84 of 89 people found the following review helpful
Obviously a divisive game...,
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This review is from: Beyond: Two Souls (PS3) (Video Game)
I'm not going to decry any of the lower scoring reviews this game received in the press, or indeed in this review section. Reviews are by their very nature entirely subjective, so it's entirely pointless to go down that road.
That said, I thought it was a phenomenal game. Although I wouldn't necessarily say I "enjoyed" it. The thing is, large parts of this game rely on your willingness to accept that a lot of mean, spiteful, heartless, manipulative and outright repulsive things are going to happen to the lead character. There are many sections where what you'll take from playing is how wretched and alienating the human spirit can be when faced with the idea of someone who's "different". I know a lot of people had a problem with the, er, distinctly downbeat tone of Heavy Rain, and I doubt those people will feel much different about Beyond.
But then there are also genuinely touching scenes that moved me. Scenes where simple love, kindness and acceptance can drag you back from the brink.
Then there's the control system. This isn't so much direct control of a character, as pointing the character in the direction of how you'd like things to play out. If you're willing to relinquish the micromanagement of every action in favour more detailed and varied second-to-second feedback onscreen, this can be a hugely rewarding game. If, on the other hand, you think games only work when the characters do stuff while the player is actively prodding buttons and twiddling sticks, you might not like this. Personally I'm happy with both, as long as they're done well.
Look, what I'm trying to say is this isn't your typical game, and it won't be for everyone. The graphics and acting are pretty much peerless in the video game world, the script and storytelling are on par with your average decently budgeted TV show, and - if you can accept the control system for what it is - it can provide an intimacy with the characters you just don't find in other media. If you're OK with that you'll think this is great, if not you probably won't. Neither is the better opinion - it's just personal preference.
Personally though, I think Beyond : Two Souls was bloody fantastic.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 18 Oct 2013 03:28:36 BDT
Michael Owens says:
I was umming and ahhing over buying this, after playing Heavy Rain (which I loved) I was intrigued by this new game from David Cage's Quantic Dreams team, and I waited.... and waited, and the reviews, albeit as you say, subjective - left me cold.
Now, I ready your review, a real life human gamer, who doesn't review because you should, because you wanted too, and you gave it a nice vibe, again, which has me intrigued - so my question is this. Sell me your copy. :D
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Oct 2013 01:43:37 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 Oct 2013 02:08:30 BDT
M. Allen says:
Hmm... no;-) This one is going on the very small and extremely select list of games I never resell.
Curiously enough though, despite reading so many reviews for 'Beyond' talking about 'Heavy Rain', I think the two are only superficially similar. They share a similar style of presentation, but while Heavy Rain was all about the drama and tension seen from several points of view, Beyond is a much more focused affair concentrating on your empathy with one person. Despite the high-concept idea behind it and a host of SFX sequences beyond the budget of most blockbuster movies, Beyond is all about the feelings of one person as life bludgeons them into submission. It ain't feel-good wish fulfillment, although that does make the parts where people show kindness hit with far more effect, without them needing to be the OTT 'this way to the Magic Happy Ending' stuff that game narratives tend to favour.
Look at it this way. Heavy Rain is about a desperate and awful situation but -because its basically a Police Procedural you have a chance of solving - there's always an element of hope. In Beyond you're basically screwed before you're even old enough for school, and a lot of it charts 15 years of Jodie falling into despair - there simply is no hope that her stuation will get better, only that it might stop getting worse.
Happily the acting, setting and directing is fantastic though, so its never less that utterly captivating.
I've played Beyond through twice now, and I actually prefer it to Heavy Rain (which I also loved). I'm certainly going to remember it more vividly in years to come. But like I said, they're thematically very different games - its always going to come down to personal preference.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Oct 2013 02:58:15 BDT
Michael Owens says:
Well, for me - like Heavy Rain before it, this is the exact reason this and HR before it had me excited. A story, albeit within a gaming environment that had a severe emotional attachment to it. One that actually hit me hard in HR.
No game has ever made me feel that much emotion, and in think you feel the same about that, and now this.
You've definitely made my mind up with your review though, so kudos for that. It's about time that reviews on amazon are actually that, and not merely fanboys demanding you buy this because it's cool, because it has killer graphics and because it's what their friends are playing.
I like the cods, the battlefields and the FIFA's, don't get me wrong, but I also like to be entwined and entertained at the same time and I believe David Cage has that unique element, more so than hideo kajima if you ask me.
Cheers though pal. Appreciate the review.
In reply to an earlier post on 20 Oct 2013 12:48:33 BDT
M. Allen says:
No prob. If more people who might like it are willing to give it a go, I'm happy to write few words. I loves me my God of War and I'm itching to brutalise the groin of Gotham City's crime next week, but I dearly wish more games credited their audience with the patience and empathy to play stuff like this. Give "Gone Home" a chance too btw - very different setting/mechanics and much smaller scale, but it tries to do very similar things with character attachment.
Beyond isn't all quite as miserable as I've made out btw - there's some long sequences where you find somewhere you fit in where the tone can be pretty upbeat. But its only after finishing it that I realised - because I was just so pathetically grateful for the acceptance at the time - I didn't notice how crappy those situations really were by any normal consideration.
Good trick, that.
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Apr 2014 23:37:26 BDT
HP Sauce says:
NEVER base your decisions on reviews! I feel that over the years, with restricted deadlines and the cynicism of looking over game after game, has made game journalists into a very negative bunch.
Had I listened to them I would not have played this masterpiece. Quite simply, it is unlike most games we get - sure, it's essentially a glorified interactive movie with quick time events - but you can deconstruct the best things in life to its base component to sound lifeless.
This game - film - experience - call it what you want - gives you everything you want. Happiness, sadness, anger - very few games allow you to go through it all.
Posted on 28 May 2014 15:43:08 BDT
Last edited by the author on 28 May 2014 15:46:24 BDT
And, of course, it wasn't as close to being a 'game' in our traditional meaning of the word as Heavy Rain was. Beyond Two Souls features little if any chance of actually dying at any point. The game plays itself if you do not respond in time. It does make the scares in this game all about the little shocks- for the big action pieces are not themselves scary. Surely they don't think that they come across as scary either?
You will feel slightly cheated if you like your responses to matter in this game. Heavy Rain was never that cynical with the player- plus Heavy Rain featured many more playable characters and possible story arcs. Heavy Rain's plot can be more annoying but Beyond is essentially the 'beginners' Heavy Rain. Play Beyond first and then play the real test- Heavy Rain.
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