Posted by Raine Hutchens on Jun 7, 2012

Beyond: Two Souls – Details and Impressions [E3 2012]

The buzz of E3 is still going strong, though the details of what’s been announced are slowly starting to dissipate. Now is the time we see personal opinions and impressions of game’s we’ve seen and demoed. I thought I’d offer up an impression of my own on a game that was a little misunderstood at first. That game is Beyond: Two Souls.

During Sony’s press conference a teaser was shown for Beyond and it had many fans scratching their heads. Quantic Dream, the developer behind Heavy Rain, revealed this new title as their current project. The trailer shows a game that looks amazing, though what you see sets in a sense of confusion that just sits in the pit of your stomach. I’ve taken some time to check out the teaser and the full trailer, and I’ve got an assessment of what the game could possibly be about.

The main character, Jodie, is a fugitive who is being sought after by some top agents. She has special abilities and is tied to some otherworldly being she calls Aiden. The game follows her over a 15-year span as she deals with her powers and being pursued constantly. From what we know, players will switch off between controlling Jodie and Aiden, and the game plays out just like a movie.

Aiden is a non-corporeal ghost who can float around and interact with the environment. Everything you see from Aiden’s perspective is first-person. He manifests as a white string of gaseous nature that emits from Jodie. Through Aiden, a lot of mischief happens. Through most of the game Aiden is the one who will cause poltergeist effects on enemies and items around the player. Aiden is free to move around on his own will, though he can’t get too far from Jodie as he is tethered to her.

When I first saw the initial trailer I suspected that Jodi just had some sort of psychic powers that she obtained in some way. However, after watching the extended trailer and paying attention to the name, I started thinking differently. She acts frightened in the trailer, yet sure of herself at the same time. I started thinking that these powers of hers might not necessarily be her own, and they could have been gifted to her by some presence only she can see. On top of this, at the end of the trailer Jodie says, “Come on, Aiden, let’s go.” That got me thinking of the second soul (after all, the game’s title is Two Souls). All of a sudden things made sense, to a point. I still didn’t understand why so many people were after her, but it’s something I’m sure we’ll see in-game. In the end, Jodie and Aiden are two separate entities who are bound together, and that was the conclusion I got to. Now that some details were released, I’m glad to see I was at least on-point with the mechanics in the game.

Since I came to this assumption, a 20-minute gameplay demo of the game has leaked to the net. The above details were pulled from the demo, and Quantic Dream has helped to elaborate them. Beyond: Two Souls plays out a lot like Heavy Rain, which isn’t an issue to me. I loved the cinematic feel of Heavy Rain, and Quantic looks like they’re working to bring the same feel with a much different experience that will blow us away. If you’d like to see the game in action, you can check out the demo posted below.

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