E3 Preview: Beyond: Two Souls

Sarah LeBoeuf | 7 Jun 2012 19:00
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The chase didn't end there, however. Aiden speaks to Jodie, but only she can understand him - to everyone else it's just a horrifying noise. In the forest where she landed, Jodie made her way through the trees using more button prompts. Again, I noted how good the game looked as she weaved between trees and jumped over branches, finally walking across a river and pulling herself out. With dogs barking, helicopters flying overhead, and searchlights hovering, I can imagine it would be easy to miss a button prompt; Jodie, however, fought off some police dogs and managed to temporarily hide from pursuing officers.

Back on the road, the control switched back to Aiden, and we saw just what the different auras meant. People will orange auras can be possessed, so Aiden took control of a cop and had him drive wildly into a guardrail. With the officers distracted, Jodie hopped a motorcycle and drove off, with SixAxis controls used once again to steer. Reaching a SWAT barricade, she had no choice but to keep on driving, and using Aiden as a shield once again, she managed to break through.

Then came the most intense, action-packed portion of the demo, a showdown on the street that had Jodie cornered behind a parked car. Aiden's abilities turned deadly, possessing one sharpshooter to shoot others, choking red-aura SWAT officers to death, blasting cars into the air and streetlights into darkness. Taking control of another cop, Aiden threw a grenade at a gas station, causing it to explode, and SWAT team members ran screaming, their bodies burning.

Jodie, meanwhile, is attempting to get into a locked theater, and after Aiden destroys a clock tower and causes the helicopter to crash, she could finally walk away. Finding the surviving SWAT team member wounded in the street, Jodie cryptically warns him, "Tell them to leave me the fuck alone. Next time, I'll kill everyone."

As the demo came to a close, David Cage told us that this was only one way this scene might play out in the final game. Jodie might not escape. She might get arrested, and that would open up an entirely new set of obstacles to deal with. Every situation is different, Cage said, with many, many choices. Quantic Dream wanted to create a game with a lot of storytelling, drama, and dialogue to tell Jodie's tale, and choices made throughout the game will affect the kind of person Jodie becomes over the course of those fifteen years.

I was extremely impressed by Beyond: Two Souls. Quantic Dream has taken a common concept, questioning what lies beyond the mortal plane, and seemingly created a dark, emotional experience with so many story and gameplay possibilities. It was also great to see that the developers have learned what worked and what didn't from their time with Heavy Rain, and the improvements were clear. The situational button prompts didn't win over all gamers in Heavy Rain, so Beyond might not be for everyone. But it's definitely for me, and one of the most memorable games I saw at E3 this year.

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