Published on December 14th, 2015 | by Emmanuel Stratford0
PS4 REVIEW: Beyond Two Souls
Two years after its debut on the PS3, Beyond Two Souls jumps onto the PS4 with a few added bells and whistles. With upgraded visuals and way of playing the game in chronological order, do these add ons make it a tantalising purchase for gamers? Well yes and no, I didn’t get a chance to play it on the PS3 but I was familiar with Quantic Dreams previous games Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain to be excited to give a play on the PS4.
Beyond Two Souls follows the life of Jodie and the entity that follows her, Aiden, experiencing the most striking moments of Jodie’s life as your actions and decisions determine her fate. As she traverses the globe, Jodie faces incredible challenges against a backdrop of emotionally-charged events. What’s both interesting and infuriating is the scattershot way the narrative is told, jumping back and forth to show different times in her life, none of these feel engaging until about half through the game and from this point on you’re are emotionally invested but it is a hard old slog to get to that point.
Playing out more like an interactive movie, you’re given prompts on screen of when to press different buttons to progress the story and on some occasions you can wander around your location. This way of playing was innovative a few years ago but now it feels old and stale, there are no real tweaks to this way of playing and because the story is somewhat meanders, you sometimes can miss prompts because you sit back and watch what is unfolding. You had more to do in the previous games from Quantic Dreams which kept you on your toes
The performances from the cast are brilliant despite the so so story; each actor really gives it their all with Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe being the stand outs. Ellen is gives both strong and heart-breaking performance while Dafoe is the father figure with an ulterior motive. The rest of the cast make you feel you’re not playing a game and for that it is an achievement.
Beyond Two Souls pushed the PS3 to its limits so the remastered version for PS4 boasts enhanced 1080p visuals that now include motion blur, bloom and depth of field effects as well improved lighting and shadows. The game play has also being tweaked, with improved controls for the game’s action scenes as well as a new feature that compares your decisions made at the end of each scene with those made by other players. Also included is the “Enhanced Experiments” DLC.
Beyond Two Souls, for me, doesn’t have a story that is as engaging from the start unlike both Fahrenheit and Heavy Rain where the stakes seemed high from the outset. When the story does pick up it is gratifying to a point but with Quantic Dreams next game on the horizon I hope they change the way we play in the sandbox.
Summary: Quantic Dreams bring some stunning visual enhancements and game tweaks to Beyond Two Souls but the game just isn't as engaging as it should have been.