Beyond: Two Souls (2013)

Video Game  -  Adventure | Crime | Drama  -  8 October 2013 (USA)
9.0
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Ratings: 9.0/10 from 4,075 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 9 critic

Live the life of Jodie Holmes, a young woman who possesses supernatural powers through her psychic link to a mysterious invisible entity.

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Title: Beyond: Two Souls (Video Game 2013)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Jodie Holmes (voice)
...
Nathan Dawkins (voice)
...
...
Cole Freeman
Caroline Wolfson ...
Robert Burns ...
Philip Holmes / Possessed Scientist
...
Susan Holmes
David Gasman ...
Officer J. Sherman
...
Paul / Earl / Mike
...
Jimmy / Frank / Cory / Willie
David Coburn ...
Stan / Ricky
Maud Laedermann ...
Tuesday
Barry Johnson ...
Walter
...
Jay
Barbara Scaff ...
Norah / Shimasani
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Storyline

Live the life of Jodie Holmes, a young woman who possesses supernatural powers through her psychic link to a mysterious invisible entity.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Daughter, Teenager, Spy, Fugitive, Monster


Certificate:

M | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

8 October 2013 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Beyond: Dos Almas  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jodie's appearance will change on the menu screen as her character's appearance changes during the story. See more »

Quotes

Jodie Holmes: Ever since I was born, I've been linked to an entity... His name is Aiden... and he's always with me... He's here right now...
See more »

Crazy Credits

The loading screen represents the timeline of Jodie's life. The game tells its story out of order but once completed refer to the timeline to see her life in order. See more »

Connections

Featured in How Video Games Changed the World (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Transcends mediums to create something greater than either.
19 October 2013 | by See all my reviews

Your mileage may vary, but for me, the game is transcendent.

It transcends both video games and movies to become something greater than either medium would ever be by themselves. I'm an avid gamer (I have 400+ Steam games, 400+ iOS games, and 100+ console games). Yet–to speak for myself–*I* found this game far more moving, thought-provoking, meaningful, and entertaining than many other games (including Super Mario Galaxy 1-2, Grand Theft Auto 4-5, The Last of Us, and others).

I can only compare it to Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead, or the Metal Gear Solid series: deep rich stories that have themes and messages that convey something of lasting meaning; something beyond the mindless (but fun) shooting and platforming of other titles.

I will remember this game for years to come. There are few works of fiction of any medium for which I can say the same.

If you like a rich deep story line and don't care about a lack of "agency" (it's always illusory in video games, anyway–there are always incredibly restrictive rules on game play), then this is *the* game of the seventh generation. The comparably minor errors in execution and direction can be ignored, when viewed in light of the whole.

Indeed, the question of whether this qualifies as a game is, like Dear Ester, a largely irrelevant and pedantic: It entertains. It provokes thought. It is emotionally moving. And it illustrates that games–like cinema or literature–can be taken seriously as a medium to both entertain and enlighten.

It seems to me that most reviewers of this game have profoundly and tragically missed the point.

I've tentatively come to the conclusion that most people who dislike Beyond do so because they cannot (or will not) accept the game on its own terms: They have certain expectations of video games, and deviation from well-established norms vexes them. So, for instance, they demand interactivity, even when accepting passivity allows a far more compelling and moving narrative.

In contrast, other people are, perhaps, more flexible (at least with regards to their expectations of the medium). For instance, the "passivity" of playing Beyond did not bother me in the slightest (except, at times, the second play-through; but I passed it the first time a day ago). I knew what I was getting into.

I believe that many reviewers, given their larger than average exposure to the medium are even less tolerant of certain deviations from game play norms. This, I think, explains the large divergence of opinions on metacritic, and the (to me) inconceivably low average the game currently has (a mere 73!).

Like the criticism that the game strips the player of freedom/agency, I do not think the others have merit:

I consider the script to be impeccable. I have noticed no plot holes, and very few problems with the dialogue. It is telling that David Cage took a year of 12-14-hour days to write it and that it is 2000 pages in length.

I consider Page's acting to be truly and deeply awe-inspiring. I cannot praise her highly enough. She memorized 30-40 pages of dialogue each day. She had very little time to prepare and rehearse. She often had to juggle different emotional responses to the situations (e.g., playing the part one way in a scene and playing it another way in the same scene). Yet, despite these challenges, her acting is consistently of the highest professional quality. I have noticed no flaws in her performance; it is (along with William Dafoe's performance) very much in keeping with her Academy Award for Best Actress. I consider her to be the most talented actress I've seen.

I also think that the myriad ad hominem attacks against David Cage are entirely unwarranted. He does not try to impose his views on others. Rather, he is merely passionate, has a vision he believes in, and is outspoken in his beliefs. He believes that gaming can, like cinema or literature, change the world (or try to). This is not arrogant; it is noble.

Moreover, the game has other strengths that seem to be overlooked by many:

  • The social commentary is entirely warranted, and appropriately


biting. - The graphical quality of the game is the best of any on a console. - The story is incredibly moving and thought-provoking. The narrative was very easy for me to follow, despite the non-chronological presentation. - There is a wide range of different locales and gameplay dynamics employed. Variety is the spice of life.

To put it succinctly (and a little melodramatically):

For me, the game is both a reminder and illustration of the many challenges and the triumphs, the sadnesses and joys that life has to offer. For me, it's life affirming, and I consider it deep, rich and meaningful. There are almost no other games (and few movies and books, for that matter) for which I can say the same.

Take a chance; play this game.


29 of 36 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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