With the recent release of Quantic Dream’s new installment to its franchise Beyond: Two Souls, gamers have had the chance to interact with a story in an entirely new way. While Beyond: Two Souls’ predecessor Heavy Rain presented a similar playing style, BTS is a revolutionary game all in its own.
The game has had its share of mixed reviews, from the highest of praises to the lowest of insults. Some argue that the game lacks a fluid story, has choices that do not have any real impact on the game overall, and presents no more than a superb acting job by Ellen Page in addition to its stunning visuals. Some look at the acclaimed “flaws” of BTS and see a game not worth playing. However, this is only an opinion shared by some, and we all have our own opinions. I view these so-called “flaws” as the perfect combination of a video game for a non-gamer.
Everyone knows a non-gamer, whether it is their mother, sister, or friend who believes video games are a waste of time. The reason BTS is ideal for non-gamers is because it is not a typical video game, but rather an “interactive movie.”
Players play as their versions of Jodie Holmes, the main protagonist in the game, over the course of her lifetime. The player chooses the dialogue for Jodie in conversation, thereby giving the gamer a sense of control where they can be proud of what transpires following their choices.
The gameplay is very simple. The player does not need to know complex commands or controls to play properly. No action is too difficult to command, whether it be moving the right analog stick to open a door, or moving the left and right in opposite directions to take control of another character. Actions prove to be simple for any gamer of any skill level to pick up quickly.
Fighting sequences in video games can be annoying and challenging for non-gamers. Fighting in BTS is not easy, but it is not very complex either. The player controls Jodie’s actions by moving the right analog stick in the corresponding direction in which she is moving.
In BTS, if a player fails to complete a maneuver properly the fight still continues and their error does not affect the completion of the fight. Instead, the game adapts to the error and continues with the story. In most video games, if the player loses a fight they must start over, causing the gamer to become stressed and possibly “rage quit.”
However, because BTS adapts to the player and continues with the story, the player does not have a chance to get angry. As a result, the gamer will keep playing and enjoy the game, rather than becoming frustrated and quitting.
In addition to the gameplay mechanics, non-gamers are presented with an engaging story in a visually stunning world. Many non-gamers can relate to the story because they may find themselves relating to the challenges Jodie Holmes faced.
Whether it is being peer pressured to drink at a party, having romantic crushes, or anxiously preparing for a dinner date, everyone can relate to what Jodie was going through at some point in the game. As a result, they will only become more engaged in the story and want to continue playing to find out what happens to Jodie next.
While Beyond: Two Souls may disappoint the gamers who prefer constant action and fast paced gameplay, this game provides a solace for the typical non-gamer, as it proves to be one’s own “interactive movie” rather than a streamlined narrative action game.
With Ellen Page bringing Jodie Holmes to life in this aesthetically astounding game, non-gamers will find themselves wanting to continue their journey with Jodie through her life’s story and suddenly find themselves submerged in a newly found world of video gaming.