Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Teaser Trailer
The Farewell To Middle-earth Issue
Review Of The Year 2014
Subscribe: Get 12 Issues For £25
Buy the perfect Christmas present this year
Farewell To Middle-earth
Full details of our Peter Jackson-edited issue
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
Kingdom Hearts 2.5 HD ReMIX
4 Star Empire Rating
Elite: Dangerous
5 Star Empire Rating
Lara Croft And The Temple of Osiris
3 Star Empire Rating
World Of Warcraft: Warlords Of Draenor
5 Star Empire Rating
WWE 2K15
2 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Elite: Dangerous
5 Star Empire Rating
World Of Warcraft: Warlords Of Draenor
5 Star Empire Rating
Super Smash Bros. Wii U
5 Star Empire Rating
Grand Theft Auto V Reissue
5 Star Empire Rating
Dragon Age: Inquisition
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.

SUBSCRIPTION OFFERS

SAVE UP TO 69% GET 12 ISSUES FOR ONLY £25
Get the best seat in the house by subscribing to the world's biggest movie magazine today. Save up to 69% and every month you'll get exclusive subscriber-only covers, access to the biggest stars and the best news, reviews and behind-the-scenes reports straight from the set. Click here to find the perfect offer for you


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's Three Favourite Scenes Of 2014
A hat-trick of moneyshots from the last 12 months

The 32 Funniest Movie Moments Of The Year
2014's side-splittingest scenes

The 10 Best Games Of The Year
2014's top pixel-pushers duke it out for the number one slot

Dan Stevens: The Breakout Star Of 2014
We congratulate The Guest star on his year to remember

The 15 Most Memorable Character Deaths Of The Year
2014’s RIP honour roll

Watch: Night At The Museum's Cast Share Their Favourite Robin Williams Performance
Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson and Ben Kingsley pay tribute to the actor

Watch: Jack O'Connell And Luke Treadaway Talk Unbroken
On POWs, panto and how to name your bomber

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get 12 Issues Of Empire For Only £25!

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 12 issues of Empire for just £25!
Get exclusive subscriber-only covers each month 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)