Tanner Reviews Beyond: Two Souls


250px-Beyond_Two_Souls_final_coverSo let’s talk about how Ellen Page is taking over the world… Oh yes, the cute and quirky young Canadian woman whose humble beginnings with movies like Hard Candy, X-Men, and Juno is now everywhere! She is in our movies, our television, our video games, and even in our very own dreams. GET OUT OF MY HEAD ELLEN PAGE!!! But in all seriousness, before I swear my allegiance to our new adorable overlord I thought I would talk about her recent work in the video game world, Beyond: Two Souls. While the game might quickly fall into the realms of obscurities and does not have the charm of games like Heavy Rain, this is by no fault of Ellen Page herself. (Please be merciful oh great overlord.)

Beyond: Two Souls is the story of Jodie (Ellen Page) who since birth has lived in unison with an entity known as Aiden. After her foster parents left her, she falls under the care of Nathan Dawkins (Willem Dafoe) and Cole Freeman (Kadeem Hardison) who work for a special branch of the US Government known as the United States Department of Paranormal Activity. After years of research and learning how to harness her telekinetic abilities, she is forced to work for the CIA and taken away from Dawkins and Coleman by CIA Agent Ryan Clayton (Eric Winter). The story then revolves around Jodie and the other entity Aiden as they cope with their new-found powers while battling other entities as well.

Pros

Ellen Page is Fantastic

The other actors in the game do a fantastic job as well, but the one who really does shine is Page as Jodie. She is portrayed as a very broken and tortured soul but with a true love for life even after all the horrible things that have happened to her. Page really shows the multiple layers to the character. Even though this is usually a role that Page seems to be comfortable in. But one that she does really well.

Graphics are Wonderful

In this critics opinion, Quantic Dream is one of the best gaming development studios on the market today. Their break out game Heavy Rain and even their earlier games Fahrenheit and Omikron: The Nomad Souls has some of the best graphics for their times. Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls in particular are two games with some of the best graphics that I have seen in a long time. With the attention to detail that the game pays to the characters and the world around them, it is truly astonishing work. The lines in people’s faces, the detail of background objects, the movement of the people, and the almost life-like representation to the actors Page, Dafoe, Hardison, and so forth is uncanny. It is truly great when you see a developers name on a title and you know for a fact that just by seeing the name on the box that you are going to receive quality from the product and this is what Quantic Dream can certainly deliver.

Cons

Forgettable Premise and No Wow Factor

The game is boring plain and simple, not to mention that is lacks a lot of the charm that Heavy Rain brought to the table. While Jodie and Nathan Dawkins are interesting characters but the actual narrative being told is just dull. The whole union premise between Jodie/Aiden is a story that has been told many times before and this one does not bring anything new to the table. The Ryan Clayton character is a dull and uninteresting romantic interest and just everything about it just feels very uninspired. Coming from a developer that gave us a game like Heavy Rain I would expect a much better and more in-depth game than what was actually given to us.

Conclusion

The game is forgettable. The graphics are phenomenal and the acting is well done too. But the narrative is just so uninspired and dull that I could never get into it. It isn’t appalling by all accounts, but it just isn’t enough for me to give a good score to. The one huge saving grace though of course comes from our Supreme Overlord Ellen Page (Praises be unto her) and the performance that she gives as Jodie.

Final Score 2/5

Thank you for reading. As always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more. Return Tuesday for another review from me and Thursday for a latest edition of Tanner Tries, in which I torture poor Brandon with various drinks and hot sauces.

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