her in a comatose state. This was until Jodie finally broke into the mental hospital and saw her for the first time. Breaking through her consciousness and letting her see Jodie for the first time was a very powerful scene and I have it below. If you’re only watching this and don’t know the story, it most likely won’t affect you as much, but it’s still well done.

Score (story-wise): 9/10 – I’ve actually had to write this review twice, once was during the early stages of watching the gameplay (a no-no) and now. My first review was mostly favorable of the story (though confusing at times), but not so keen on the voice acting.

However, I do take some of it back. Confusing it will be at the beginning, but once you delve further into the story, you can piece the events together, thus, it will make more sense. The voice acting, though sometimes not Mark Hamill or Troy Baker standards, is not all that bad as I originally said in my earlier draft of this review.

Of course, it does have a rather good cast of big Hollywood names such as the man and legend, Willem  Dafoe, and Ellen Page (Juno – never seen it, but it is a popular movie), have the biggest roles in this game. Both do a fantastic job and didn’t treat this as a few bucks and just phoned it in. At first, I was a bit pessimistic about how Page’s performance might be due to the fact I’ve read she tends to sound really bored in her voice (which, I for one, can’t stand, and refuse to watch any movies with that type of crap work), but Ellen Page did great.  

Though this is a story driven game, it is also character driven as well. I found myself attached to some of the characters, such as Jodie (Page), Nathan (Dafoe), and Cole. I’m sure anyone else who plays/watches this game will too. That’s why I really liked this game, because it covered a lot of basis some games tend to slip. This year has been the one of the only two games where I’ve felt feelings for video game characters. Grand Theft Auto V, with guys like Michael, Trevor, and Franklin, of course being the other. Highly recommended game, by the way. And I know, I loved Outlast, but Miles wasn’t a character that you could care for, you were more focused on the bad guys and the story. That’s it. Whereas, this game gives you the best of both worlds.

As said before, I do plan on buying and playing this game as soon as I can.

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