Beyond: Two Souls Blurs the Line Between Video Games and Movies

Quantic Dream brings us the closest thing to a movie in a video game yet, with Beyond: Two Souls.
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I sit here writing this article on one screen of my computer, simultaneously streaming movies on the other via Netflix, simultaneously having a paused game of GTA IV behind me on the flat screen, (you know, just in case…) while simultaneously not wearing any pants (you’re welcome, ladies) and I suddenly find myself at a sad realization:

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I have this unnecessary habit of not wanting to give up one medium for the other at any given moment.

So when games come along that merge the cinematic genius of movies with the depth and interactivity of video games, I promptly scrape myself off my chair, re-clothe myself and frolic with glee to my local video game store. I haul my jug with me, that jug we all have, the one that has been accumulating green pennies since we were nine.

BEYOND: Two Souls was one of those games that made me do all of the above and was announced at E3 almost a year ago. When I saw that its developer was Quantic Dream, the company that also made Heavy Rain, I nearly spat the mixture of processed foods I was eating all over my screen.

I have been losing sleep from excitement ever since.

ICE, ICE Baby!

“Interactive Cinematic Experiences” or “ICE,” as I love calling them, are games which make use of Hollywood story telling devices – something we normally wouldn’t see in a typical video game. Heavy Rain followed this mold and has sold nearly 2.5 million copies worldwide.

There are a couple subtle things about the trailer below that say ICE to me, and by subtle, I mean that If this doesn’t scream “I’M A MOVIE AND I’M ALSO A GAME!” to you then I’ll give you my enormous jug of pennies.

Wait… this is a game? But I’m at Tribeca.

This is one of the game’s trailers, released at the Tribeca Film Festival. Carefully note the word “Film” in that last sentence. It is abundantly clear that Quantic Dream looks at video games from a whole different perspective than most of the gaming community.

Ellen Page (that pregnant chick from that one movie which is also a city in Alaska) gives a stunning performance via motion capture as Jodie, the main character. Willem Dafoe (Green Goblin from the only good Spider Man movie) also stars as a pseudo father figure/scientist that wants to poke at her brain with sharp things.

Where’s my UI?

Another thing that is worth noting is that we will be getting the awesome quick time event centered gameplay that Quantic Dream brought us with Heavy Rain, which really adds to the feeling of immersion and tension in their games

Additionally, it seems that we will be able to play as the ghost that follows Jodie around as well; this adds a whole other dimension to the movie…erm…game.

 If you will excuse me, I have to go start counting my pennies.

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Illustrator and Concept artist that enjoys writing and beating you at video games.