In keeping with Quantic Dream‘s usual strategy, there is almost nothing we know for sure about Beyond: Two Souls, the cryptic develop’s follow-up to Heavy Rain. The story of a young girl and her life-changing connection to an otherworldly entity is as intriguing as any, but those who haven’t had the chance to play the game behind closed doors may not see how that translates to gameplay.
Luckily, that’s been remedied, now that 35 minutes of Beyond gameplay has been released online. Starting with a full-grown Jodie (Ellen Page) struggling to survive winter, the footage makes it clear that this game will be one unique experience.
Creative director David Cage has made no secret of the fact that Beyond will not be a sequel of any kind to Heavy Rain‘s story or mechanics, and with this gameplay footage, it’s easier to see what he means. Where Heavy Rain took an unconventional approach to building an interactive narrative, the actual narrative of the game was fairly common (murder mystery, with a serial killer twist).
For Beyond: Two Souls, the story seems to be anything but commonplace, and is promising to be even more tense and traumatic than Rain‘s. Following a young girl with a supernatural guardian is fresh enough; add in the Oscar-nominated actress bringing her to life, the loss of parents, an apparent desire to take her own life, all in a campaign longer than Heavy Rain, and it’s no wonder Cage thinks players should only experience it once.
The mind behind this new take on what a video game can be, what issues it can deal with, and how unconventionally it can be constructed while still remaining something people ‘play’ is on a mission; one that seeks to challenge gamers’ perceptions, not just give them a dose of fun.
We don’t yet know just how far Cage will push players with Beyond‘s story and themes (or – *gulp* – its ending) but the gameplay proves nothing is off limits. His studio is nothing if not ambitious, and as can be seen in the most recent trailer, the Film Festival circuit is already taking notice, even if gamers are still waiting for their chance to play. Have a look:
Previous trailer had hinted at the fatherly role Willem Dafoe’s ‘Nathan Dawkins’ would be playing for Jodie, and this brief snippet proves that relationship will go much deeper than just a doctor and his patient. Considering how enthralling some of the more memorable story beats in Quantic’s previous games remain, our hopes are even higher with Page and Dafoe driving the action.
How do you feel about this extended look at Beyond? Does it remain one of your most anticipated, or is this a game you’ll prefer to wait and see with? Leave your impressions in the comments.
Beyond: Two Souls releases October 8, 2013, exclusively for PlayStation 3.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.