Thanks to all of the information coming out of a recent conference in Paris with Quantic Dream’s David Cage (our particular source being VG247) there has been a huge amount of Beyond: Two Souls examined and discussed, gained largely through newly released trailers.
The trailers, which you can see below, cover three different sequences: a Hospital Escape sequence, a Combat sequence, and a Lab Test sequence.
In the Hospital Escape footage, we can see that Aiden literally helps with everything. He can fly through walls, affect just about anything, and sees the world slightly differently. This footage also shows that Jodie also has hallucinations and flashbacks of past events tied to the area she’s exploring, and that she too can affect her environment, if not as much as Aiden can.
The Combat trailer starts off with a comparison to Heavy Rain‘s Mad Jack battle and Madison’s group attack battles, both sequences that depended entirely on quick time events. Also, it reminded me that between Mad Dog’s “I had to solder up his… little mouth” comment and Madison’s incredibly brutal fight, Heavy Rain had some surprisingly dark moments, even more a mystery thriller game. Beyond demonstrates a QTE-less fighting mechanic, reliant solely on the right analog and good timing. The game uses a bullet-time visual aesthetic that lets players know when to block, and in turn when to counter with a kick or punch. It’s good to see Jodie can handle herself without Aiden, if the situation calls for it.
On the QTE’s, Cage said:
“No more quick-time events. We didn’t really have a problem with QTEs in Heavy Rain and I don’t think that players who played the game had any problem with that, but we wanted to reconsider the possibility of – instead of saying to the player what they’re supposed to do – how could we get rid of this and let players define by themselves, conclude by themselves what they’re supposed to do?”
Cage also said:
“We still have a couple of prompts here and there, but no more than in a game like Tomb Raider, Uncharted or God of War, or whatever because all games use some prompts here and there. It’s part of what gamers are used to these days, but we use them in very few opportunities, and it’s not part of the main interface any more.”
So in Beyond, Jodie can walk around with the left analog, looking around as she goes. When she’s able to interact with an object, a small white circle appears next to it, and players can use the right stick in the direction of the circle to complete the action. This include getting up, crouching down, searching, or anything else. When players want to use Aiden, they press the triangle button, and use the R1 and R2 buttons to raise and lower the camera.
Seeing Ellen Page morphed into a child is amazing. Cage has said that Beyond will see about thirty years of Jodie’s life: the Lab Test sequence shows one of Jodie’s earlier memories, with Jodie’s childhood, and her being tested in a Lab for her supernatural abilities. This sequence also shows that Beyond‘s Interface for decisions is identical to Heavy Rain‘s, as Jodie interacts with her tester. Soon, we see Aiden interacting as well, with players affecting things by “catapulting their analog sticks forward.” Again, it seems Aiden can affect a ton of things, so much that he gets out of control and scares the tester, and is later seen possessing a scientist. Quantic is staying silent on what exactly Aiden is, but for now he’s described as something poltergeist-like.
Cage also revealed that the plot is “told in chronological disorder,” with the game playing out sequence and encouraging the player to “rebuild the story” out of what they see. The game is said to be longer than Heavy Rain, reaching about 12-15 hours depending player choice.
The game is described as between the alpha and beta stages, and set to release October 8th to the PS3. Check out the trailers below, and let us know what you think in the comments. Is Beyond a must-have for you this Fall?