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COLUMN: Aaron’s Backstage Pass: Beyond: Two Souls Playstation 3 Review

Updated: 10/09/2013 4:42 PM
Created: 10/08/2013 9:01 AM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

When I first heard about “Beyond: Two Souls” I was pretty excited because it’s made by the same developers that made the game “Heavy Rain,” and I really enjoyed that a lot.

This past week I received a review copy of Sony Computer Entertainment’s “Beyond: Two Souls” for the Playstation 3, and I was blown away.

“Beyond: Two Souls” is an interactive thriller where you get to change the story of the game by the decisions you make. 

What makes “Beyond: Two Souls” so awesome is that every time you play the game, something different can and will happen with the story.  The reason I like this is that you can keep going back and replaying the game and it does not get boring or repetitive and you will experience something new each time.

“Beyond: Two Souls” is about a woman name Jodie Holmes who has an entity named Aiden that has special powers that she can control.  When she was eight years old she was put into a research center and was studied by a scientist named Nathan Dawkins.  You get to follow Jodie from childhood all the way to her adulthood as she learns how to control Aiden and as she discovers the truth about who she is.

I really liked the story a lot and thought it was very creative and original.  There are so many thrilling and action packed scenes that the game keeps your interest and you want to keep playing to find out more about who Jodie is.

The story is not in chronological order so it jumps around a lot, but it’s not confusing.  It’s done in a very logical and clever way.

Another thing that I really liked about the story was that Jodie Holmes was voiced by Ellen Page and Nathan Dawkins was voiced by William Dafoe.  They sounded amazing, and the characters even look exactly like them.

Speaking of that, the graphics are absolutely amazing.  The characters look life-like and are the most realistic looking of any other game I have ever played.  Their movements and facial expressions are unbelievable.  The backgrounds are spectacular and are very detailed.

The controls for “Beyond: Two Souls” are very impressive and are also very unique.  It is an interactive game, so every time you come across a specific situation you have to interact or react by moving the control in many different ways.  The nice thing is that the buttons or movement will appear on the screen, so you will know what you will need to do.  For example, if you are climbing, you will need to alternate the ‘R1’ and ‘L1 ‘buttons or if you need to look at something you just need to hold down the ‘X’ button.  The key thing to keep in mind is that timing is very important especially if you are in a fight.  You will need to push a certain direction at the right time or you will get hit.
Controlling Aiden (Jodie’s Entity) is what makes “Beyond: Two Souls” unlike any other game I have played.  Aiden has many different abilities and they are pretty amazing.  If Jodie needs help she can have Aiden appear and help her.  Aiden is attached to Jodie by a supernatural link, so if Aiden goes too far away from Jodie, she becomes weak.

Aiden is invisible and can go through walls, open doors, activate switches, attack things, create distractions, possess other characters and you can control them, knock people out, plus many other things that you will discover as you go through the game.

You can download an app on your IOS or Android called “Beyond Touch.”  This is a new way to play “Beyond: Two Souls.”  You just link your phone with your PS3, and you can play the game using your IOS or Android.

There is also bonus content that you can unlock as you play “Beyond: Two Souls.”  Some of the bonus content includes art and trailers for the game.  If you go to certain areas or perform specific actions in the game will unlock the bonus content.  You will know if you do, because text will appear on the screen.  I really liked this a lot because it gives players another reason to go back and play “Beyond” again and again.

Overall, I really enjoyed Sony Computer Entertainment’s “Beyond: Two Souls” for the PS3 a lot.  The graphics are amazing, and the characters look life-like, plus, Ellen Page and William Dafoe voice the main characters.  I just really thought the controls were easy to learn, and I felt that just about everyone would be able to pick up a controller and play.  I also liked the fact that there are so many different parts of Jodie’s story that you can play though depending on what you choose to do in the story.

Playing “Beyond: Two Souls” is really an experience.  Like I said earlier, I have only played one other game like this and it was “Heavy Rain” by Quantic Dream, the same company that developed “Beyond: Two Souls.”  I highly recommend that you pick this game up; you will not be disappointed. 

“Beyond: Two Souls” is rated “M” for blood, intense violence, sexual content, strong language and use of drugs and alcohol.

Aaron Chalich is a KSTP.com entertainment columnist.

Photo courtesy of Sony Computer Entertainment.

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