Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Promotion: Destiny Awaits
Win a limited edition PS4 and a copy of Destiny
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
EA Sports UFC
4 Star Empire Rating
Grid Autosport
4 Star Empire Rating
How To Train Your Dragon 2
2 Star Empire Rating
Murdered: Soul Suspect
4 Star Empire Rating
Watch Dogs
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
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
Super Mario 3D World
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
Michel Gondry Talks Mood Indigo
Gondry on Bjork, erections and Mark Ruffalo in his pants

Everything You Need To Know About The Dragonriders Of Pern
The lowdown on Warner Bros. new fantasy sci-fi

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

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  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)