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What’s Next For BEYOND: Two Souls?

by on December 13, 2013 12:00 PM 10

By now if you’ve bought and played Beyond: Two Souls you’ve probably completed the story at least once, and perhaps even tried out a few different playthroughs (or read about/watched the different outcomes via articles and videos on the internet). Whether you hated it or loved it or fell somewhere directly in-between (we gave it a positive review despite some flaws) you can’t deny a few interesting things about the game’s story, especially the ominous ending and host of mysteries and questions left in its wake.

So that makes me wonder: what’s next for BEYOND: Two Souls?

Note: MAJOR SPOILERS ahead. Read at your own caution.

BEYOND - Epilogue

Addressing The Cliffhanger Ending

No matter what choices players made during the game’s ten hour or so playthrough, BEYOND: Two Souls ended with one major and unavoidable consequence: the apocalypse.

With the several different epilogues one may earn, there’s always one of two outcomes: either Jodie prepares for the apocalypse alone, or prepares Zoey –the daughter of the once-homeless woman Tuesday– for the apocalypse. One of the two (or both) are always directly tied to the ending, which shows a look into a ruinous future, one where the world seems to have been devastated by some kind of supernatural, scientific, or combined disaster, with the shadow creatures you fight during the game flooding into the world.

Alone, Jodie merely mentions that she’s been seeing visions, a horrible nightmare that plays every night in her head about what’s to come. With Zoey, she very clearly names the young girl as the savior humanity will need to combat these evil forces, who also has visions of what’s to come.

But what’s to come?

BEYOND_SCREEN_14_1377023366

A Change of Tone?

The most startling difference of the game’s epilogue compared to the rest of the story is the change of tone. Despite the pseudo-scientific leanings of much of the story and even the action-packed sequences showcasing Jodie and Aiden’s powerful abilities, much of the game was at its core a biopic, not unlike Wyatt Earp or Forrest Gump (just sans the tuberculosis and box of chocolates). The supernatural themes, at best, were still just tools to inspect the idea of death, and dissect the meaning and relationship it has for different people.

And then the epilogue comes, and there’s an almost Terminator-like feel to it, with Jodie the Sarah Conner and Zoey the John Conner of BEYOND, preparing for the worst in the upcoming war between humanity and…well, who knows.

But where most of BEYOND felt like, at most, Jodie versus a small elite clandestine military agency, the epilogue felt like Zoey against a world of foes, set up on a pedestal as a messianic “Chosen One” destined to save the world. Where Jodie spent much of her life as an experiment and a pawn, and later a rebel, Zoey is being given a more typical video game protagonist role. While we don’t know if she’ll be as exalted as Commander Shepard or as revered as Master Chief, we do know she’s on a higher platform than her predecessor, and against incredible forces.

But then one must ask: what else will be different about a BEYOND sequel?

BEYOND - Making Of - Origins

New Talent

With the handful of ways the last sequence could unravel, there’s definitely plenty of freedom for how the studio, and the talent, wishes to continue with the next Quantic Dream project. With Willem Dafoe’s Nathan Dawkins dead, Kadeem Hardison’s Cole Freeman possibly dead (depending on your actions), and Ellen Page’s Jodie, dead or alive, there’s a lot of wiggle room with how to approach the sequel and what to do if the actors and actresses want to move on, especially if they decide that another 2,000 page script is too much to handle twice.

With the narrative’s focus placed squarely on Zoey as the new heroine, the story could pick up at any time during her quest, or, like BEYOND‘s fifteen years following Jodie’s story, take gamers through a large portion of Zoey’s life. For example, it’s unknown whether the developers will use the model who portrayed the teenaged Zoey briefly at the end of the game, but if she was unavailable or ill-equipped to lead the story, a sequel could always pick up years later when Zoey is an adult. The game could also take players through Zoey’s early life after her mother gets her off the streets, to the time Jodie meets her (be it physically or ethereally), and beyond into the meat of the plot.

Really, the sky’s the limit, as long as the gameplay is solid. Although what mechanics will stay, be refined, or be added to a BEYOND follow-up are as unknown as anything else.

Beyond - Two Souls - 04

New Mechanics?

This extreme difference in range between Jodie’s trials and Zoey’s trials to come could mean a different set of mechanics. Quantic Dream’s gameplay has changed up considerably since their earlier days. From Indigo Prophecy (also known as Farenheit) to Heavy Rain to BEYOND, the way they’ve incorporated a cinematic appeal to an interactive medium has been refined little by little, with more attention to intuitive, under-the-hood gameplay than disruptive quick-time-event sequences.

But even with their improvements, there are still plenty of dissenters out there who don’t approve of Quantic Dream’s approach to video game experiences, claiming the studio’s idea of a game is a choose-your-own adventure movie. While these opinions may be a little erroneous (considering that the entire adventure game genre is generally based on an interactive narrative experience, and dates back to text-based adventure games of the 70s and 80′s), those opinions still hold plenty of weight in an industry and an era where support comes limited and publishers can’t take as many high-risks with triple-A standard games.

But there’s more to consider than the approach, like the actual controls. While in some ways BEYOND was a step above Heavy Rain‘s tedious controls, there were still plenty of moments during the game where interacting with people or objects was a little awkward, confusing and clumsy.

With what could be a large world (or universe, or multiverse) of possibilities, a BEYOND sequel must either perfect the way players interact with their avatar and the avatar’s world, or make bold steps to ensure the quality of the experience and push past their own mechanical and creative limits.

Which makes me wonder…

omikron-wallpaper - cropped

Omikron the Nomad Soul?

Back in 1999, a unique game came out, called Omikron the Nomad Soul. In it, players were introduced to the game through a decidedly meta prologue that literally tied their character to the protagonist of the game, who was pulled through his computer screen to take over the body of Omikronian officer Kay’l 669, in order to save the world.

As Kay’l 669, and later other individuals, the player could body hop into at will. Gamers followed an investigation and mystery that took them through the world of Omikron and its neighboring sectors with a mix of video game genres and a mix of sci-fi and supernatural fantasy, much like BEYOND.

The open world of Omikron was amazing for its time, with a portion of stores, residences, districts and locales to explore, and a variety of people to meet. Besides following the investigation, players could engage in recreational activities or side missions that switched up the genre such as first person shooting segments, swimming and 2D fighting game tournaments. This freedom was much like what gamers enjoyed two years later with the much lauded Grand Theft Auto III in 2001. While all of these activities weren’t as polished as they should have been, Omikron opened up a world of potential, one that could, on next-gen systems, make for a grand experience.

While Omikron took place on another planet, a prequel could still create ties with the previous game or be setting up for a reboot. Either way, fans like myself have been patiently awaiting for anything Omikron-related for well over a decade, so any connection would definitely be met with fanfare. It should be noted that there were once plans for an Omikron sequel, but after Quantic Dream changed publishers a few times and after the success of Indigo Prophecy, the team put plans on hiatus and instead followed up with Heavy Rain.

Between the BEYOND ending and the Kara short film, is it time for Quantic Dream to return to the future?

Beyond - Two Souls - 23

Final Word

It may be far, far too early to talk about sequels when the game itself garnered so many mixed reviews. But Sony prides itself on its diverse and experimental games, and BEYOND, however divisive, was still an impressive feat and an even more impressive concept on paper.  It’s these kind of bold steps that reward growth in any creative venture, especially one where safety equals stagnancy. Perhaps Quantic Dream’s answer lies instead on a happy medium between the two, a game with familiar foundations and appeal but still pushing past familiar tropes and trappings.

Either way, we have some time before any new announcements are made, so I guess we’ll have to wait and see the old-fashioned way. But if you played the game, where could you see BEYOND: Two Souls going?

Join the Discussion

  • Jonathan

    Where would I see it going? Towards a sequel. David cage says sequels kill creativity and innovation but why the hell not? Personally I think they could totally make a sequel, I loved beyond two souls, and to make a sequel just one more to continue the adventure and close it for good where Zoey and/or Jodie save the world and continue their lives would be an amazing and peaceful end to a fantastic game. Because let’s be honest, though people would be happy with the major cliffhanger of an ending they did in beyond saying its up to us to decide what happens next, we would definitely not mind and be happy with a sequel! I thought the ending would be a complete closure to the game, Jodie saves everyone, she chooses her path to the rest of her life, I was happy and satisfied then suddenly BAM! Cliffhanger and I’m jizzing all over the place going YES THERE WILL BE MORE! Then to find out Cage doesn’t like doing sequels… Maybe it’s just me because I certainly feel like it’s just me that wants a sequel, dammit if your not going to make one then don’t end games like the way you did in beyond!! Seriously despite the mixed reviews a lot of people like it and only good can come from a sequel, and I know after beyond David Cage can produce a just as awesome if not a better sequel. Or at least put a DLC out and continue the story and have a proper ending where I can be fully satisfied with it, but I would prefer a full continued game. I want to know how Jodie trains Zoey, how she grows up with the gift, and how the apocalypse started. I just can’t imagine it it has to be told.

    Sorry for the rant nobodies probably going to read this but I just really need to get it out there.

    • James23

      I would love to see a sequel and I think I have the perfect solution… David Cage doesn’t like sequels? Well then just take on a new job as ‘overseer’ as a different company, not Quantic Dream, works on a Beyond: Two Souls sequel telling Tuesday’s daughter’s tale/fight against the coming apocalypse. I do believe that Sony is the owner of the property of ‘Beyond: Two Souls’ aren’t they? So they can make the sequel however they want, with or without Quantic’s permission. But a collaborative, friendly sequel would be best of course.

      You know what even — just to differentiate it (perhaps getting Cage’s approval, if that is needed) make it a completely different genre of game, really go against the norms (which Cage is obviously interested in doing, pushing the medium. Now he could push the concept of a ‘sequel’ on the medium like few others) and have it be a unique Twin-stick style shooter or something, or a two-player co-op oriented action game, fully controlled (unlike the interactive drama of Heavy Rain and Beyond — which I absolutely love don’t get me wrong). Obviously this would call for more action sequences, or extended and more interactive ones, but that’s what comes with so boldly changing the genre with the sequel. I think that would be a very, very cool thing and perhaps also an interesting proposition for Cage if it were to come to his ears.

      • Wenceslas of Bohemia

        What? RPG? Shooting action game? No, no forget it, you have a lot of such
        games, but Beyond Two Souls is different, it is something new, only one
        renowned example of that kind!!!! Movie-Game, brilliant idea, seriously
        emotional and I think that is the right way, don´t abandon it Mr Cage, please!

        Mr. Cage you will get the hearts of your players!!! I am sure this is not
        true playing what gained you success, it is feeling… something like living
        that story together with our heroes… I consider Beyond Two Souls
        masterpiece!!!

        In Silent Hill I await petrifying fear, in Final Fantasy I
        await sensational fantasy and in Beyond Two Souls I await deep emotional story.
        Mr. Cage you have done well, please keep going that way!!!!

        • James23

          did you even read what I said?

          We know that Cage doesn’t like to do sequels, and that they’re working on another original project (Quantic Dream) so it wouldn’t be Cage or QD doing this other-genre Beyond sequel… if anything he would just be overseeing it or something.

          Don’t get me wrong, I’d be down to see QD do a direct Beyond sequel, but given where the sequel would be headed — in Terminator 2: Judgement Day style direction — it would actually make more sense as a shooter, or an RPG or something just quite a bit different. It would make more sense as an action game, even a co-op twin stick shooter type thing like Dead Nation, rather than the interactive-drama type game.

          • Wenceslas of Bohemia

            I haven´t read everything, sorry, maybe I misjudged you! Anyway I don´t understand why he made an unfinished ending… It looks like he has some plan with it in the future! I hope! Wenceslas from Bohemia

  • Wenceslas of Bohemia

    There has to be follow-up of the Beyond: Two Souls, because the story is unfinished. Or maybe it can by some downloadable content with a bonus chapter at least.

  • Wenceslas of Bohemia

    I think there are only two ways:
    1: Jodie with the ghost of Aiden.
    2: Zoey with the ghost of Jodie.

    • Sasuke Uchiha

      I think the game should end with either zoey or jodie with aiden as the main person

      • Wenceslas of Bohemia

        In my opinion it is necessary to close all rifts to the Infraworld
        all over the planet. But Aiden has no connection with Zoey, Jodie has,
        she appears in the vision as well and in addition to that Jodie possess the same powers as Aiden after her death in the afterlife ending.

        I hope this is not the end of the Quantic Dream work!!!!!!!!

        Mr Cage please do not disappoint all your fans!!!!!! There is a lot of us in many countries!!!!!

        Wenceslas from Bohemia

    • Wenceslas of Bohemia

      Oh my mistake, I have seen other alternate ending and there is also one another way:

      3: Zoey with the living Jodie.

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