BEYOND: TWO SOULS Reveals Two-Part Gameplay, Ghost 'Force' Mechanics

Screenshot from Beyond: Two Souls
Credit: Quantic Dream

A bit of a shock when it was revealed as part of the game at the Sony Press Conference at E3 2013, patient gamers were allowed to experience first-hand Beyond: Two Souls' player character Jodie's experience in Somalia as an agent of the CIA.

As seen first and only at the aforementioned conference, Jodie and the mysterious psychic entity known as Aiden that she is connected to were recruited out of Willem Dafoe's character’s research institute into the Central Intelligence Agency. There, the waif-like Jodie (portrayed by the thankfully not 'uncanny valley' looking Ellen Page (Juno)) is quickly trained in spycraft and the deadly arts.

The demo picks up in Somalia where Jodie is attempting to reach her unrevealed target with the help of an AK-47 wielding child soldier at least half her young age. Pinned down in an ambush, Jodie must call upon the help of Aiden who the player can swap to take control off with a press of a button. While Jodie is limited by her physical presence in the world and wields a control scheme that recalls developer Quantic Dream's previous effort, Heavy Rain, Aiden can fly about invisibly and intangibly within a short range of Jodie.

To save Jodie and her young friend, Aiden has access to three powers that it can use to manipulate the material world, a force blast, a force choke and most creepily the ability to possess the bodies of enemies. After blasting a couple of ambushers, Aiden controls the second to last and gets him to shoot his ally. Jodie is no slouch in combat herself, at least in theory. Combat in her shoes involves reading the signs of her movements on screen and moving the control stick in the same direction. This process takes practice to get the hang of, as misinterpreting a movement to the 'right' on the screen as 'back' since Jodie is moving away can cause confusion.

As helpful as having Aiden around might seem, as the demo goes on its clear that its actions are not entirely in Jodie's control and its propensity for violence complicates her mission. At the end of the demo Jodie must say goodbye to her young friend, its not a long moment but its clear that even without real knowledge of the likely fate of child soldiers in Somalia, Ellen Page's performance comes though as she gives knowing empty promises to someday come back for him. Beyond: Two Souls is looking to be a worthy entry into list of must-play 'art' games.

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