GAMING Took a little break from GTA V to try the new PS3 exclusive Beyond: Two Souls (a.k.a. "that Ellen Page game"). It's the new ambitious release from Quantic Dream - the studio which brought us the cinematic masterpiece Heavy Rain, and it shows!

Game or interactive movie?

Beyond: Two Souls has the context sensitive control scheme of the previous game left pretty much as-is. But whereas Heavy Rain was very much about investigating and puzzle solving, Beyond TS seems more like an action-oriented game, and from the short demo covering two scenes from the game (that were taken completely out of context, by the way), I'm not sure how well the control mechanism transfers to this scenario or genre. As impressive it may look and sound, with credible voice acting by Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe, a lot of the time it felt more like an interactive movie than a game. All the action was entirely scripted and the visuals only slowed down, every now and then expecting some kind input from the player. Most of the time it just expects you to angle the right analogue stick in the direction of a punch or kick the protagonist happens to throw against her foes. It also features some button sequences, much like those old quick-time events that you had to suffer through with every boss fight in every action game, back in the mid 00's. No one really enjoyed them then, and I don't see why they would now.

Scene from the latter part of the demo. Ellen Page thembarks on a wet, bruised adventure in the woods. Somewhat reminiscent of the most recent Tomb Raider incarnation.

I loved Heavy Rain, and the mature, cinematic quality it brought to the adventure genre. It was a truly engaging film noire kind of thing, and while it wan't all too challenging as far as the game itself went, it was a truly unique experience. It had an very intriguing story with many different outcomes, depending how you played your cards. It was an ambitious and somewhat risky project, but it turned out very nicely, so I sure hope they didn't mess this one up either.

Boll.
Will be interesting to see how the full game turns out. Hope this short demo wasn't entirely indicative of what to expect. But if anything, at least one playthrough will likely be worthwhile, just to experience the cinematic quality of it. A movie adaptation probably wouldn't be too far fetched, as with Heavy Rain, which seems to be in development, according to IMDb. Let's just hope Uwe Boll doesn't get wind of it.

The game is scheduled for a US release on the 8th of October, 2013. Here in Europe we'll have to wait another day, till October 9th.
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