Behind Closed Doors With David Cage And Quantic Dream’s “Beyond”

Quantic Dream’s latest title, Beyond: Two Souls, is one of the few games that caught people by surprise at this year’s E3. It was quite refreshing to see a game that wasn’t a sequel or a First Person Shooter. Based on what we saw at the Sony Press Conference, Beyond looked incredibly similar to Heavy Rain – the demo had a deliberately slow pacing, one that eventually lead to an unexpected amount of destruction.

It may not have been the best way to showcase the game but it was certainly impressive. And then I had a chance to see Beyond behind closed doors. My mind was blown.

Beyond: Two Souls follows the life of Jodie Holmes over the span of fifteen years – that you’ll already know. The rest, though, might be considered spoilers, our gameplay session showed off some of the game’s key moments. And here’s the first big twist: for some unknown reason, Jodie is able interact with a ghostly entity named Aiden. The demo starts off with Jodie sleeping on a train during a rainy day; she’s a fugitive on the run, but the reasons why were not revealed.

It’s here that the differences between this game and Heavy Rain become quite clear: the player is able to interchangeably take control of both Jodie and Aiden at any point. But first, we had to find a way to wake up Jodie.

As Aiden, you are able to freely roam the environment in first person view without any worry. Using the SIXAXIS, Aiden is able to go through walls and even interact with objects and people in the area. At one point we saw Aiden maliciously throw someone’s drink to the floor and give another passenger cold chills. The only real limitation here is that you’ll lose your connection to Jodie if you go too far off into the distance.

[drop]After exploring the outside environment, Aiden notices that the cops have stopped the train. Now you have to find a way to wakeup Jodie before it’s too late. It seems like the player is able to handle this situation in various ways – simply talking to Jodie did nothing more than annoy her. There was also a bottle of water right next to her, which you most likely could have splashed on her face.

During our demonstration, the player dropped Jodie’s bag onto the floor. As Jodie furiously places the bag into the overhead compartment, she notices the cops and tries to escape. She’s immediately spotted and now the player assumes the role of Jodie in an incredibly intense action sequence – it’s here that we see just how much of an evolution this game is when compared to Quantic Dream’s previous efforts.

However, at first glance, the action looked just like anything you would see in Heavy Rain. The button prompts appear in the same fashion and are just as reaction based as before. There’s one big difference though – we were told that the entire scene was interactive. That’s right, you can actually move the player around and make the escape for yourself. The characters in Beyond are not controlled by a cutscene, but the animations are so seemless you can’t even tell unless you were actually playing it for yourself.

Eventually, Jodie locks herself into a bathroom but isn’t strong enough to open the hatch on the roof. She cries out to Aiden and the player is now able to use some supernatural powers to bust through. In this scene, it was painfully obvious what to do. Other scenes though, as we soon saw, actually gave a surprising amount of freedom to the player. As Jodie makes a run for it on the roof of the train, cops are closing in on her from all angles – she’s completely soaked, which was quite impressive and looked far more realistic than anything I’ve ever seen in a video game before.

Jodie gets grabbed by the cops but she’s able to give them a beatdown with some well timed QTEs. She’s actually quite a proficient fighter for some inexplicable reason, but that’s probably explained in the story at some point. Jodie, who is now being protected by Aiden’s blue aura, takes a leap of faith off the train. It seems like the danger was over, but it was only the beginning.


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  1. Can’t wait. Was a bit disappointed in Heavy Rain, but this looks amazing.

    • Me too, on both points… Felt HR was part cool, part smoke & mirrors, but alao can’t wait for this!

    • blaspheme!

  2. My information blackout for this game has already begun. I liked Heavy Rain, I liked that Kara teaser, I like Ellen Page, and so on and so on.

    Needless to say, this will be a pre-order of the most limited edition of this game. Just don’t want to read anything about it up until then!

    • Totally agree there, after that amazing trailer at e3 this article peaked my interest but as soon as i read the first paragraph my internal monologue just said “ahhhhh! scroll down!” i already feel i read too much.

  3. That was a brilliant article. Above and beyond from you, Delriach as usual.

    The game was a complete surprise to me when it was shown as I made a conscious effort to avoid pre-E3 spoilers and I was truly amazed with what I saw and heard when it was shown. Easily the most lasting display I saw from the Sony side of things at E3.

    Having hugely enjoyed the previous generations Fahrenheit, I was awaiting Heavy Rain with baited breath and when it arrived to much fan-fare, I really enjoyed it, the story was magnificent I thought while I felt the controls left a little to be desired to me personally. An experience like no other but definitely room for large improvement.

    The Kara technical demonstration was interesting as a glimpse of Quantic Dreams future but Beyond looks … well, beyond what I anticipated or even hoped for. And the collaboration with a great actress in Ellen Page just pushes things that extra notch upwards.

    I can’t let myself get too excited but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have huge hopes for this one. As a result, I’ll be limiting my intake of Beyond related information so I don’t hear, read or see too much before we’re able to have our own hands on.

    Top work, Del. Appreciated.

  4. just put this on preorder great read.

  5. Nice job Delriach, i’ve only seen the fuzzy online footage but it still looked amazing. Can’t wait.

  6. Personally Heavy Rain was one of my favourite games of this gen, despite its technical hiccups. I’m both hoping for and expecting great things from Beyond, it is looking to be another stunning game.

  7. Yeah, i was really impressed by the demo when i saw it a couple of days ago

  8. I don’t see the hype over Ellen Paige I mean for real though what is it?

    • She’s a very competent, young actress who has decent breadth and depth to her abilities and can do real-world emotions with seamless transitions – unlike many of her peers. Is she the best there is? Nope. Still, she’s a fine actress.

  9. I loved Heavy Rain, it was right up my street. The graphics will be better in this game, so if they can produce something half as engaging as HR they will be on to success. I felt the use of Sixasis was a good element in Heavy Rain, but somewhat overused. It sounds as if they will do the same again for this game. Overall i’d say im looking forward to it. Should be good.

  10. I refuse to read it 1 page was too much, preorder check

    • lol yeah. This was pretty much all spoilers ;P

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