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Should You Play... Beyond: Two Souls

Will you get beyond ten points?

While our reviews aim to give you an honest verdict, some games divide opinion, leaving you as a consumer confused as to whether you should buy a game or not. A personalised opinion can’t always be found even after reading dozens of reviews, so without undermining what we’ve already written, here’s a simple guide to whether you should buy the latest polarising release or not.

So, start with the number ‘5’ in your head – a completely average score – and then ask yourself each question, adding or subtracting points as you go, or staying the same if you feel indifferent.

Basically, then, the higher your score, the more you’ll likely enjoy the game, in theory. If you’ve got anything above 10, you’ll probably enjoy it, but anything below zero might mean you need to steer clear of the game. That, in conjunction with our review, should give you a better idea of whether you should pick the game up or not.

Did you enjoy Heavy Rain? Yes +2, No -3

Beyond: Two Souls naturally shares a lot in common with Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain, being more of an interactive story with QTEs and choices rather than a traditional game. While the narrative is entirely different, some of the same tricks are played and the button mashing and dialogue selection, which leads to different choices, should feel second nature if you enjoyed the studio’s previous title. If you didn’t get on with Heavy Rain, then Beyond becomes a fair bit harder to recommend.

Do you generally like to delve into supernatural horror, be it film, novel or game? Yes +2, No -2

The moments which feature horror elements are among the best that the game has to offer. One particular section is actually really well done, showing the potential of the game, despite dragging on a bit too long. If you’re a fan of all things paranormal, then there’s some really good stuff for you to dig into.

Are you happy to have a less hands-on approach to gaming? Yes +3, No -2

Everything about Beyond: Two Souls is quite relaxed and if you’re up for watching most of the time and actually moving around in game with the DualShock – or a mobile device – less of the time, then Beyond: Two Souls might be more for you. There’s still QTEs mind, but with branching gameplay and action sequences which don’t require perfection, there’s not quite as much pressure.

Can you ignore a disjointed plot with some poor dialogue? Yes +3, No -4

The game’s plot is quite disjointed, skipping all over the place. While Memento and Pulp Fiction succeed with this plot technique, Beyond: Two Souls is akin to Call of Duty in its time-skipping nature. Could you put up with that before, and did some poor dialogue not hinder your experience? Then you might just be able to look beyond these issues.

Are you looking for the best graphics around? Yes +2, No -1

It’s truly a beautiful sight, and one of the best looking games around, veering into the area of CGI with its masterful graphics. If you’re the kind of person who can’t get enough polygons, or really wants to show to a non-gamer friend how good modern games look, then Beyond should definitely be a bit higher on your radar. Even if you’re not bothered about visuals, you might be after seeing how good the game actually looks.

Do you like Ellen Page and/or Willem Dafoe? Yes +3, No -3

If you don’t like Page or Dafoe as actors then, just as if it were a film starring these two, you should definitely drop Beyond down a few points. If you love them, then go ahead and bump your score right up. Even if you’re indifferent, but want to see some Hollywood acting talent in your game, then you can go ahead and answer yes, but if you’re adamant that it doesn’t matter who plays who, then you can just ignore this one.

You’re all done, and at this point your score should sit somewhere between -10 and 20, or something has gone terribly, terribly wrong! Let us know how you’ve come out of this in the comments below.

  1. 3shirts
    Since: Aug 2008

    Hmm, I got a 6. Same as your review. Interesting.

    I think the graphics question is slightly odd though. Giving -1 for a no suggests you are actually put off by excellent graphics when, surely, a no just means you aren’t bothered.

    Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 17:04.
    • Blair Inglis
      Since: May 2009

      “or staying the same if you feel indifferent.”

      “No” means that you don’t care about one of the selling points of the game, if you’re happy either way then it’d be counted as 0.

      Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 17:19.
  2. doomsday619
    Since: Nov 2008

    Should You Play… Beyond: Two Souls, Yes………Yes you should i really enjoyed the game it was a bit weird but loved every minute of it but thts a personal preference :)

    Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 17:13.
    • Taylor Made
      Since: Oct 2011

      Agreed, the game is amazing, me & my wife play, I let her control Ellen while I control aiden.

      Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 17:16.
  3. tactical20
    Since: May 2010

    I scored 6 too. Had already decided not to get this until it’s (inevitably) cheapy cheap anyway. In fact with the exception of the new Batman & South Park, I don’t think I’ll be buying any more PS3 games for over a tenner.

    Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 17:15.
  4. Taylor Made
    Since: Oct 2011

    I already have the game and it’s awesome, it’s different from all the games am currently playing, rayman, GTA, Killzone.

    It’s a breath of fresh air & don’t mind the reviews & what they say.

    Oh and what if I like dafoe but hate page do I halve my point?

    Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 17:18.
  5. Tuffcub
    On the naughty step.
    Since: Dec 2008

    +18, and I completely and utterly disagree with the plot being disjointed and the dialogue being poor.

    Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 17:21.
    • jimmy-google
      Since: Feb 2009

      I’ve seen a lot of reviews and this seems to be the most polarising aspect of the hand

      Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 18:18.
    • rosswilson17
      Since: Jun 2013

      I found a couple of the chapters unnecessary to the overall plot but I definitely wouldn’t call it disjointed. I also really didn’t like the switching between ages. I wish it would have just went from young>old maybe with the occasional flashback. I still really enjoyed the game despite this.

      Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 18:44.
    • MaD dOctoR 79
      Since: Dec 2010

      you’ll find that most of the people who didn’t like (or understand) the jumbled plot presentation, did not pay attention to the Prologue.

      and as for poor dialogue, I really don’t know what game they were playing.

      I’ve watched numerous playthroughs of certain scene, and a lot of those people did not pay attention to what was happening onscreen (the Fire extinguisher comes to mind, so many people miss that)

      having completed it the other day, all I can say is a 6 is an insult.

      also, too many people complain that it’s not a game, then go on to complain about how hard the controls are…(which again I do not understand, Jodie moves left you hit left, Jodie moves down, you hit down) and if anyone is having difficulty with knowing which way to press change the setting to “I rarely play games” and all the motions are on screen for you.

      but then, it’s not really a game is it…;)

      Comment posted on 16/10/2013 at 02:10.
    • stueeeee
      Since: Jun 2009

      I got +18 too. Am only half way through but enjoying it so far!
      Although I can’t work out if it would of been better having the chapters in chronological order of her life rather than how they’ve done it?….. Would it had made more sense to more reviewers if they’d done it that way?

      Comment posted on 16/10/2013 at 17:34.
  6. Dan Jones
    Since: May 2010

    I scored 5. I agree with the pot being disjointed, but it’s getting better, and I’m starting to really enjoy it. Page is brilliant in it so far, top stuff.

    Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 17:40.
    • blast71
      Since: May 2012

      “the pot being disjointed” Is this a ‘doobie’ with all the ‘mary-jane’ removed? ;P

      Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 19:39.
  7. TSBonyman
    Since: Dec 2009

    I got 15 going with that, but i wouldn’t have asked myself those questions.
    I played it and i loved it. It captivated me from beginning to end, made me laugh and made me cry (tears of joy at one point), gave me a few unexpected scares and satisfied my penchant for cutting-edge visuals.
    Overall, i would award it an easy 8/10. But that’s just me.

    btw, the plot being all over the place is qualified at the end – and once completed you can play the chapters in chronological order if you wish.

    Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 17:53.
  8. Avenger
    Since: Oct 2012

    I scored 0 and that was without the last question because whilst they are both good actors, from what I’ve seen they’re both never fleshed out enough in their acting, perhaps because of the writing/directing.

    The disjointed plot was the major problem with a -4. Heavy Rain was a cheat and a bore in it’s narrative. Also the trailers (Beyond) hinted a lot with so many different settings and events which didn’t really look like they belonged in the same production. Rarely has a director pieced together such an array of different scenes/structures successfully; Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan and on the gaming side perhaps Hideo Kojima the most skilful.

    Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 18:05.
    • rosswilson17
      Since: Jun 2013

      Page is fantastic in this game, certainly above my expectations going in, but if you didn’t like heavy rain I cant see this game being for you.

      Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 18:51.
      • Avenger
        Since: Oct 2012

        Heavy Rain was O.K. but the fact that the mystery was just a cheat and the multi-strand narrative wasn’t done well meant the game wasn’t really something that I could get interested in; of course I am a film student, and my expectations for something with so much hype quite high.

        Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 20:01.
    • MaD dOctoR 79
      Since: Dec 2010

      you say you are a film student, but have a problem with the jumbled plot?

      would you prefer every film be told chronologically? I don’t think Jackie Brown, Reservoir Dogs or Pulp Fiction would ever have had the same impact if they had been told in a linear fashion…in fact I know that they wouldn’t.

      are you one of those people who don’t like the fourth wall broken? or to cross the invisible line? because that’s where innovation comes in.

      and you bring up Hideo Kojima, as if he is the master of coherent storytelling. (Ha) if there was a ever a series that got bastardised as it went on, it is Metal Gear, and let’s not forget the switch from Snake to Raiden (he may be a bad ass samurai now, but he was a whining little teen bitchboy back then)

      it’s late I think I may be rambling…

      Comment posted on 16/10/2013 at 02:34.
      • Avenger
        Since: Oct 2012

        I don’t have any preferences on narrative structure. I have watched some of the most bizarrely structured works and they’ve all been brilliant films that have worked either on an entertainment level or an artistic level. Want some examples? Well let’s go beyond the mainstream and say Mulholland Drive, Persona, Battleship Potemkin, Citizen Kane (this one especially because of the portrayal of someone’s near entire life).

        Yes I do bring up Hideo Kojima, because anyone who knows narrative and knows MGS3 knows that Kojima is, or at least for that duration, an utterly brilliant writer. Haven’t come across a film text that does a double barrel narrative [of sorts] like Kojima has.

        Cage has proven an ineptness at handling narrative and good writing in Heavy Rain. Whilst everyone advances their ability (and Cage clearly has), it’s reasonable for me to be sceptical given what I’ve seen so far. Not to mention that it insists on multiple directions based on interaction; it’s no wonder there is going to be some concessions for the sake of the player being able to literally direct where the story goes.

        Comment posted on 16/10/2013 at 09:43.
      • Avenger
        Since: Oct 2012

        Oh and a couple of extra notes.

        Innovation doesn’t start simply by breaking conventions like the ‘fourth wall’. Innovation is damn well subjective enough for me not to get involved in that issue.

        And yes, I am a film student. I’ve studied Literature and Films for nearly fours years, read and studied some brilliant works, and one or two not so good texts. I’ve still got way more to do, but I’m knowledgeable enough to critique other pieces with a certain amount of gravity to arguments. It’s also the bad texts that help me just as much as the good texts do; it’s all an arena of creativity to explore.

        Comment posted on 16/10/2013 at 09:51.
      • MaD dOctoR 79
        Since: Dec 2010

        you say brilliant films…as in something you view, have no control over, Beyond and Heavy Rain are not film, and should not be thought of as such, and certainly not reviewed in the same way…the same goes for it’s game element, reviewers should really try to review games on their own terms, and not compare them to others.

        And I’ve seen my fair share of odd cinema over the years, I was a film student too, but should that really matter? no it shouldn’t, it shouldn’t matter if you’re a welder, a dinner lady or even the Pope, Beyond is an experience, an experience you either love or hate.

        Comment posted on 16/10/2013 at 22:23.
      • MaD dOctoR 79
        Since: Dec 2010

        just to point out, to Innovate something is to change something already established…in other words breaking conventions.

        but I know what you mean…I think

        Comment posted on 16/10/2013 at 22:31.
  9. minerwilly
    Since: Feb 2009

    Loved Heavy Rain, played the Beyond demo last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. Never heard of Ellen Page and only ever seen Defoe in one of my all time favourites Platoon. I want it but won’t pay 40 quid for this type of game.

    Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 18:08.
  10. JR.
    Since: Apr 2013

    19/20. Brilliant game. I loved the nonlinear narrative and didn’t find it difficult to follow at all.

    Comment posted on 15/10/2013 at 18:17.

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