The Story That Chose David Cage - Beyond: Two Souls

Director David Cage expounds on his journey to create games focused on creating empathy and compelling narrative, how Beyond: Two Souls attempts to achieve this, and how he fits into the video game industry.

Discussion

125 comments
josephblower1612
josephblower1612

Your mileage may vary, but for me, the game is transcendent.

It transcends both video games and movies to become something greater than either medium would ever be by themselves. I'm an avid gamer (I have 400+ Steam games, 400+ iOS games, and 100+ console games). Yet--to speak for myself--*I* found this game far more moving, thought-provoking, meaningful, and entertaining than many other games (including Super Mario Galaxy 1-2, Grand Theft Auto 4-5, The Last of Us, and others).

I can only compare it to Heavy Rain, The Walking Dead, or the Metal Gear Solid series: deep rich stories that have themes and messages that convey something of lasting meaning; something beyond the mindless (but fun) shooting and platforming of other titles.

I will remember this game for years to come. There are few works of fiction of any medium for which I can say the same.

If you like a rich deep story line and don't care about a lack of "agency" (it's always illusory in video games, anyway--there are always incredibly restrictive rules on game play), then this is *the* game of the seventh generation. The comparably minor errors in execution and direction can be ignored, when viewed in light of the whole.

Indeed, the question of whether this qualifies as a game is, like Dear Ester, a largely irrelevant and pedantic: It entertains. It provokes thought. It is emotionally moving. And it illustrates that games--like cinema or literature--can be taken seriously as a medium to both entertain and enlighten. 

If judged solely as a film, or only as a game, I can understand the bad scores, but when you combine them, I think the effect is unique and something we need to see more of. It seems to me that most reviewers of this game have profoundly and tragically missed the point.

Tomáš Eugene Krampera
Tomáš Eugene Krampera

Am I the only one who thinks that the girl on the left looks more like a real human being than the guy on the right?

AP3Xoblivion
AP3Xoblivion

Wow, that's a man who really puts his all into his games.  This has looked really interesting to me, I think he just sold me.

ryogapower
ryogapower

I love his passion. a true pioneer taking risks at a time when most game studios are scared to put a female on the box art incase it doesn't sell. Played the demo yesterday and it blew me away. 

GUTZNRAGE
GUTZNRAGE

My problem with David Cage is that he is a bad writer, not that he is making glorified point-and-click games. 

Shub Joshi II
Shub Joshi II

Best alien page game I think the next version of beyond coming on ps4

hystavito
hystavito

FMV games tried to do something different, see a lot of journalists and industry people defending those? :)

I don't know how different or original Cage's games really are.  Some people around here seem to say they are, some strongly disagree.  I can say this for certain, just because he says they are doesn't mean they are.

Also, different, original, that doesn't automatically equate to better, or even good, or anything really.

BTW for anyone that doesn't know, all these comments will not carry over to the new Gamespot site next week or whenever it goes live.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

I'm still not sure what to make of Cage. I really like his games and I can get behind a lot of the things he says, it's just how he comes across sometimes is like he's a one-man force trying to lead a revolution in the gaming industry. I dunno. Maybe it's just a French thing.


puppet12ca
puppet12ca

Yesss As a Gamer I approve of this message

lostn
lostn

If you don't consider David Cage's titles to be games, then you don't consider The Walking Dead a game either. But TWD won GAME of the year at VGAs last year.

sinadoom
sinadoom

I think David Cage needs to stop playing 10 year old games and go and play modern gems such as Batman: Arkham City and Portal 2. If you look at the diversity of video game genres, it's evident that there are plenty of games out there which aren't all about violence or killing people. In particular, he references Call of Duty as being 99% of video games. This is completely not true. Ironically, his attempt to make gamers more open-minded is overshadowed by his own ignorance.

DMND
DMND

So much marketing. Smells like another "meh" game that nobody can say it's not that good because it got super hyped.

CreMax90
CreMax90

I dont care what are other people's definition of "gaming" are. I love David Cage's games for different reasons, and I can't wait for Beyond: two souls this weekend.

Sina Madani
Sina Madani

David Cage seems to have been living in a cave for the past decade or so. He thinks all games involve shooting people, but there are plenty of games that are story-driven AND still have gameplay, not glorified cutscenes like Beyond.

Frederick Quatman
Frederick Quatman

It's hard to classify what he makes as video games because it's just point and click and no real gameplay. If you like it that's fine, but these "games" are definitely a niche ting.

Frederick Quatman
Frederick Quatman

This guy should just make movies, it's what he clearly wants to do.

Cutlac Gabi
Cutlac Gabi

Just finished playing Heavy Rain yesterday. Not at all what I expected. I felt bored most of the time. Indigo Prophecy/Fahrenheit was way better.

Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

Damn closed minded gamers are standing in the way of progress.I feel your pain David Cage...And people,stop confusing an amazing story driven game like Beyond with a piece of shit quick time events game like Ryse.They are not the same thing,even if they both have quick time events. 

AjenoMerveilles
AjenoMerveilles

Sorry, but the demo had all the classic David Cage storytelling problems. As in, one scene made utterly redundant by the next scene. So I spend 10 minutes from train to woods running from the army? Gee, that was tense, but I did it. Cut to next scene. Surrounded by the army within seconds. Okay. That was pointless. Blowing everything up with Aiden? Good. It'll save... oh, we get caught anyway, but we needed to for the next scene, so...

My point is the illusion of free choice. There is none, but he very cleverly makes you think there is. He has said himself it is a movie/game only to be played once. I now know why. It is quite a lot to ask for £45 for such a concept.

I like Ellen Page a lot, her career choices, her intelligence. I also welcome games like this. But enough of the soundbites, Mr Cage. We get it. Or at least, I do.

bbq_R0ADK1LL
bbq_R0ADK1LL

@lostn Only Pong & Tetris are games. I reject your 3D graphics. Games may not evolve. Story is for scrolls, not games (I don't belieive in books either).

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

@sinadoom i think you need to realize how people feel about this game, you can just read the comments down here.... pretty much people go like ohh this is just another movie. Which is what his whole point is.. people dismiss it because it doesn't have the action other games have and people wanna dismiss it as something else...... even though people loved The Walking Dead a game that is pretty much on the same genre as this one... as my friend would call it.. an interactive novel. He's just saying give it a try and see if you like it.. by playing the demo or borrowing it idk.. he's going for positive criticism since the game does have positive criticism and it hasn't even been released.

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

@Sun-Tzu-GE It isn't progress. Cage wants to create the same experience as a movie but using a game engine there's nothing exciting about that. For years writers have been trying to escape the confines of stories in which the story progresses along a linear path and where the author has complete control of the reader's experience. Games can actually provide that experience. Take a game like Dark Souls - the story is epic yet illusive hidden throughout the experience within item descriptions and in conversations with npcs even within game mechaincs and item placements. This dark mysterious world still contains that mystery years after release people debate what the story is, what it means what social messages it contains. There's nothing wrong with David Cage making these linear games but he should stop trying to claim that he's doing something different or special. Its good that he's tackling different subjects to the corridor shooters but his story telling method really isn't any different.

Pukshd
Pukshd

@ryogapower @GUTZNRAGE I actually dind't feel nothing related to his username, like I don[t feel shit with Cage's games.

JBStone1981
JBStone1981

@Joedgabe @sinadoom Enough. People don't dismiss Cage because his games lack action, they dismiss him because his games suck, and he's pretentious. 

master20234
master20234

@Joedgabe @sinadoom I've always focused mainly on the story in games so I agree with all of this, but while he is trying to make games more about story than killing he, and other developers like him, need to make sure they don't take out the one constant in all video games which separate them from movies and that's GAME-PLAY, which games can definitely have without killing/violence, but what The Walking Dead had very little of. Don't get me wrong I'm not judging Beyond as it isn't even out yet, I'm just saying.

Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

@moonlightwolf01 @Sun-Tzu-GE With all due respect,fuck off !!! I like linear storytelling but Beyond is still not linear.Some of the decisions that you make in the game have consequences.Dark souls has almost NO STORY for fuck sake.I don't understand why you give it as an example.That is called exploration,not storytelling.He is doing something different and special.He is making an interactive movie,which you don't really find that often.If you're the kind of person that has no problem grinding in a game like dark souls you have no right to talk to me about storytelling.Why would you spend time doing boring shit in a video game when you already do boring shit in real life?If you want a sense of accomplishment start a business instead of playing video games where it doesn't matter what you accomplish.  

Joedgabe
Joedgabe

@Gamerno6666 @Creed02 you haven't even played the game... and came here to troll..... but the only thing you're doing is making some of us think what a silly mentality you have... and what little use you'll be to the rest of the world ):

Creed02
Creed02

@Gamerno6666 Well many people seems to like that click adventure.

Creed02
Creed02

@Gamerno6666

Why ? because its different ? or Your mind is very conditioned. we will find out tomorrow wether it sucks or rocks.

EdotheHero
EdotheHero

@moonlightwolf01 @Sun-Tzu-GE it's funny because in the above interview i don't see him claiming anthing like that at all. this game is different, and if you've played heavy rain then you would know that. i play a lot of games and heavy rain was its own thing, never played anything like it. i dont understand why people believe that he believes that his games are the only games out there that bring forth a meaningful story. he doesnt say that, he's never said that.

the responses you get toward beyond: two souls is enough evidence that gamers see this game as a strange thing. this is exactly the point that he's making, that he made this different game together with many others, and it is storytelling in its own right, and that was his focus. again, he does not claim it to be the only game ever made that brings forth a meaningful story. give me one line that proves otherwise.

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

@Sun-Tzu-GE @moonlightwolf01 I'm a writer, very creative that is why I have a problem with him. I don't mind his games just his attitude. He doesn't see any other forms of storytelling as valid. He actually claims in the above interview that storytelling wasn't a thing in games before heavy rain as if genres such as point and click adventure games or roleplaying games haven't been focusing on story for decades. For writers games have this amazing potential for giving the player agency in a way that we writers have been trying to give to our readers for a century or more. Cage's point of view is that you have to constrain the player, ensure they see the story you want them to see. The reason I like dark souls is because the player sees as much or as little of the story as they put in the effort to find. even then the player still gets to draw their own conclusions. That's the potential that he ignores, the player has to see the story his way, feel the things he wants them to feel and come away with only the questions that he has predetermined. Theres nothing wrong with an interactive movie style game but to say that its the only way to tell a great story is just horrific. 

Sun-Tzu-GE
Sun-Tzu-GE

@moonlightwolf01 @Sun-Tzu-GE I don't feel like debating with you but if his games weren't special,Why do I feel like they are after finishing Heavy Rain? I think Heavy Rain was the most unique gaming experience I had in my entire life.I completely loved it ! And after playing the Beyond:2 souls demo I think I will love the full game too.If you're not an artistic person I can see why you wouldn't be enthusiastic about Beyond because it's art.And I never said it's more than an interactive movie,but I'm completely okay with that and I love that.

moonlightwolf01
moonlightwolf01

@Sun-Tzu-GE @moonlightwolf01 If you think dark souls has no story then you either didn't play the game or didn't read or listen to a single thing in game. Its not the grind that's interesting in dark souls its the world. it makes you put effort into finding the story and rewards you for doing so. Cage makes a linear story that is as you say an interactive movie. the real question is, would you actually go and see that film in the cinema, because from my experience his stories wouldn't be called anything more than mediocre when compared to movies of the same genre. I'm sorry but a mediocre story told in the form of a movie is not a revolution. What annoys me most is that he basically takes a dump on every game story that's come before him because they weren't told in a bland linear, movie wannabe fashion. If that's how you like your games, fine. but don't try to call it special.