Beyond Two Souls: A criminally under-rated GEM from last gen

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#1 Edited by Beefkebob (75 posts) -

"Beyond Two Souls is one of my favorite games ever. I don't understand how people can praise shit like The Walking Dead (Telltale) but ignore this game. I just don't get it.

Beyond had a really fantastic story, and fantastic voice acting/acting. Good OST too.

For me, it was one of the best game stories, and dialogue/writing of the year. It was honestly one of my favorite William Dafoe roles ever. His character was just a very cool, likable guy.

Cage made huge strides in gameplay with this too. The whole somalia mission level blew me away. It plays almost like a mix of adventure/point and click, with rhythm games, with TPS, with stealth, and it somehow works. The game definitely has flaws, but at least Beyond Two Souls was ambitious, and without a doubt, going for something original."

#2 Edited by mems_1224 (45714 posts) -

No its not. At its best its mediocre and its barely a game. Also, he basically stole the premise from an episode of The X-Files.

#3 Posted by millerlight89 (18338 posts) -

That game sucked so bad. Like really bad.

#4 Posted by with_teeth26 (5986 posts) -

It was pretty bad. Failed on a interactive and a narrative level, had some good acting/voice acting but the garbo writing lack of danger in gameplay makes it pretty bad

#5 Posted by mems_1224 (45714 posts) -

It was pretty bad. Failed on a interactive and a narrative level, had some good acting/voice acting but the garbo writing lack of danger in gameplay makes it pretty bad

The VO during the kids party was hilarious. Everyone sounded over 30

#6 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8513 posts) -

@ with_teeth26

Feel free to name a better interactive Narrative than Beyond. Its the most interactive one to date. The Game is just "Beyond" your comprehension. :p

#7 Posted by SuperCowElitist (730 posts) -

Beyond Two Souls is an example on how you properly make a triple AAA interactive game title. Ryse is a bad example on how to make an interactive movie game.

#8 Posted by with_teeth26 (5986 posts) -

@ with_teeth26

Feel free to name a better interactive Narrative than Beyond. Its the most interactive one to date. The Game is just "Beyond" your comprehension. :p

Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, Gone Home... even the Mass Effect games, The Witcher games...

just because other narrative driven games actually have gameplay doesn't make them any less of an interactive narrative. Beyond just did it particulary poorly.

#9 Edited by Beefkebob (75 posts) -

It was pretty bad. Failed on a interactive and a narrative level, had some good acting/voice acting but the garbo writing lack of danger in gameplay makes it pretty bad

Kubus:

"The story was great. Cage learned from his mistakes and I couldn't find any plotholes in this game. There were some weak moments and questionable character developments, but I was intrigued and wanted to know how the story would end so I couldn't put down the controller. That for me is a pretty good sign that the story was good.

- Voice acting was some of the best of this gen, if not the best. Loved Jodie's character, and the relationships she built with the other characters were believable. I had a hard time making some of the choices you had to make.

- Pacing was great, although the Navajo chapter felt incredibly out of place and would've fit better as DLC. I understand the placement of the Navajo chapter and it's significance in Jodie's development, but it dragged on too long and it was too much of everything. Only weak point of the game, imo.

-Loved the scrambled timeline. After each chapter you can check the timeline during the loading screen and see where the part you just played/are going to play fits in the story. Really makes you go "OHHH that's why this one thing just happened!" or "Ohh now we're finally going to see why Jodie did that thing". It also helped balancing gameplay between the more action oriented parts and the story oriented parts in which you don't really do much. It would be boring to play kid Jodie for the first half of the game and then only play adult Jodie for the rest of the game.

I can go on and on about this game and why I love Beyond Two Souls so much.

Honestly, I think people focused way too much on Heavy Rain and comparing it (unfairly) to that game. People who have complained about "lack of choice" need to stop staring at Heavy Rain and realise that Beyond is a game about Jodie's (and I guess Aiden's) life. You only influence small parts of that. Heavy Rain was about choices and "how far are you willing to go" and stuff like that.

I do believe that critics were too harsh on Beyond Two Souls"

#10 Edited by jg4xchamp (46596 posts) -

The Walking

-Has solid writing and strong story beats along the way

Gets praised with high scores for it

Beyond Two Souls

- Criticized for being poorly written nonsense

Gets criticized for it with lower scores

I don't understand the issue here. It's not like one game got a pass for lack of gameplay. one got slammed for what was perceived as poor writing, and the other wasn't. If you're going to make a game that's entirely story driven, then that's how it would work out. The game people found to be better written would get props.

#11 Posted by tubbyc (3640 posts) -

I agree, it's amazing. Heavy Rain was a bit disappointing for me as I didn't like the story much and some of the controls, but I'm enjoying Beyond: Two Souls even more than Fahrenheit. Some people just don't get these types of games. I'm really glad I do.

#12 Posted by soulitane (13374 posts) -

Care to say what was wrong with The Walking Dead?

#13 Edited by AtariKidX (6192 posts) -

I agree......it is amazing game for the PS3.

#14 Posted by hrt_rulz01 (5449 posts) -

Yeah I really enjoyed it too. Great game. I guess you either love it or hate it.

#15 Posted by ShepardCommandr (2106 posts) -

No just no.This so called "game" was trash.The story sucked plain and simple.

#16 Edited by Shmiity (4964 posts) -

It sucked. The story sucked, the characters were impersonal and no where near as effective as Heavy Rain. Also, the script was awful. it's pronounced AY-DIN, not EYE-DIN. I wanted to scream every time they said the ghost's name. It's so corny. Also, who the fuck uses the word "Entity"? You would never say that. It's ghost/spirit. You would never use that word to describe Ellen Page's problem to someone she has never met. ALSO: YOUR CHOICES ARE MEANINGLESS. If you put down the damn controller, it plays for you! It doesnt matter if you fail the quick time events... nothing happens. This game totally dropped the ball, and Im so pissed off. I usually love David Cage's work.

I loved Heavy Rain. It was so sad and personal and destroyed my soul. Beyond: Two Souls just didn't get there.

#17 Posted by tymeservesfate (1469 posts) -

despite the obvious horrible gameplay of nothing but quick quicktime events and cutscenes that lasted way too long this video of a round table discussion basically hit it on the head of why the story was so damn bad, smh. the game was ridiculously bad. i mean, where the hell did the FN native american segment come from n why did they become a choice to stay with at the end of the game...smh. a

#18 Posted by hayato_ (5008 posts) -

Yeah I really enjoyed it too. Great game. I guess you either love it or hate it.


pretty much this. I loved the game personally

#19 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8513 posts) -

@ with_teeth26

Couldn't help but notice you named a bunch of games with branching paths in their plots. The ability to make choices is not a defining feature an Interactive Narrative, but it is nice. Also you're right, just because a game game has conventional gameplay doesn't make it less of a an interactive narrative but more often than not the story and gameplay are often seperate from eachother, like a game of tag where only either story or gameplay is taking point but never both simultaneously. Beyond is far close to that than anything Tell Tale can come up with.

#20 Posted by CTR360 (6851 posts) -

i agree its underrated i love it

#21 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (8513 posts) -

@ Shmiity

Heavy Rain had by far the worst story and even worse supporting characters, You just liked it because it had more choices. Also your complaint about Aiden's pronounciation and the word "Entity" is just nit picking.

As for the choices, well nobody said it would have any, if you assumed it would then thats on you. Its an interactive drama not a choose your own adventure. And the autonomous QTE is an unsolvable problem, theres no consequences to be had if you screw up and if Jodie dies then its game over or you have to do it again, this wouldn't be a problem in a game like the last of us but from a narrative perspective its like a book clamping shut because you misread one of the words or a moving scolding you for not watching it properly. They wrote themselves into a corner. But with a single protagonist in a linear story, this is inevitable.

#22 Posted by Joedgabe (5090 posts) -

@ Shmiity

Heavy Rain had by far the worst story and even worse supporting characters, You just liked it because it had more choices. Also your complaint about Aiden's pronounciation and the word "Entity" is just nit picking.

As for the choices, well nobody said it would have any, if you assumed it would then thats on you. Its an interactive drama not a choose your own adventure. And the autonomous QTE is an unsolvable problem, theres no consequences to be had if you screw up and if Jodie dies then its game over or you have to do it again, this wouldn't be a problem in a game like the last of us but from a narrative perspective its like a book clamping shut because you misread one of the words or a moving scolding you for not watching it properly. They wrote themselves into a corner. But with a single protagonist in a linear story, this is inevitable.

When people say things like this considering the gaming world and these same people criticize Beyond Two Souls.. I'm gonna go ahead and buy Beyond. Why? I played Heavy Rain, the story was decent and interesting. Especially considering the horrible stories and plot games have today that people neglect games story and take the gameplay... reading their opinion on story driven game is just quite amusing and has to be laid on short credit.

#23 Edited by withe1982 (450 posts) -

I'm playing through Beyond for the first time right now and really enjoying it. Yes the story is rather contrived and I read that it took 2 years to write when it could have written it in a week TBH. But if you take it for what it is; an emotionally driven interactive drama with many interesting gameplay elements thrown in, then you'll have a blast with it. It's all about the narrative and the performances of the lead actors. If you can't appreciate it for what it is then you're missing out on a great experience.

There's definitely a place in gaming for titles like this. If you have played the same generic shooters with the same boring carbon copied characters over and over again then it's such a welcome breath of fresh air to play a 8+ hour interactive drama that pulls at the heartstrings a little. It's the third Cage title I've played and have loved every one. Each one has been quite unique which is something that should be praised in this industry not lambasted.

#24 Posted by rjdofu (9167 posts) -

If anything, it's overrated.

#25 Edited by Suppaman100 (3560 posts) -

You love it or you hate it.

#26 Posted by uninspiredcup (6764 posts) -

It's overrated. Go play a lucasarts adventure games. Those actually have good writing and Tim Schafer isn't a huge wanker making wanky games designed for wankers.

#27 Posted by Vatusus (4223 posts) -

I really didnt liked much both Heavy Rain or Beyond (gave both a solid 7) but at least they're more interesting than TWD. Seriously, TWD doesnt deserve the praise it has. People keep talking about its "great" writting wich is just BS. Its a typical movie B script with boring dialogue, uninteresting characters (with the exception of Lee) and superficial emotional scenes. Sure both HR and Beyond writting arent much better but, at least, their world, characters, and premises were definitely more engaging than TWD, wich felt just like another zombie product.

Seriously, the situation with these games shows just how hypocrites gamers really are, praising TWD and bashing HR or Beyond. There are actually two reasons as why this happens:

1. Another case of blatant hypsterism where the games with bigger budgets gets trashed and the other with small development budget gets praised

2. Two are exclusives to one platform and the other is available in pretty much every platform available.

#28 Posted by megaspiderweb09 (3665 posts) -

In my opinion Beyond>HeavyRain. You can clearly see that Quantic Dream had learned a lot since their first attempt and improved everything much more. Beyond has one of the if not the completely realized character this generation aside from Ezio. You basicly go through her life and her experiences through this journey definately makes you like her more. people say the game lacks gameplay when infact it has way more gameplay than HeavyRain. The visuals are also top notch, this is a good example of technology enabling drama as the characters looked very believable, the photo-realism was just tops.

But as they say, just like marmite, either you love or hate it

#29 Posted by Vatusus (4223 posts) -

The Walking

-Has solid writing and strong story

Oh please... such bs

Its as generic as it comes. Typical B movie stuff. Are our standards for game stories really this low?

#30 Edited by Lucianu (9287 posts) -

@withe1982 said:

I'm playing through Beyond for the first time right now and really enjoying it. Yes the story is rather contrived and I read that it took 2 years to write when it could have written it in a week TBH. But if you take it for what it is; an emotionally driven interactive drama with many interesting gameplay elements thrown in, then you'll have a blast with it. It's all about the narrative and the performances of the lead actors. If you can't appreciate it for what it is then you're missing out on a great experience.

There's definitely a place in gaming for titles like this. If you have played the same generic shooters with the same boring carbon copied characters over and over again then it's such a welcome breath of fresh air to play a 8+ hour interactive drama that pulls at the heartstrings a little. It's the third Cage title I've played and have loved every one. Each one has been quite unique which is something that should be praised in this industry not lambasted.

Ofcourse there is a place for cinematic adventure games. If Chris Avellone and the rest of the ex. Black Isle team ever decide to make a cinematic adventure game, i'd go crazy with hype and joy.

I gave Beyond a solid try at a collegue of mine who picked the game up for his console. The general premise of the game was very interesting. The graphics are the best i've seen on 7th generation consoles, by far, the music is great, and the main character's performance isn't bad. I acknowledge and completely understand what Beyond is, and it's not my intention to eccho what other people have said. But it trully does have horrible writting.

And by that i'm talking about the script, the storytelling and its horrible, disjointed pace (and i know what he tried to do with the storytelling) and the ridiculously cliche character interactions (the party was atrociously cringe worthy in particular, and i was actually entertained by the ridiculous mood swing). The game is like a bucket filled to the brim with the worst Hollywood cliches.

It was basically like watching a unfunny parody. Terrible game.

#31 Posted by Bigboi500 (28804 posts) -

The game has interesting chapters and scenarios, but fails to tell any interesting or coherent story. I loved the hobo and desert segments of the game.

#32 Posted by XboxDone74 (2047 posts) -

It got a 9 here on GS, so not really underrated. Great game. Only non ps3 jelly owners think otherwise. :)

#33 Posted by Some-Mist (5630 posts) -

I enjoyed most of what I've played, but I stopped playing at the "farm" section. I should really pick it up and finish it, but so far... I wouldn't say it's an underrated gem.

#34 Posted by MonsieurX (28627 posts) -

lol brofists thread

And lol interactive movie

#35 Edited by RoccoHout (970 posts) -

Criminally underrated? I was about to say its criminally OVERrated...

Walking Dead, Wolf Among Us and Heavy Rain were all so much better. Beyond looked like it tried way too hard to be good

#36 Edited by jg4xchamp (46596 posts) -

@Vatusus said:

@jg4xchamp said:

The Walking

-Has solid writing and strong story

Oh please... such bs

Its as generic as it comes. Typical B movie stuff. Are our standards for game stories really this low?

The f*ck, next time quote my whole sentence. I said strong story beats. Not a strong story. Meaning the game has some memorable well executed moments along the way in its plot.

Second of all generic=/=bad. Played out sure, but you can easily have a good generic plot. The Last of Us is a perfect example of that. Obviously wouldn't stand tall against excellent stories in other mediums(or this medium mind you), but again wouldn't stop it from being fundamentally good. Which is a label you can't put on a david cage game. Which run high on concept, but fail miserably in any fundamental area. Be it the plot, the writing, the voice acting, or the general direction of the game as far as my money/time is concerned.

#37 Posted by Vatusus (4223 posts) -

@Vatusus said:

@jg4xchamp said:

The Walking

-Has solid writing and strong story

Oh please... such bs

Its as generic as it comes. Typical B movie stuff. Are our standards for game stories really this low?

The f*ck, next time quote my whole sentence. I said strong story beats. Not a strong story. Meaning the game has some memorable well executed moments along the way in its plot.

Second of all generic=/=bad. Played out sure, but you can easily have a good generic plot. The Last of Us is a perfect example of that. Obviously wouldn't stand tall against excellent stories in other mediums(or this medium mind you), but again wouldn't stop it from being fundamentally good. Which is a label you can't put on a david cage game. Which run high on concept, but fail miserably in any fundamental area. Be it the plot, the writing, the voice acting, or the general direction of the game as far as my money/time is concerned.

I agree Cage's games are bad in those parameters you point out (with the exception of voice acting. The voice acting in Beyond is some of the best you can find in the medium) but so it fails TWD. It isnt a memorable game by any means and I find rediculous the amount of people praising TWD and bashing HR and Beyond. TWD isnt better than these games. They're all mediocre imho but TWD doesnt deserve a free pass just because it has a smaller budget

#38 Posted by Jankarcop (8827 posts) -

lol automated games

#39 Posted by NoirLamia777 (2094 posts) -

I would give the game a 7 at best. I hated how all over the place it was, good acting but everything else was pretty bad, especially the combat!

#40 Edited by lundy86_4 (42618 posts) -

I've not played it, but there are a few posters in here, that have a handle on this sort of thing. I'll play it once it hits $20-30.

#41 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (8513 posts) -

So. Anybody have an Idea what the DLC is gona be like ? Maybe Madison will make a comeback in The Taxidermist 2: The Reckoning ! Hahaha ! :p

#42 Posted by with_teeth26 (5986 posts) -

@ with_teeth26

Couldn't help but notice you named a bunch of games with branching paths in their plots. The ability to make choices is not a defining feature an Interactive Narrative, but it is nice. Also you're right, just because a game game has conventional gameplay doesn't make it less of a an interactive narrative but more often than not the story and gameplay are often seperate from eachother, like a game of tag where only either story or gameplay is taking point but never both simultaneously. Beyond is far close to that than anything Tell Tale can come up with.

if Beyond's singular plot was actually good I wouldn't mind so much. As it stands, the game is brimming with sci-fi nonsense and and cliched writing.

The games I mentioned give you significant control during story segments, usually in the form of dialogue options, that serve to pull you into the story as much or moreso than QTE's to perform simple actions like cutting meat or cleaning up an apartment.

Even without branching storylines based on player choices, the games I mentioned would still be better than Beyond because their stories and quality of writing are simply superior to the tripe that was present in Beyond. The interactive elements relied on the rest of the game to be interesting enough to keep you engaged, for me it totally failed in that regard.

In the second half of the game somewhere between the Navajo spirits and evil inter-dimensional creatures that like grabbing at Jodie's limbs I stopped caring what happened to the characters and the story since it just got way too stupid for me to remain invested in the slightest. If the entire game had been more like the 'Homeless" chapter, focusing on characters with Aiden only playing a supporting role, I think it would have been at least enjoyable. Instead it was eye-roll inducing nonsense for the better part of its play time.

#43 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8513 posts) -

@ with_teeth26

Choice and control aren't necessarily the same thing, hence why I think its pointless trying to compare Beyond with those other games. Beyond has far more interactivity than those games, the problem with the choices in those games is after you make the choice it goes straight back to conventional gameplay/cutscene. Also I hear you mumbling about what you think is stupid but not explaining why. Also you need to distinguish QTEs from Button Prompts, they're not the same thing . If you don't like something just say so nobody's gona judge ya. Just bare in mind Heavy Rain has far worse story and Characters, that plot twist alone puts it behind Beyond. ;)

#44 Posted by zeeshanhaider (2199 posts) -

Was it just me or did somebody actually call that abomination a gem?

I'll never understand what that mo*ron* David Cage is doing in a games industry.
I'll never understand how any 'game' publisher actually funds his 'movies' or whatever the hell they are.
I'll never understand why 'game' critics remains silent over his dreadful attempts of ruining the 'games' industry.
And the most important of them all, I'll never understand what kind of people actually pay 60 bucks for the crap he releases.

#45 Posted by jg4xchamp (46596 posts) -

@Vatusus said:

@jg4xchamp said:

@Vatusus said:

@jg4xchamp said:

The Walking

-Has solid writing and strong story

Oh please... such bs

Its as generic as it comes. Typical B movie stuff. Are our standards for game stories really this low?

The f*ck, next time quote my whole sentence. I said strong story beats. Not a strong story. Meaning the game has some memorable well executed moments along the way in its plot.

Second of all generic=/=bad. Played out sure, but you can easily have a good generic plot. The Last of Us is a perfect example of that. Obviously wouldn't stand tall against excellent stories in other mediums(or this medium mind you), but again wouldn't stop it from being fundamentally good. Which is a label you can't put on a david cage game. Which run high on concept, but fail miserably in any fundamental area. Be it the plot, the writing, the voice acting, or the general direction of the game as far as my money/time is concerned.

I agree Cage's games are bad in those parameters you point out (with the exception of voice acting. The voice acting in Beyond is some of the best you can find in the medium) but so it fails TWD. It isnt a memorable game by any means and I find rediculous the amount of people praising TWD and bashing HR and Beyond. TWD isnt better than these games. They're all mediocre imho but TWD doesnt deserve a free pass just because it has a smaller budget

I don't think it's a great game either, everything that makes it enjoyable is something I could have gotten via watching it on youtube argo my interactions with the game were pointless.

Regardless of this fact(and I didn't play beyond, was just commenting on that's what the game is being criticized for), no amount of "more unique concept" overrules the fact that fundamental writing, plot points, and all that jazz are entirely in The Walking Dead's favor. The Walking Dead is mediocre in relation to better mediums. Heavy Rain is offensive by this mediums standards for a plot. Major difference. It's not a hypocrisy. It's a simple fact that one isn't a poorly written narrative and actually hits some of its high points, where as David Cage games require mental gymnastics to tolerate.

It's praise is entirely tied to the writing is much closer to good with The Walking Dead. Where as Cage's other 2 games are poorly written. That much isn't even really an argument. Is the game great? fuck no, but on its worst moments it's far more worthy of my time than David Cage nonsense.

#46 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (8513 posts) -

@ zeeshanhaider

Well theres your answer right there. "you simply don't understand"

And Cage is not ruining the game industry, he doesn't make games.

#47 Posted by razgriz_101 (16871 posts) -

i actually really enjoy it contrary to popular System Wars belief, i really like how the games tried at doing a narrative and doing something completely different from what we currently have on offer i the charts in terms of story its a reason i was personally drawn to the game.

Whilst the gameplay is a bit thin on the ground and the game is riddled with hollywood cliche's a lot of merit should be given to Cage for having the balls to try and bring back the old adventure genre with a good glob of paint and a decent budget, now if we could only get better scripts along the lines of Walking dead this would have possibly wet down as my GOTY but for now (another one against system wars ideologies) is Gran Turismo 6.

#48 Posted by pc-ps360 (3455 posts) -

there is no game on sony that is hidden or underrated. even a crappy game like knack got cockroaches singing songs of praise for it.

#49 Posted by Pffrbt (6355 posts) -

In my opinion Beyond>HeavyRain. You can clearly see that Quantic Dream had learned a lot since their first attempt and improved everything much more. Beyond has one of the if not the completely realized character this generation aside from Ezio. You basicly go through her life and her experiences through this journey definately makes you like her more. people say the game lacks gameplay when infact it has way more gameplay than HeavyRain. The visuals are also top notch, this is a good example of technology enabling drama as the characters looked very believable, the photo-realism was just tops.

But as they say, just like marmite, either you love or hate it

-Jodie barely has a personality beyond being a cynical bitch.
-She's unlikable.
-It has less gameplay than Heavy Rain since literally everything you do doesn't matter and has zero affect on the story, You can't fail, the story progresses regardless.
-The writing and story are complete fucking garbage.

David Cage has never made a good game and likely never will since he's a terrible writer and game designer and a pretentious hack who's head is so far up his own ass he's incapable of seeing what's wrong with what he's doing.

#50 Edited by Pffrbt (6355 posts) -

a lot of merit should be given to Cage for having the balls to try and bring back the old adventure genre

No. No merit should be given to him for making a bad game. He's not trying to bring back the adventure genre, because the genre has already been brought back and is doing just fine with no help from him. Beyond isn't an adventure game. It's a 8+ hour movie with minimal interaction, terrible writing, and terrible characters.