Why Beyond: Two Souls is Better Than a Movie

Tom addresses the notion that Beyond: Two Souls would be just as powerful as a movie.

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238 comments
jhpiv4
jhpiv4

Games like Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain are a modern evolution of the adventure game.  Adventure games aren't usually captivating from a gameplay standpoint. They require little interaction, but the stories they tell captivate you.  That's what it's all about.

greenaj
greenaj

Obviously, a video game should be "better" than a movie in terms of it being a video game.  

slimtidder
slimtidder

I remember in the 90's when games journalists would always emphasize 'gameplay' over all else. It was a mantra that seems to have been lost. I play all sorts of games, but it is still the gameplay and how the interactivity feels that is the headline for my own assessment. A lot of people really like this game so I can't critisize Tom's view too much. However, I've played The Last of Us and some of this game and it is the level of interactivity that is the difference between the two and what makes the The Last of Us a better experience. The question I would ask is, 'is it possible that you could have had a higher level of interactivity in Beyond and would that have made it a better game?'. In my opinion, the answer to both questions is, 'yes'.

rIVAL_sWORD84
rIVAL_sWORD84

heavy rain was interesting for me because it was with PS Move controller, i doubt it will be fun with android. please do not tell me i have to play this with DS3 controller, i do not want to.

user_pt
user_pt

I've been avoiding "movie" games ever since they started to appear. Mainly because of blind prejudice towards them. However, I'm willing to give Beyond a chance. Whenever I see it at a decent price I'll pick it up and make a grounded opinion. I've been seeing more and more people complementing these kinds of games and I want to personally see if they are right or if it is just another thing many people like because it's new and different while all the fuzz fades away in months/few years.

adwerk
adwerk

Lots of decisions are mere illusions, and even more forced upon you. You you feel bad turning the girl into a soldier? Bro... theres no choice apart from turning off your console. You quickly feel like you're just along for the ride. Asking the player to hit a button ex. to drink when you have ZERO choice in the matter is borderlining insulting.

 And why do you even need to trim away gameplay? Is it really THAT much to ask for a good story, decisions that matter and good gameplay? I know, insanity!

Syrlink
Syrlink

Yeah, I remember when I was a kid and liked choose your own adventure books...at least in those books you got different endings when you made a choice.  I hardly think that a game's flaws should get a pass because of it's strengths...same thing with Skyrim...it shouldn't have gotten such high scores because it had multiple issues at launch, and developers should be held accountable.  Although Beyond is an emotional and interesting experiment, it's hardly at the level of  a 9 out of 10.  The dialogue is cheesy, the gameplay is nonexistent, your choices don't matter, and the plot is mediocre.  I agree that THIS story is better as a game because otherwise it would fail completely as a movie.  Overall, I enjoyed it, but a game should be judged on all of it's strengths and weaknesses, not just given a random number based on how much the reviewer enjoyed it.

Snakepond1
Snakepond1

I guess I am an old school gamer, but to me it has always been about gameplay. Unfortunately, in recent years cut scenes and qte's have taken over more games then I care to mention. I do not doubt the immersion, but I still need a game for my $60.

bluefox755
bluefox755

It's a different type of game, it's very story driven, he mentions in the video the gameplay does not work without the story.  That might not be your type of game, that's ok, doesn't mean you have to be a troll.  Everyone seemed to be cool with Journey and TWD getting high marks, both of which are barely considered 'games'.  So what is the problem here?  Besides it's just one guy's opinion, you don't have to agree with it.

musalala
musalala

How is this a good thing? 

jok3rxfear
jok3rxfear

The article should be "Why Beyond Two Souls" is not available on other platforms. >.<

Dantes0007
Dantes0007

That garbage is not better than a movie or videogame, it's just that a piece of garbage.

CptJohnnyRico
CptJohnnyRico

i came here looking for a game, and found a movie.

rawkstar007
rawkstar007

That's fine, Tom. I think many of us are still waiting for a breakdown analysis as to how you came to the conclusion of a 9.0. Did you grade on individual aspects or was it purely feeling-based?

It's very hard for many of us to gauge your rating process as it is not what we typically find in that of other professional critics. It's the most frustrating thing about your reviews if it's not the overall conclusion.

DarthAsheron
DarthAsheron

In what other interactive movie can you combo so hard all over a toilet seat that your nose bleeds and your eyes roll back?

thekazumalord
thekazumalord

For  a second i thought the title as why Beyond two souls is better as a movie..since it nothing more then a  badly written computer animated film with quick time events thrown in. sure it had good actors/actresses but even if you put coat a dog turd with diamonds, it's still a dog turd...it just sparkles now and catches people's attention for moment til they realize what it actually is.  

TonnFool23
TonnFool23

The only movie this game is better are steven segals movies, this game had a bad story, didn't keep up well with characters..I can go on and on. If beyond two souls was a movie it would have been rated 4 stars on IMDB.

edviges
edviges

simple answer: because it's playable!!

Heisenberg1
Heisenberg1

Excellent follow up to the criticism you got Tom. Well done! 

dst951
dst951

One of the best games I've played this year. Definitely not the failure that the xbots were hoping it to be. 

marlobc
marlobc

this game is just stunning ! Gamespot review was spot on! 

TigusVidiks
TigusVidiks

ya, better than a movie and worse than a game.

simo_tmm
simo_tmm

Better than what movie? Movies in general? Tom, are you actively looking for hateful comments?

jophy
jophy

im guilty of not buying this game but watching the whole story on youtube. and it sure is emotional and satisfying. though I was disappointed at some options the player choose to go for, guess that's what I get for not getting the game

MXVIII
MXVIII

I feel, after playing many of Quantic Dream's game is that their vision is really hampered by the limitations of our input devices. Theres only so much interactivity, that a mouse, or a controller can provide. Look at Surgeon Simulator for example.  Thats about as interactive as it gets, and it looks awkward. Give Quantic Dream the Rift, and that Walking treadmill thing, and that will probably be the sledgehammer they need to break down the wall between the game and the player. I see what QD is trying to do, and I just feel we dont have the control interfaces complex enough yet for them to do it. 

Zidaneski
Zidaneski

Just finished Beyond and I am very impressed, I had no trouble with the controls as well. Waaay better than a movie as well because scenes can change a lot in the hands of another person even if their choices only slightly differ. The choices you can make range from the light to incredibly heavy. There was one scene in particular that completely caught me off guard because my friend had played the scene before and then later when I played it it was different and I'm not even sure what I did or didn't do to cause the scene to change. 

ANUBISZER0
ANUBISZER0

I have high hopes for this game, I just started it but I am impressed so far. It has simplistic controls with and engrossing story, a character you want to explore and the emotion is drawn out of you as long as you play it with the right attitude.

shadowkiller11
shadowkiller11

It's a flawed game but having played it unlike many of the people actually complaining it was also a unforgettable experience. Tom isn't the only one giving this game a 9/10 aswell so I don't see the controversy here. Ultimately it depends on how much you like the narrative. Some scenes and dialogue was inconsistent but it also had great and engrossing scenes, likable leads and some unique and original settings. As a whole experience, it succeeds.


I was dissapointed by Beyond at first but once you keep playing the plot becomes more coherent and it suddenly becomes much more engaging despite it occasional moments of "wah" I will say though I wish the choices had more significance like HR. But at the same time the compromises of less choices mean a more coherent and stronger plot. I wouldn't of gave this a 9 but it's certainly worth playing so maybe a 7.5 or 8

jhpiv4
jhpiv4

@slimtidder I think they're very different games.  One is a survival shooter and the other is an adventure game.  They both have a very strong emphasis on story, but they're not trying to be anything like each other.

Personally, I thought the body count in The Last of Us made believing in the characters a little more difficult, although the story was spectacular regardless.  Still, I had the typical reaction of "OK, this is a game, that's why I'm killing pretty much everyone I come across."

rIVAL_sWORD84
rIVAL_sWORD84

@slimtidder i think they could make an adventure shooter game like tomb raider with mix of mass effect and have more control over what we want to do and have quicklime events included for multiple outcomes, i guess the game is still very good but i will not consider it excellent.

dst951
dst951

@adwerk You completely missed the point of this game. Well done.

Moeremmo
Moeremmo

@bluefox755 exactly like for me i like such games with amazing story. for me i see beyond 2 souls best game so far.. its a diffrent type of games and the idea of this game is about emotions i really enjoyed. 

dst951
dst951

@thekazumalord Pretty weird, coming from someone who gave this game a 9. Just stick with CoD, kid.

dreamgreed
dreamgreed

@TonnFool23 Go play it and finish it before you even give your ignorant opinions please.

LJNkickstarter
LJNkickstarter

@simo_tmm I think it's just a choice whether Beyond two souls would be a better game or a movie

sadface1234
sadface1234

@simo_tmmI think he was trying to talk about the format in general. So, take you favorite movie of all time, put it in a the format of beyond 2 souls with alternate paths to multiple endings. Would you enjoy it more then the movie itself?

I myself do think I would enjoy it more. While I can't say for sure, but this is what Tom was trying to get across in different words. 

PutU2REM
PutU2REM

@MXVIII Hardware isn't the primary limitation at all. The real bottlenecks are the size of the production budget, the length of the development process, and the degree of control complexity tolerated by the audience. The QTE-style control scheme allows players to engage in a wide variety of activities without having to learn/master a control scheme for each.

Additionally, there is a tension between drama and freedom to explore, and it is very, very hard to create an intense, engaging story without the use of scripted events. The developer has to account for every single possible action a player could take, and that becomes exponentially more difficult to do as a player's freedom grows. That's why sandbox-style games usually have sub-par plots and characters.

slimtidder
slimtidder

@jhpiv4 @slimtidder I agree that narrative dissonance is a common issue in video games. However, dissonance usually occurs in the service of making a game fun to play. Personally, I would rather sacrifice my investment in a story and its characters if it meant a more visceral and interactive gameplay experience. In my mind, the biggest problem with The Last of Us was not the the high body count, but the number of cut scenes that take control away from the player. Good story telling in interactive media should not mean less interactivity.

Snakepond1
Snakepond1

I thought heavy rain was alright and I enjoyed Walking Dead. But, from the controversial reviews and the demo I played this is a rental at best.

simo_tmm
simo_tmm

@sadface1234 @simo_tmm It is very tempting to say yes... but Bruce Willis could  be alive at the end. That does not make any sense. So I don't think this format is intrinsically better, it is an option.

MXVIII
MXVIII

@PutU2REM @MXVIII   " the degree of control complexity tolerated by the audience"   I.E  The limitations of our input devices. Thats the only reason control complexity exists. There is only so much you can do with a controller.

PutU2REM
PutU2REM

@MXVIII @PutU2REM "The limitations of our input devices. Thats the only reason control complexity exists."

If that were true, then a direct neural interface allowing 1:1 control over the player avatar (which is the least limited input device imaginable) would make things simpler and easier. However, given how complicated and difficult the "controls" are in real life (which is itself a DNI-controlled "game"), that argument is an epic fail.

If you want on object lesson on how less-limited input devices can make controls more complicated, try playing Die by the Sword. It's the only fighting game to ever fully utilize analog-style controls, and even though it's incredibly intuitive, infinitely flexible, and extremely easy to grasp, it's also fiendishly difficult to learn. There's never been anything else like it, and that's a crying shame, because it was well worth the effort.

Now if you'll excuse me, I think I'm going to go download it from GOG again. I have the sudden urge to hack off some limbs.  ;)