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E3 2013 Preview: Beyond: Two Souls

Last year at E3, Quantic Dream revealed Beyond: Two Souls, a new Heavy Rain style game starring Ellen Page as Jodie Holmes, a girl with a mysterious ghostly entity named Aiden following her around. This year, Quantic Dream showed a new trailer for the game, except it basically just showed Jodie decked out in military gear taking fire from African insurgents. A new direction for the game? Or perhaps just an attempt to cash in on the Call of Duty crowd?

Don’t let this new trailer fool you. Beyond: Two Souls isn’t a shooter in any sense of the word. The best way to describe the game would be a, “cinematic puzzle game.” Jodie basically controls like a character from Heavy Rain. Choose between dialogue options, tap buttons when they show up on screen in one big quick time event, and jiggle the controller and stick every which way in order to perform her actions. However, sometimes she will find herself in a situation where she cannot proceed onward, and this is where Aiden comes in.

You can switch to Aiden by pressing the triangle button at any time. Aiden is controlled in first person and has full 360 degree movement to take advantage of. He can fly, phase through walls, and essentially go wherever he wants, as long as he stays within a certain radius of Jodie. It’s his job to help Jodie move forward when she is otherwise stuck.

For example, in one point of the demo Jodie is pinned down by cover fire. You, as Aiden, fly out to fling some rubble around, choke some terrorists to death, and eventually possess an enemy and make him kill his entire squad. When Aiden possesses an enemy, the possess individual is controlled in the same manner of Jodie until you switch back to Aiden, or the possessed body somehow meets his end.

Through the spectral assistance of Aiden, Jodie manages to move forward through the enemy camp. This is the basic formula for the entire game. Jodie progresses onward for a certain distance before she can go no further, and then Aiden steps in, solves a puzzle that usually involves murder, before switching back to Jodie once again.

This is all well and good, but the Beyond demo didn’t tell us anything about what we wanted to know the most, what does this all mean? Why is Jodie in the military? Who is Aiden? How does Jodie end up bald and in captivity like she was in last year’s E3 demo?

All questions we still want answered and, perhaps purposely, all questions that will eventually drive us to buy the game. If you are a fan of cinematic games like Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy, then you will love Beyond. It’s dark, gritty, supernaturally horrifying, and Ellen Page gives an absolutely magnificent performance as Jodie Holmes.

Beyond: Two Souls is scheduled to come out October 8th on the Playstation 3.

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