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In part one, we talked about “Beyond: Two Souls” cinematic experience and half of its gameplay. Here we will delve into the three different ways to play the game.
The first way to play “Beyond: Two Souls” is the straight forward way with one player using the controller to control both Jodie and Aiden. This way is the best way as the player gets to experience the perspective of both characters and the limitations that each has to bear. For example, Jodie can interact with the physical world and the people that live in it. Whereas Aiden can kill or inhabit people and move certain objects but he does not live in the physical world so he still needs Jodie to form relationships with people.
Needless to say the DualShock controller is the best way to play “Beyond: Two Souls.” There is seemless transition between switching to Jodie or Aiden. Aiden is easier to control and less frustrating to explore each environment with.
The second way to play is to have a friend play with you and either control Jodie or Aiden. This way of playing illustrates a clearer image of how Jodie and Aiden must deal with communicating with each other. Together you will definitely fight over who is doing what or whether or not to kill or inhabit or even what moral decisions to make. Squabbling between two players is not ideal but it certainly does demonstrate the conflict between Jodie and Aiden that the game tries to convey to the player.
The third way is through the “Beyond Touch” app for mobile devices which allows the player to use their finger to pinch or swipe to control Jodie and Aiden. Additionally, if one player has a controller and the other has a mobile device, both are able to play. The app is an abysmal way to play this game, however. The pinching and swiping method to control Aiden is frustrating. When Jodie needs Aiden to defend her, the swiping method is simply not fast enough to dispel any entities that attack her. Lastly, Aiden is on a glorified rail which guides his movements when you play on the “Beyond Touch” app. This severely limits how the player explores when playing as Aiden.
Controlling Jodie through the app is simple. You just drag your finger across your mobile device and when a white dot appears you tap the screen to interact. Executive Producer Guillaume de Fondaumière states that the app was designed for casual gamers who would like to play without being able to master the dual shock controller. But really, this app was not needed as even a casual gamer will pick up a controller and attempt to learn a game’s control system.
Where “Beyond: Two Souls” shines is in its concept. A girl is tied to a supernatural entity that affects every aspect of her life. That alone sounds like an amazing paranormal adventure game. However, what we got was a movie disguised as a video game. The fact that the player does not have to try to succeed in completing the game belittles the very nature of a video game. A video game should be story and gameplay married together not cinematic graphics taking over the gameplay just to tell a story. If the story goes on if no one if attempting to play the game then what you are just watching a movie.
Moreover, “Beyond: Two Souls” gameplay is not an intricate assembly of button and trigger memorization. It is more of a movie than a game so memorizing buttons is not really necessary as stated before, if you miss certain quick time events, Jodie will not die. The game progresses whether you are an apt gamer or not.
Rating: 2/5 - “Beyond: Two Souls” tries to be more than a video game and that is where it fails. For all the work that went into it, all that the player experiences is a mash up of quick time events and pre-determined circumstances with no sense of consequences for failing. A non-gamer may enjoy “Beyond” ’s concept but if you want to play a video game, there are plenty of better choices out there.