Tom McShea: Why Beyond Two Souls is Better than a Movie

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#1 Edited by Blabadon (26329 posts) -

http://www.gamespot.com/videos/why-beyond-two-souls-is-better-than-a-movie/2300-6415536/

I'm gonna watch it, but I don't think I'm gonna like it

#2 Posted by WilliamRLBaker (28396 posts) -

lol Tom Mcshea and by extension all gamespot editors are sellout fools.

#3 Edited by finalstar2007 (25185 posts) -

The more i see of Beyond: Two Souls the more i want it.. sigh going to wait a little before i can pick up a copy :(

#4 Posted by with_teeth26 (6163 posts) -

Even though I agree with a lot of what he is saying, he says it in the most smug, irritating way possible. He should stick to written editorials.

#5 Edited by ReadingRainbow4 (14080 posts) -

I actually approve of this, atleast now Tom's offering explanation for his thoughts.

Edit: watched it, not very well argued but at the end of the day it's just his opinion. He's right about one thing however and that's how videogames can be a much more interesting medium for telling stories than Movies could ever be, because they suck you in and let you take control.

I'm not sure we'll ever reach the length and exposition the narrative format of say Books offers or if we would even want to, but it's stilll pretty interesting stuff how far we've come from pacman and mario on a written level. Too bad most of these games place the gameplay in such a neutered way that it becomes an afterthought to the overall experience when it really doesn't need to be.

Something developers in general still need to work on, to a great a degree.

#6 Posted by bobbetybob (19271 posts) -

He's so right, it would be a worse as a movie, because then people would focus purely on the story and from what I've heard it's full of cliches and bad writing.

#7 Posted by ReadingRainbow4 (14080 posts) -

Hopefully the last of us is up next. We all saw how crazy the rest of the staff looked at Tom during that one special episode where he comcludes that Joel is a sleazy drug dealer that comes home late, lol.

#8 Edited by cfisher2833 (1691 posts) -
@bobbetybob said:

He's so right, it would be a worse as a movie, because then people would focus purely on the story and from what I've heard it's full of cliches and bad writing.

It being a game hasn't stopped anyone from commenting on its horrendous plot/writing. My respect for McShea decreases every day.

#9 Edited by John_Matherson (2031 posts) -

Tom is still a Piece of garbage

#10 Edited by Lumpy311 (673 posts) -

lmao

Is he telling me Beyond Two Souls is better than a movie? Is he drunk? People have said it's writing is garbage and it's filled with cliches.

#11 Edited by Rocker6 (13358 posts) -

I could watch that, or I could watch some good movie instead... suggestions, anyone?

#12 Posted by comptonst88 (284 posts) -

The video to the link wont load for some reason.

#13 Posted by tubbyc (3740 posts) -

He's basically saying it wouldn't be just as powerful as a movie. These kinds of games are much more than just movies, they just aren't typical. I enjoyed the demo and will definitely get the game soon. I also agree with the recent The Point video, it's good that people like David Cage exist to add more variety to gaming in general. Games are a combination of all kinds of media made interactive, and it's good if developers do all kinds of different things with them.

#14 Edited by GhoX (5006 posts) -

It may be better than a movie, and indeed some movies are better than crappy games. However, it will always be a lesser experience in the face of a truly mighty game that rivals its story and possesses genuine gameplay. Ignoring the difficulty that would serve as a barrier to some gamers, the Demon's/Dark Souls series is probably at the opposite end of this spectrum - epic story through passive storytelling and masterfully-crafted gameplay.

#15 Posted by Gue1 (9981 posts) -

poor lems are too closed minded to enjoy games other than Halo or Gears. ;(

#16 Posted by Lumpy311 (673 posts) -

@Gue1: If Lemmings want to watch movies they have a TV.

#17 Edited by ReadingRainbow4 (14080 posts) -

@Lumpy311 said:

@Gue1: If Lemmings want to watch movies they have a TV.

Don't you mean a cable box?

#18 Edited by Lumpy311 (673 posts) -

Is it me or has this place been a bit dead lately?

#19 Edited by uninspiredcup (8616 posts) -

The reason it's getting slated Tom is because the writing, characters and story are bad. Perhaps if (like old Lucas Arts Adventure games) it had enough charm and character to overcome the lack of game-play it would work. As it stands it's a pompous imitation of another medium.

The argument of "oh well it's interactive". All games are interactive matey. A lot of them (that ironically involve killing and killing and killing) have superior story-telling and do so with much less technology and production values on show. Planescape Torment is about 10 years old and just 2d sprites yet it does a far better job of pulling the player in than anything Mr Cage has produced.

#20 Posted by seanmcloughlin (38216 posts) -

Videos never load for me on the new site, so can seomone tell me what's going on in the video?

@Lumpy311 said:

Is it me or has this place been a bit dead lately?

Of course it's dead. A lot of people either haven't gotten used to the new layout yet or just hate it and don't post as much now. I used to come by every half hour and post in a LOT of topics everyday, I've only been on twice today because the new forum layout is grating

#21 Edited by Lumpy311 (673 posts) -

@seanmcloughlin: That's really too bad, even in my short existence on SW i remember you as a pretty good poster.

Oh well.

#22 Posted by sammyjenkis898 (28089 posts) -

@bobbetybob said:

He's so right, it would be a worse as a movie, because then people would focus purely on the story and from what I've heard it's full of cliches and bad writing.

Nail on head. If this were a film it would be ripped apart for its plot holes and piss poor writing.

His argument is weak and holds very little weight.

#23 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (12882 posts) -

You can't compare stuff across mediums. Saying games are better than movies is like saying French is better than spanish. Its subject. In truth they are equal, unfortunately people got this sh!t all mixed up.

#24 Posted by seanmcloughlin (38216 posts) -

@Lumpy311 said:

@seanmcloughlin: That's really too bad, even in my short existence on SW i remember you as a pretty good poster.

Oh well.

I'll likely still show up every now and then but as it stands right now I have no desire to post because of how clunky and unintuitive everything is

#25 Posted by Jacanuk (4487 posts) -

@uninspiredcup said:

The reason it's getting slated Tom is because the writing, characters and story are bad. Perhaps if (like old Lucas Arts Adventure games) it had enough charm and character to overcome the lack of game-play it would work. As it stands it's a pompous imitation of another medium.

The argument of "oh well it's interactive". All games are interactive matey. A lot of them (that ironically involve killing and killing and killing) have superior story-telling and do so with much less technology and production values on show. Planescape Torment is about 10 years old and just 2d sprites yet it does a far better job of pulling the player in than anything Mr Cage has produced.

What are you on about? most you wrote here are either half-truths or just wrong.

And what games have superior storytelling? because i have yet to see one single game that have had anything but decent storytelling.

#26 Edited by Jacanuk (4487 posts) -

@Lumpy311 said:

Is it me or has this place been a bit dead lately?

Ya, its the new forum , its one big piece of mess so most people just go somewhere else.

But at least the bad HTML coding in that forum is gone, but the forum design is a killer, i bet that Gamespot will see a huge decline in traffic because of it.

#27 Posted by tagyhag (15867 posts) -

It being a video game doesn't make its plot any better Tom.

#28 Edited by treedoor (7648 posts) -

I'm confused by the title of the video because I don't see how it's "better" than a movie (don't see how it's worse either).

My thoughts on the whole ordeal is this (and no, I haven't played Beyond 2 Souls)

Each medium brings its own method of story-telling. Books give every detail in writing, and the reader utilizes their imagination to picture what scenarios look like. Music gives you sound which generates emotions, and feelings that are pretty unique from person to person. Movies showcase imagery, and through good acting, writing, and cinematography give the viewer the ability to witness scenes as they unfold, distinguish how characters feel, and understand various set pieces.

Games utilize different aspects in order to tell their stories (at least they should). You have physical control of 'something' that plays an integral part in the succession of the story.

Games have come a long way in the gameplay department as well as story-telling, and graphics (which helps with atmosphere, environments, immersion, etc.), and I think the problem people have is when some devs opt to sacrifice the gameplay (or rather the phyiscal interaction which is the differentiating quality of games from other mediums) in order to tell the story.

The best analogy I can make (off the top of my head) would be to imagine a movie, but strip it of the cinematography, and the acting. Just imagine it being a slide show with text underneath it that you read while looking at the pictures as they scrolled by.

That might be a way to improve the writing, and story-telling of a movie, but it ceases to be much of a movie at that point.

That's what people don't want to see happen with games. They want to see the gameplay advance much like they want to see actors, and cinematography get better in movies. Don't sacrifice the aspects that make the medium what it is. Figure out ways to make those aspects better which may in turn make better story-telling possible.

#29 Posted by Lumpy311 (673 posts) -
@tagyhag said:

It being a video game doesn't make its plot any better Tom.

You don't need good graphics to have a good story, tough.

#30 Edited by Big_Pecks (5307 posts) -

Better than a movie, worse than BioShock Infinite.

#31 Posted by chessmaster1989 (29279 posts) -

Yeah it definitely would have been worse as a movie. That said despite its numerous flaws I enjoyed it. I feel like it had amazing potential but the execution was not great.

#32 Posted by UNcartMe (556 posts) -

@WilliamRLBaker:

@WilliamRLBaker said:

lol Tom Mcshea and by extension all gamespot editors are sellout fools.

Dude liked the game, give him a break. I think it looks interesting.

#33 Posted by Lulu_Lulu (12882 posts) -

@ treedoor "I think the problem people

have is when some devs opt to sacrifice the

gameplay (or rather the phyiscal interaction which is the differentiating quality of games from other

mediums) in order to tell the story."

YOU ARE MY F#CKING HERO !

Seriously though, it just doesn't bother people when the story in a game is essentially already a movie (MGS, Uncharted,JRPGs) chopped into bit pieces and divided up by gameplay sections. Constantly alternating between active gameplay, and passive story telling reminds me of those old movies that didn't have sound so after seeing a character speak, its followed by that black slide with the characters dialog written on it, atleast they had an excuse for that, with video games they want storytelling to be passive. Very disconcerting indeed.

#34 Posted by chocolate1325 (32524 posts) -

Heavy Rain might have been but I seriously doubt Beyond is.

#35 Edited by uninspiredcup (8616 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@uninspiredcup said:

The reason it's getting slated Tom is because the writing, characters and story are bad. Perhaps if (like old Lucas Arts Adventure games) it had enough charm and character to overcome the lack of game-play it would work. As it stands it's a pompous imitation of another medium.

The argument of "oh well it's interactive". All games are interactive matey. A lot of them (that ironically involve killing and killing and killing) have superior story-telling and do so with much less technology and production values on show. Planescape Torment is about 10 years old and just 2d sprites yet it does a far better job of pulling the player in than anything Mr Cage has produced.

What are you on about? most you wrote here are either half-truths or just wrong.

And what games have superior storytelling? because i have yet to see one single game that have had anything but decent storytelling.

It was really nice of you to actually address the points and read the post properly as opposed to a blanket statement.

Nice one.

#36 Posted by xCocoTheMonkeyx (392 posts) -

I don't think I have ever agreed with Tom McShea's opinion and I probably never will.

#37 Posted by Vaasman (11423 posts) -

None of the points in the video make it any better than a movie, they just make it different from a movie. As in, Tom is trying desperately to convince you that it isn't a movie game.

Interactivity =/= superiority. Beyond, according to most reviews, has a far weaker story than it should, and in that respect, it can't possibly hope to compete with movies. Or at least good movies anyway.

Personally, I really love interactive storytelling and I really love video games as a media because of it, but you'll never see me argue that that makes them factually better than movies or books or music.

#38 Posted by megaspiderweb09 (3686 posts) -

I think Tom is saying the interaction make the scenarios more interesting than you would find in a movie where you are a passive observer. I do not completely agree with him on everything but he does have a point with that one

#39 Posted by CyberLips (1824 posts) -

@finalstar2007 said:

The more i see of Beyond: Two Souls the more i want it.. sigh going to wait a little before i can pick up a copy :(

#40 Edited by starjet905 (1929 posts) -

Can someone explain to me what this "go watch a movie instead" mentality is about? A movie is not interactive, while this is. Why do people always have to go for extreme ends of everything? Lot of interaction, or no interaction. Are people so uncomfortable with something that fits in the middle?

#41 Edited by Lulu_Lulu (12882 posts) -

^ I am very uncomfortable with that! Besides Beyond is neither a mixture or a middle ground of those two concept. Its purpose is entirely different from both of them. Its unique, and its gona die if it doesn't go multiplatform hahaha !

#42 Edited by seanmcloughlin (38216 posts) -

@megaspiderweb09 said:

I think Tom is saying the interaction make the scenarios more interesting than you would find in a movie where you are a passive observer. I do not completely agree with him on everything but he does have a point with that one

Isn't that kind of a given though? It's a videogame, it's supposed to be interactive to some extent.

I don't agree with him saying it's "better" than a movie, if he had said it's "much more than just a movie" I'd agree. But the writing is sloppy and terribly cliched and would be absolutely laughed at by movie critics. It gets away with it cos game stories by and large are shit and he always tries a more story driven experience

#43 Edited by RyviusARC (4583 posts) -

@Jacanuk said:

@uninspiredcup said:

The reason it's getting slated Tom is because the writing, characters and story are bad. Perhaps if (like old Lucas Arts Adventure games) it had enough charm and character to overcome the lack of game-play it would work. As it stands it's a pompous imitation of another medium.

The argument of "oh well it's interactive". All games are interactive matey. A lot of them (that ironically involve killing and killing and killing) have superior story-telling and do so with much less technology and production values on show. Planescape Torment is about 10 years old and just 2d sprites yet it does a far better job of pulling the player in than anything Mr Cage has produced.

What are you on about? most you wrote here are either half-truths or just wrong.

And what games have superior storytelling? because i have yet to see one single game that have had anything but decent storytelling.

There are some games with decent storytelling but most of them are more text based than actual games.

I am not a fan of Visual Novels, at least not ones by Japan, but there was one that I played through that was actually a step up from just about any video game plot I have ever seen.

It was a sci-fi mystery with a mix of visual novel and adventure point and click.

It handled parallel world traveling convincingly with even a scientific explanation containing mathematical equations (not that most people would even understand the equations used).

The characters, while cliched in the present day, have some nice depth to them and the script for dialogue between the main character and side characters is well thought out and was one of the few games where the conversations felt realistic unlike the cheesy dialogue in games like the Metal Gear Solid series.

The voice acting was superb and it filled most of the 70+ hours in the game. This is especially surprising given that the game is over 17 years old.

What surprised me the most is that despite the scope of the story being quite large there doesn't seem to be a plot hole in it.

At the beginning of the story you are full of questions but as you get further into the game the pieces start to come together and by the end you see a web of mysteries all connected brilliantly.

I really enjoy how the game doesn't spoon feed you all the material and sometimes if you don't carefully read what some characters say you will not understand the subtle hints being given.

I was also surprised by how good the music is. The person who created the music had heavy limitations from an old 1980s FM synth chip yet he was actually able to create great songs which compliment the scenes in the game while building the atmosphere.

There are some things a movie cannot do because of it being short and there are some things a book cannot do because it lacks visuals and audio.

A game that can add in the good aspects from a novel and a movie/video can come out to be quite enjoyable even if it lacks gameplay.

#44 Posted by uninspiredcup (8616 posts) -

@megaspiderweb09 said:

I think Tom is saying the interaction make the scenarios more interesting than you would find in a movie where you are a passive observer. I do not completely agree with him on everything but he does have a point with that one

But thats bullshit. Having user interaction can mess up the pacing, camera work and open ended movies e.g. Memento/Insomnia are better because they are passively allowing the watcher to think.

Besides the point, David Cage cant write lol.

#45 Posted by starjet905 (1929 posts) -

@RyviusARC said:

Man, I really need to play Yu-No sometime. Bothers me greatly that I still haven't, but I always find myself out of time to begin such a long adventure.

@Lulu_Lulu said:

^ I am very uncomfortable with that! Besides Beyond is neither a mixture or a middle ground of those two concept. Its purpose is entirely different from both of them. Its unique, and its gona die if it doesn't go multiplatform hahaha !

Why are you uncomfortable with that? I don't understand that at all. Why the need for extremes?

That aside, I'm not talking about Beyond alone. I haven't played it, anyway. I'm talking about Quantic Dream's games in general. For example, I loved Indigo Prophecy. It's what made me realize that video games can actually be a great storytelling medium. Of course, the story went absolutely bonkers by the end, but I really enjoyed it regardless. Now the thing is, most people bash Quantic Dream's games for being "movies," even though there are actual reasons, like story reasons, to criticize those games. Makes me feel that they're missing the point entirely.

#46 Edited by RyviusARC (4583 posts) -

I have the whole series, except for the Epilogue recorded on my YouTube channel.

I am working on recorded the Epilogue right now and will upload it eventually.

Without the Epilogue the recorded footage ends up being 60 hours long.

The game is very hard when it comes to getting 100% completion. Even the walkthrough is hard to understand.

Can't even upload the image here or display it so here is a link so you can understand how complicated it is.

http://i.cubeupload.com/TRPPvY.jpg

Some people have actually watched all 60 hours I have uploaded of the game because they wanted to experience the story rather than go through the process of understanding the walkthrough.

@starjet905 said:

@RyviusARC said:

Man, I really need to play Yu-No sometime. Bothers me greatly that I still haven't, but I always find myself out of time to begin such a long adventure.

#47 Edited by starjet905 (1929 posts) -

@RyviusARC said:

I have the whole series, except for the Epilogue recorded on my YouTube channel.

I am working on recorded the Epilogue right now and will upload it eventually.

Without the Epilogue the recorded footage ends up being 60 hours long.

The game is very hard when it comes to getting 100% completion. Even the walkthrough is hard to understand.

Can't even upload the image here or display it so here is a link so you can understand how complicated it is.

http://i.cubeupload.com/TRPPvY.jpg

Some people have actually watched all 60 hours I have uploaded of the game because they wanted to experience the story rather than go through the process of understanding the walkthrough.

@starjet905 said:

@RyviusARC said:

Man, I really need to play Yu-No sometime. Bothers me greatly that I still haven't, but I always find myself out of time to begin such a long adventure.

I'd still like to at least try on my own first. It's usually my policy to go blind on my first run with something like this.

Oh, and by the way, if you haven't, you should try Kara no Shoujo.

#48 Edited by McStrongfast (4270 posts) -

Is it interactivity? I bet it's interactivity.

#49 Posted by casharmy (6832 posts) -

@UNcartMe said:

@WilliamRLBaker:

@WilliamRLBaker said:

lol Tom Mcshea and by extension all gamespot editors are sellout fools.

Dude liked the game, give him a break. I think it looks interesting.

It's funny because lemmings were defending Toms lower review and score of TLOU when it went against majority critical opinon, lol but now "he is a sell out".

Lemmings are without equal when it comes to flip flopping on arguments when things don't work out to make their console appear to be on top.

#50 Edited by Lumpy311 (673 posts) -
@casharmy said:

@UNcartMe said:

@WilliamRLBaker:

@WilliamRLBaker said:

lol Tom Mcshea and by extension all gamespot editors are sellout fools.

Dude liked the game, give him a break. I think it looks interesting.

It's funny because lemmings were defending Toms lower review and score of TLOU when it went against majority critical opinon, lol but now "he is a sell out".

Lemmings are without equal when it comes to flip flopping on arguments when things don't work out to make their console appear to be on top.

Lemmings are nowhere near the level of flip flopping of cows.