Beyond: Two Souls PlayStation 3
Released on 11-Oct-2013
BEYOND: Two Souls blurs the lines of movie-making and gaming by featuring a brand-new engine, an immersive and evocative story and the best theatrical performances in gaming to date.
A Stellar Cast for a Genre Defining Game:
BEYOND: Two Souls will feature Oscar nominee Ellen Page in the lead role of Jodie Holmes, a young woman who possesses supernatural powers through her link to an invisible entity. Ellen is supported by Willem Dafoe who plays Nathan Dawkins, an enigmatic scientist working for a government division studying paranormal activities. Dawkins’ professional curiosity in Jodie, driven by personal tragedy, is a central theme in BEYOND: Two Souls, and provides a rich and evocative narrative that only Dafoe’s subtleties of performance could fully realise.
Play Through A Lifetime:
In BEYOND: Two Souls, gamers will play through fifteen years of Jodie’s story, experiencing the most striking moments of her life. As she traverses the globe, Jodie will face incredible challenges set against a backdrop of emotionally charged events, the likes of which have never before been seen in a video game.
Like its predecessor Heavy Rain, BEYOND: Two Souls will allow players to shape the course of the story through their decisions and actions taken in the game.
Beyond Two Souls on PlayStation 3 Features:
- Delve into a gripping and unpredictable story with a Hollywood blockbuster cast featuring Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe.
- Create your own personal journey as your decisions and actions shape the outcome of the story.
- Take full control of Jodie as well as the mysterious entity in spectacular action and adventure sequences.
- Experience the new cutting-edge technology from Quantic Dream in what promise to be one of the best-looking games ever to be seen on PS3.
David Cage, head of French developer Quantic Dream, has big ideas and big plans for gaming, and at E3 this week Sony backed his vision with the sort of enthusiasm usually reserved for established shooters and other guaranteed blockbusters.
Beyond: Two Souls is the next offering from the esoteric developer, and it looks stunning. Starring acclaimed actress Ellen Page (Juno, Inception), it tells the story of Jody Holmes, a young woman who shares a connection with the afterlife via an invisible entity. The game will apparently follow her over fifteen years as she comes to term with her abilities. In the trailer shown at E3, we see a traumatised Jody, her head shaved, in a rural police station where she is hunted by SWAT teams. We also see scenes of destruction, with a clock tower being ripped apart by unknown forces and explosions galore.
It certainly seems like a more full-throttle experience than Heavy Rain's grungy serial killer yarn, but don't expect Cage to be going down the action game path any time soon. Beyond is billed as an "interactive drama" and will use a similar context-based control system as his previous game.
"Don't expect us to do anything traditional," Cage told journalists at the show. "We didn't make any compromise. 'Oh, let's put some explosions so we're gonna get more gamers buying the game' - that's really not how we think, otherwise we would have done probably Heavy Rain 2, which would have guaranteed more sales. There is an explosion because I need an explosion, not because I think an explosion will make me sell more."
Beyond: Two Souls is slated for release in early 2013
When Uncharted developer Naughty Dog first caught gamers off guard with the reveal of its post-apocalyptic action game, The Last of Us, the gameplay shown off in the first trailer showed a female character called Ellie who looked a lot like Hollywood star Ellen Page. Many assumed this meant Page would be voicing the character, when in actual fact it was voice actor Ashley Johnson, best known for voicing Gwen Tennyson on the hits kids show Ben 10.
This week at E3, fellow Sony developer Quantic Dream unveiled its next title - Beyond: Two Souls - which really does star Ellen Page, this time as a young woman hunted by the authorities and aided by a supernatural force. So did Naughty Dog have to change its character to avoid stepping on Quantic Dream's toes?
Apparently not, according to Bruce Straley, director of The Last of Us. He claims that Naughty Dog didn't see the resemblance, and changed Ellie's look because they wanted players to see the character, not an unrelated actress.
"We didn? even know what was going on with that," Straley told Eurogamer when quizzed on the change. "We don? know what? going on with other games"
"We hear what people are saying," he continued. "We just try to push for the characters that we want. And when we see the reactions we?e like, OK, we don? like that. We want our characters to stand on their own two feet."
The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls are two of the most impressive games shown off at this year's E3 in Los Angeles. Both are PlayStation 3 exclusives and are scheduled for release in early 2013.
French developer David Cage, whose studio Quantic Dream created the stunning PlayStation 3 thriller Heavy Rain, has reaffirmed his desire to keep prodding games in the direction of greater emotional depth, even if means abandoning traditional ideas of "fun".
While talking to Edge magazine, he explained his hopes for the people who play his next game: "I don't want to challenge their thumbs, I want to challenge their minds."
Beyond: Two Souls stars Hollywood actress Ellen Page as a young girl hunted by the military. She shares a bond with some sort of supernatural entity that makes her powerful and dangerous.
"My goal is to surprise people," Cage continues. "To give them something they want without knowing they want it. I want to create an emotional journey, a unique experience. I am not interested in giving them 'fun', I want to give them meaning."
One of the ways he intends to do this is to spread the events of the game over a 15 year period, rather than condensed non-stop action yarn most big titles aim for. However, he accepts that this sort of high concept narrative may not be for everyone. "Maybe this is irrelevant or just overly ambitious," he told Edge. "Maybe this is not what most people out there actually want. But this is the goal I set myself with Beyond: to create something different."
Beyond: Two Souls is a PlayStation 3 exclusive, and will be out in 2013.
Sony wowed the crowds at E3 in Los Angeles earlier this year, basing its big press presentation around exciting original new titles like The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls. In a sea of sequels, the PlayStation was determined to be seen as the home of fresh ideas. That's a path that Sony continued down for its showcase at the German industry fair Gamescom, using its presentation to reveal another five fantastic looking games.
Hardcore gamers will be thrilled to learn that Killzone will be coming to the PlayStation Vita in the shape of Killzone Mercenaries. It'll be a first-person shooter, developed on the same game engine as Killzone 3, and it'll have a Dirty Dozen feel, with Earth and Helghast soldiers working together on a series of ugly, tough missions.
Media Molecule, creator of LittleBigPlanet, also had good news for PlayStation Vita owners. Its new game, Tearaway, is a typically charming effort set in a world made of paper. You'll be able to poke your fingers "into" the world using the Vita's front and rear touchscreens and rip stuff up.
Sony Japan is also getting in on the action, showcasing two quirky new titles. Puppeteer tells the story of a boy who is turned into a puppet, has his head chopped off and must then retrieve his noggin. Rain, on the other hand, finds you controlling an invisible boy who can only be seen by the shapes he leaves in a world of perpetual downpour.
PlayStation Move got some love as well, with horror game Until Dawn. Modelled on the classic slasher movies, you can control seven characters trying to last the night in a remote location as an unknown lunatic bumps you off, one at a time. You'll use the Move wand as a torch as you explore the gloomy, gory world.
Rumours abound that new next generation consoles will be announced soon, but when you consider the already announced Vita exclusive Call of Duty: Black Ops Declassified, as well as guaranteed blockbusters The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls, and it looks like the current PlayStation platforms have got a long way to go before they run out of juice.
Beyond: Two Souls is French studio Quantic Dream's follow-up to 2010 murder mystery Heavy Rain. An ambitious cinematic thriller, it's being written and directed by studio co-founder David Cage, who has said he wants to create a unique emotional journey that prioritises meaning over fun and challenges the mind rather than the player's thumbs.
Set across a period of 15 years, it follows the journey of protagonist Jodie Holmes from an innocent young girl to an angsty teenager who's on the run from government agents. Jodie, who's portrayed by Hollywood actress Ellen Page, is accompanied throughout by a spectral presence named Aiden, who the player intermittently controls.
Quite what the ghostly figure of Aiden is hasn't been revealed, presumably because his nature is wrapped up in Beyond's overarching theme of what lies beyond death, but he's been with Jodie since birth, and is a character in his own right. Powerful, protective and prone to fits of jealousy, he can be used to scout ahead, listen in on conversations, and to protect Jodie using telekinesis, telepathy and possession.
Visible only to the player and Jodie, Aiden's presented as a glowing stream of particles reaching into the screen that looks a bit like a watery snake. Sometimes he's released by a particular event in the game, while at other times you'll get to choose whether or not to call on his supernatural assistance.
Aiden's range of powers has been displayed in a thrilling gameplay demo, which shows Jodie first being chased from the roof of a rain swept train, then through a dark forest, before being cornered by a group of SWAT officers, who she/Aiden proceeds to pick off in a Carrie-like culmination of psychic violence.
Freedom of choice
People and objects Aiden can interact with glow, and the colour of the aura around humans indicates whether players can attack or even possess them. The gameplay demo shows Aiden flitting between SWAT men, using one to create a diversion by smashing his patrol car into a colleague's, then using a sniper to despatch two more, and forcing another to toss a grenade at friendlies.
According to game director Cage, what we've seen in the demo is just one version of a scene that can be played in many different ways with multiple outcomes. That's true of most of the game, he claims. This element of player choice will be familiar to players of Heavy Rain, as will the use of on-screen button prompts that must be followed quickly and accurately in order to successfully progress the action down a chosen path.
Although it was widely acclaimed, Heavy Rain received criticism in some quarters for having the feel of an interactive movie rather than that of a pure, traditional game. Cage has said Beyond will offer players greater control of character movement, particularly during chases and fights, but until we actually get hold of the pad for ourselves, how that freedom translates into gameplay remains to be seen.
We still have plenty of unanswered questions regarding the gameplay and the path the story will take, but what is patently clear is that, once again, Quantic Dream's latest game stands out in a market dominated by military first person shooters and cover-based third person action games. It's as thought-provoking as it is stunning to look at in motion, and we can't wait to take our next glimpse at it.
Although it may have wobbled in the early running, the PlayStation 3 approaches the end of the current hardware generation as one of the strongest and most eclectic gaming systems in history. Whether reviving and refreshing its big franchises for new fans, or supporting the more artistically inclined indie end of the development spectrum, a large debt of thanks for 2012's sterling games line-up is owed to SONY. Uniquely among the big platform holders, you could easily fill a list of the PS3's top titles with SONY's own first party exclusives.
Also uniquely among its peers, SONY has done a superb job of dipping into its past without exploiting fans. High definition compilations of classic PlayStation 2 series such as Ratchet & Clank worked both as loving tributes to classic gameplay of yesteryear, and as highly polished introductions for generations of new fans. At the same time, new games featuring the same characters ensured they'll endure into the next generation, with Ratchet & Clank: QForce combining the crisp and humorous platform jumping of old with a frantic tower defence strategy twist.
Also making a comeback was the mighty Twisted Metal. SONY's ferocious vehicle combat game is a representative of a genre that has faded from popularity, but the combination of fantastic multiplayer mayhem, addictive arcade driving physics and the sheer visual punch that the PS3 delivers makes this bratty, splattery action game one of 2012's unsung gems.
Twisted Metal succeeded because it brought back classic gameplay that had been forgotten, but other SONY hits this year worked because they took popular characters and concepts off into new directions. LittleBigPlanet Karting, for example, found Sackboy reinvented as a cuddly textile version of Jenson Button. The introduction of kart racing into the LittleBigPlanet world was exciting enough, but when you factor in the boundless creativity that the game offers - allowing players to use the developer's own design tools to create their own tracks and mini-games - then you've got a game that is a more than worthy addition to the LBP lineage. Even if you never create anything of your own, the fact that the community is constantly producing new, free content is enough to keep you playing for months.
SONY's roster of characters got an even more unlikely make over in PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. This multiplayer fighting game pitted such unlikely stablemates as Parappa the Rapper, Sackboy and Sly Cooper against the likes of Nathan Drake, God of War's Kratos and Bioshock's Big Daddy. It's an insane mash-up of the whimsical and the fearsome, yet it works beautifully. The larger arena-based battles are frantic and hilarious - perfect party game fodder - yet the systems underneath are much closer to the classic fighting game standards you'd expect to find in hardcore genre titles. With former Street Fighter spokesman Seth Killian as the lead designer, it's perhaps no surprise that All-Stars is actually a seriously good fighting game that just happens to have some silly modes for everyone to enjoy. If you haven't picked it up yet because you thought it was just for kids, correct that mistake as soon as possible!
SONY continued to innovate in other areas as well. The PlayStation Move controller found its perfect realisation in Book of Spells, the first in a planned series of Wonderbook augmented reality experiences. Produced in conjunction with JK Rowling, it sees players using an actual book which is transformed on-screen into a dusty old tome from the Hogwarts library. Casting spells and interacting with this magical world is genuinely spellbinding.
Just as magical, in a more abstract way, was the critically acclaimed Journey. Created by esoteric designer Jenova Chen, this thought-provoking experience sets you down in a strange desert with only a distant mountain peak to guide you. As you wander, solving puzzles and navigating the ruins of a lost civilisation, you'll gain the power to float and fly, as well as meeting other players who can collaborate with you to find more secrets. Absolutely gorgeous to look at, and inviting all kinds of gentle emotional responses, it's a true work of art.
Even far away from the arty indie scene, the PS3 had a cracking year. Fans of Assassin's Creed III, for example, were treated to exclusive bonus missions on SONY's console that wove legendary traitor Benedict Arnold into the game's Revolutionary War narrative.
And, remarkably, 2013 looks like it will be even better. Intelligent blockbusters such as The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls will be available exclusively on the PS3, along with a new God of War and a new Sly Cooper adventure, and that's all before the summer arrives. The news may be full of rumours and guesswork about the next hardware generation, but there's plenty to be excited about on the consoles we do have!
Beyond: Two Souls, the upcoming ambitious "interactive drama" from Heavy Rain creator David Cage, has been given a release date. The PlayStation 3 exclusive is set for an 8th October debut in the US, with a European release the same month.
The game stars Ellen Page, of Juno and Inception. She plays a young woman called Jodie Holmes who has unusual powers and appears to converse with an invisible ally. Government forces are on her trail, and developer Quantic Dream has announced that the fantastic Willem Dafoe is joining the cast as Nathan Dawkins, a scientist studying Jodie's powers.
Heavy Rain was a big hit for Sony, but the outspoken Cage has always insisted he has no interest in sequels. "If you're interested in innovation and believe that games could be more than shooters, then you realise that sequels kill creativity and innovation," he told Official PlayStation Magazine in January. "We don't give people what they expect. We want to give them something they want without knowing they want it."
As with David Cage's previous games, Beyond: Two Souls will have an emphasis on performance rather than simple voice over with the actors appearing in digital form in the game thanks to advanced motion capture. The game will also be rather epic in scope, covering fifteen years of Jodie's troubled life.
Sony's US division has also announced that there will be a special edition of the game, with steelbook packaging, PS3 desktop and avatar items, the soundtrack and behind-the-scenes features. More news as we get it.
For Beyond: Two Souls, that means embarking on the biggest motion capture shoot in history, with Hollywood stars Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe wearing the shiny-ball bodysuits and reflective face dots needed to fully record their every movement and facial expression. Unlike LA Noire, where body movements and faces were recorded separately, Beyond: Two Souls was filmed in single takes with the actors on set.
"No wires, the sound is directly captured, it's not done in post-production, it's all captured on set at the same time," Cage explained at a Paris press event covered by VG247. "So we have an entire, consistent capture of the performance, which is something that has never been done in a videogame before, at that level. It's also the largest performance capture project ever made as far as we know."
"It's about twelve months of shooting, more than 300 characters in the game, and it's about 23,000 unique animations. That's a number that is totally, absolutely insane. We realised that afterwards unfortunately, but that was really a crazy amount of work."
Beyond: Two Souls follows a young girl called Jodie who harbours strange and terrible powers. The game spans fifteen years of Jodie's life, and will apparently feature a scene in which the player helps to deliver a baby. Are you ready for that?
Beyond: Two Souls is a PlayStation 3 exclusive and will launch in October.
David Cage, head of French developer Quantic Dream, has big ideas and big plans for gaming, and at E3 this week Sony backed his vision with the sort of enthusiasm usually reserved for established shoo…
When Uncharted developer Naughty Dog first caught gamers off guard with the reveal of its post-apocalyptic action game, The Last of Us, the gameplay shown off in the first trailer showed a female char…
French developer David Cage, whose studio Quantic Dream created the stunning PlayStation 3 thriller Heavy Rain, has reaffirmed his desire to keep prodding games in the direction of greater emotional d…
Sony wowed the crowds at E3 in Los Angeles earlier this year, basing its big press presentation around exciting original new titles like The Last of Us and Beyond: Two Souls. In a sea of sequels, the …
Beyond: Two Souls - Preview (07/09/2012)
Beyond: Two Souls is French studio Quantic Dream's follow-up to 2010 murder mystery Heavy Rain.…
The Best of 2012: PlayStation 3 (20/12/2012)
A large debt of thanks for 2012's sterling games line-up is owed to SONY. Uniquely among the big platform holders, you could easily fill a list of the PS3's top titles with SONY's own first party excl…
Beyond: Two Souls dated and Dafoed (04/03/2013)
Beyond: Two Souls, the upcoming ambitious interactive drama from Heavy Rain creator David Cage, has been given a release date.…
Beyond: Two Souls the 'largest perfor… (22/03/2013)
David Cage doesn't think small. For Beyond: Two Souls, that means embarking on the biggest motion capture shoot in history, with Hollywood stars Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe…
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