Beyond Two Souls: Kris’ Game of the Month, January

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This is a sh**storm waiting to happen…

Hey guys, its your girl KrisSimsters with the first Game of the Month of 2016 and the first game on my hit-list is Quantic Dream’s third, interactive release, Beyond Two Souls. Now before we get any further, I would just like to say that I do not like this game. Some say that my hatred for this particular game is so real that I might want to burn it into the ground. So why am I doing this? Because sometimes you have to talk about some things you don’t like and who knows, there are probably some people-more people-who likes this game more than I hate it. So lets talk about Beyond Two Souls, shall we?


 

BACKGROUND & PLOT:

 

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Why wasn’t this beautiful art part of the game? I would have liked it more if it was included.

BACKGROUND: Beyond Two Souls was released on October 8th, 2013, three years after the very successful Heavy Rain. It was a PS3 exclusive, but in November of 2015 it was remastered and re-released for the PS4. It was developed by Quantic Dream, the same people behind Heavy Rain and Indigo Prophecy and released under Sony Computer Entertainment.

 

It received a 3.5/5 on Metacritic, 6/10 on IGN, and a 9/10 on GameSpot. It stars Ellen Page as Jodie Holmes, a girl who spends fifteen years trying to solve the strange, spiritual surrounding her known as Aiden. Because of her strange powers, she has to stay at a research facility with a man by the name of Nathan Dawkins being her surrogate father. Nathan is voiced William Dafoe and you know something at some point is going to set him off and make him the bad guy. Because its frigging William Dafoe, its how we see him.

PLOT (In Chronological Order): The story starts off a woman giving birth to a set of twins, one of the twins didn’t make it and the other twin is a girl named Jodie. But Jodie’s Mom is a bit crazy in the head so Jodie gets taken away and is put up for adoption. Years later, Jodie is adopted and she feels that something isn’t right.

Its soon discovered that she has a spiritual presence surrounding her by the name of Aiden. Aiden, though he’s protective of Jodie, causes her a lot of trouble. It gets to the point that her adoptive parents no longer wants to take care of her and send her off to a research facility. There she is taken care of by a researcher by the name of Nathan Dawkins and his lab assistant, Cole Freeman. It isn’t long before Cole and Nathan become her surrogate fathers while doing research on Aiden.

Shortly after Jodie’s permanent stay at the research facility, Nathan learns that his wife and daughter were killed by a drunk driver while coming back from visiting family. This causes a new connection between Jodie and Aiden as Jodie can now communicate with the dead. She uses this new form of  communication with Nathan so his wife and daughter can say goodbye. Also, remember how I stated that someway, somehow, William Dafoe’s character will either be evil or descend into madness? Well, this moment slowly descends Nathan into madness, but we won’t see more of it till towards the end of the game.

Into her teenage years (it might be preteen, I’m not quite sure) Jodie is invited to one of Nathan’s co-worker’s daughter birthday party and since Jodie hardly leaves the facility, she has no idea how to communicate. Long story short, the other teens humiliate Jodie and Aiden, as Jodie’s spiritual protector, gets his revenge on the teens. It does not matter if you think the revenge is wrong, you cannot leave without getting revenge on these teens. And if doesn’t matter if Aiden sets the stove on fire, the house will always be on fire.

Another major thing that happens in her teens is that Nathan wakes her up in the middle of the night, saying that something has gone wrong, but its more like smart people doing stupid things. Long story short, scientists have built a condenser between the Human world and the Infraworld and in the previous night, the entities (who are darker than Aiden), have escaped and Jodie is the only one who can get close enough to shut it down. Jodie is at this point, at least sixteen at this point. Why do that to her? Yeah, she shuts it down, but she has to walk through all those dead bodies and halfway through, the dark entities take over some of the dead bodies and its just a bad experience.

Moving on, when Jodie is eighteen, a man by the name of Ryan Clayton comes and takes Jodie to train at the CIA. She does not go quietly, since she knows that this means she’ll probably never see Nathan and Cole again. Once she completes her CIA training, she goes on a mission to go to Somalia to take down war criminal Gemaal Sheik Charrief. OK, so I’m calling this the bullshit area of the game and I’m going to tell you why; yes, Jodie finds Gemaal Sheik Charrief and kills him, along with his men, but she also kills a kid’s father.

The kid, Salim, takes Jodie to Gemaal, not knowing what her intentions were because she doesn’t understand him and we can’t understand him BECAUSE THIS PORTION OF THE GAME DOESN’T PROVIDE SUBTITLES!! We are left just as blind as Jodie throughout this mission. In fact, as we learn later on, ANY CIA mission Jodie does in this game is completely bullshit and I’m going to tell you why later.

Once Jodie learns that Gemaal Sheik Charrief is not a war criminal, but is in fact a democratically, elect president who could have probably done some good for the country; she gets mad at Ryan and decides to go AWOL because she was lied too and while I know that she has the right to be upset, she doesn’t have the right to go AWOL. And she doesn’t have the right to threaten the CIA to kill them when she knows they’re going to come after her. I don’t care how in the right you think you are, that goes out the window when you not only go AWOL and then in some attempt to sound badass threaten to kill the people who you know are coming after you just because decided to bail.

The whole on the lamb portion of the game just pure bullshit in my opinion, even though I was glad to help the homeless people and I was OK with helping Jay and his family, I wasn’t a huge fan of these parts of the game because they were going to play a huge hand in the multiple endings of the game. And David Cage wanted to provide some kind of love triangle even though either of the men have met each other and will not meet each other throughout the game. And in case your wondering, I didn’t have Jodie kiss each other for this particular reason.

Its been years later and Jodie meets up with Cole again, claiming that she wants to see her mother. Its has been years and Jodie is still on the lamb, remember that. Cole tells Jodie that her biological mother, Norah Grey, is being held at a military hospital so they go and visit her. Norah Grey, as we soon find out, can use telekinesis as well as Jodie’s unknown biological father, making Jodie a very powerful baby.

So Jodie is basically an experiment child. She was adopted from birth to a military family and when she started using her powers, they sent her to Nathan and the moment Jodie turns eighteen, Nathan hands her to the CIA, who trains her. So where is she going now? Back to Nathan and the CIA because once she leaves her mother’s hospital room, she’s caught by the CIA because Cole still works for Nathan and Nathan works for the CIA so basically, Cole set Jodie up knowing this was going to happen.

Remember how I said CIA missions are stupid in this game? Well the stupidity continues with this final CIA mission Jodie has to on with Ryan and two other soldiers. Well this also plays into the smart people do stupid shit category because Jodie’s final mission in order to leave the CIA is to destroy a Chinese-based condenser with a small team led by Ryan and only other two CIA soldiers she trained with. Again, we complete the mission, but this leads to major problems in the final stages because this whole game has so many plot holes and its predictability factor is appalling.

Here’s how things goes in a summary sense; Nathan Dawkins finally descends into his madness. As it turns out (of course) Nathan was the one who started the study on the Infraworld shortly after his wife and daughter died and after Jodie used her power to communicate with the dead, bringing them back so they could say goodbye to him. This probably means that he’s the one who caused that rift the first time around when Jodie was a teenage.

He was the one who sent her into that lab with all the dead scientists because he knew she was the only one who could stop it. Just he like he knew she would be the only one who could probably stop the condenser in Kaziristan because Nathan Dawkins is the overall antagonist in this game because he is voiced and controlled by William Dafoe and its how the game demands it. So do not be shocked or sad when he kills himself later in the game because he wants to be with his family. Just be glad its almost over.

Things have now gone berserk because Nathan has decided to shut down the containment field, merging the human world and the Infraworld. Why did he do this, you might ask? Because he wanted to make death meaningless. The only way for this to be all over is if they to the Black Sun and destroy it. Along the way, Cole is injured by entities and Ryan scarifies his own safety so Jodie can destroy the condenser.

The whole game finally comes together as Jodie shuts down the condenser, realizing that Aiden is her stillborn twin brother, which is why he’s was so protective of her.  This leaves Jodie with a choice, go back to the living world and or go into the Infraworld and be with the people she has lost. The only reason I chose the Zoe ending is because I didn’t kiss Ryan and I didn’t kiss Jay and I didn’t want her to be alone, so I chose her go to back to the homeless people, who are doing much better now. The homeless chapter was the only chapter I truly liked doing in this whole game, everything else can just go into the Black Sun and be forgotten.


FINAL THOUGHTS:

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A Sequel You Will Never Get

I would normally do a Pros and Cons section, but there are so many Cons to this game that I’ve decided to just put in with my final thoughts. I hated this game, this game can be shot into oblivion for all I care. Even though I like Ellen Page, I hated Jodie in this game. The game wanted me to feel bad for her because of all the bull she goes through, but honestly halfway through, I wanted to kill her off and turn on my PS3. Of course, the only way she can die is in the end. You can’t kill her off beforehand and it pissed me off because she was doing stupid crap throughout the whole game.

Consequences meant nothing in this game. And you know what pisses me off the most. That it came from the same D-bag who made Heavy Rain, one of my favorite games. This game can die in the Infraworld for all I care, once this review is done, I’m never touching this game again. If I hadn’t digitally downloaded this game back when it first came out, I would take it to Gamestop and sell it. As a not-so-great man once said,

“This is the most beautiful game I ever wanted to punch in the face.”

Stay golden, guys.

Final rating: 2/10

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