Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
The Future Of Film
The 100 Greatest Video Games
Robin Williams: The Big Interview
Kevin Feige:
My Movie Life

The Marvel supremo's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: Get 6 Issues For £15
Get Empire magazine today and save money!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

PACKSHOT
Beyond: Two Souls

GAME DETAILS
Released
15 October 2013
Format
PS3
Developer
Quantic Dream

LATEST GAME REVIEWS
Destiny
4 Star Empire Rating
Tales Of Xillia 2
3 Star Empire Rating
Metro Redux
4 Star Empire Rating
Diablo III: Ultimate Evil Edition
4 Star Empire Rating
Ultra Street Fighter IV
4 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Last Of Us Remastered, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Mario Kart 8
5 Star Empire Rating
Titanfall
5 Star Empire Rating
Dark Souls II
5 Star Empire Rating
Forza Motorsport 5
5 Star Empire Rating

Beyond: Two Souls


submit to reddit

Beyond: Two Souls (2013)
Review
For the past decade developer Quantic Dream has been in ruthless pursuit of mastering the art of interactive storytelling. The Heavy Rain studio has polarised critics with its streamlined approach to gameplay, prioritising narrative over agency. And while its latest offering Beyond: Two Souls takes great leaps in refining that formula, the result is no less divisive.

Taking place over the course of 15 years, the story is centred on a gifted young girl Jodie (portrayed with great fervour by Ellen Page), who was born with a connection to a supernatural entity named Aiden. Ruminating on love, redemption and the hereafter, its non-linear plot bounces around pivotal moments in her young life, one moment offering a snapshot of her as an awkward teenager; the next jumping years ahead as the CIA sharpen her into its latest weapon. For the most part, it’s intriguing, often emotional stuff, even when a few outlandish sequences of Hollywood bluster threaten to derail the meticulous unravelling of its imaginative concepts. A great deal is owed to the acting pedigree of Page and Willem Dafoe (a scientist-cum-surrogate-father) both ably filling the lead roles and bringing some credibility to all the sci-fi bunkum surrounding them.

Much like Heavy Rain, Beyond’s strength lies within its narrative, stripping back gameplay elements to emphasise the excitement and drama of the story. Interaction pivots around intuitive quick-snap button presses and directional nudges to urge the characters onward into the next chapter. The most conventional pockets of gameplay come in the form of Jodie’s ethereal foil. Aiden can fly through environments interacting with objects and people – even going so far as being able to possess other characters. It’s an empowering mechanic, but one that is cruelly limited, here the choice to push the narrative forwards feels oddly restrictive.

But that’s the nature of the experience that Quantic Dream has crafted here, one that demands complete investment in the characters, forgoing a player’s usual freedom of expression. It’s flawed but it’s rare for a game to display such unfettered ambition, and even rarer for one to do so with such success. This is bold, captivating and immensely enjoyable entertainment and a powerful demonstration of what the medium can deliver.


Reviewed by Bryan Murray

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
The Future Of Film: There Will Be Another Indie Golden Age
Independent producers are growing from micro-budgets to something a lot bigger

Empire's Epic Interstellar Subscribers' Cover
The countdown begins to Christopher Nolan's sci-fi masterpiece

The Future Of Film: Your Favourite Movie WIll Be Crowdfunded
Click here to donate

The Empire Podcast #128: Interviews With Sir Roger Moore And George MacKay
Plus we say goodbye to Richard Kiel and the British Expendables are assembled...

Shut Up, World! Gary Busey Is Talking!
Strap yourselves in and meet a true Hollywood original.

Classic Feature: Gods Among Us - Paul Newman
A cat so cool he makes Steve McQueen look geeky.

The Boxtrolls Interviews: The Cast And Crew On Laika's Latest
Sir Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning and more talk stop-motion

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 6 Issues Of Empire For Only £15!

Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Editorial Complaints  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)