Developer: Quantic Dream
Online: Player Stats
The age of remasters is upon us. Games of generations past are getting put onto current gen consoles at an accelerated rate. Some of these remasters are worthy of upgrades (The Last of Us and Halo: Master Chief Collection) and some are just a cash grab that sometimes are worse than the original release (Prototype Collection). Today I’m going to tell you the tale; Beyond: Two Pauls. The original review of Beyond: Two Souls for the PS3 was done by fellow editor, Paul Bryant, which you can find right here. Mr. Bryant wrote up a very in-depth review of Beyond: Two Souls when it was released, so I would recommend heading over to that if this is going to be your first time playing this title, as I am not going to cover a lot of the things he already has.
If I may rant briefly about the landscape of gaming and releasing these remastered/HD versions. In my opinion it’s worrisome that studios are relying so heavily on releasing remasters of past generation games and not coming up (or taking chances) with creating something brand new. I draw a comparison to the film industry which has fallen on remaking older films rather than creating something new. Now I’m not totally against publishers putting out enhanced versions. Some classic titles and games that came out towards the end of a given system's life cycle are prime for a fresh release, and this is where Beyond: Two Souls falls for me. I didn't have a chance to play Beyond: Two Souls when it was first released for the PS3. Released in the fall of 2013, the very same fall that saw the launch of the PS4, Beyond: Two Souls missed an opportunity to be released simultaneously on both consoles and instead got kind of lost in the shuffle. With the lack of backwards compatibility for the PS4 at the moment I’m assuming this is just the beginning of the remaster era (fingers crossed for a Crash Bandicoot series remaster).
And now back to your regular scheduled review. Beyond: Two Souls for the PS3 was a game I was looking forward to checking out, especially having greatly enjoyed Quantic Dream’s other title; Heavy Rain. Unfortunately with the release of the PS4 I never had a chance to go back and play it… that is until now. Being that this remaster is my first experience with Beyond: Two Souls, I reached out to Mr. Bryant on some questions I had about the original release as well as doing some research. I feel I should start with saying just how gorgeous this game looks. Playing through Beyond: Two Souls never felt like I was playing a title from an older console. Like I said earlier, the game did come out towards the end of the PS3’s life cycle but it is still rather impressive how good this game looks in its enhanced 1080p state. There’s a good amount of titles that have been released in 2015 for the PS4 that don’t look this stunning. I’d say Beyond: Two Souls visually lines up rarely close to Until Dawn. Which is pretty funny because it features similar gameplay and motion capture technology.
On to some of the additions to the remaster. If you’ve played Beyond: Two Souls before you know that the game is played through different points of its main character, Jodie’s, life. Jumping around from child to adult and back. Fans of the title thought it would be cool to play the game in chronological order and Quantic Dream has delivered that feature in the PS4 version. Upon starting a new game you are given the option to play either the way it was originally intended (which is my preferred choice) or chronologically through Jodie’s life. Also included, and taking a page from Telltale Games, is the addition of stats at the end of each level. The stats at the end of a level will tell you what percentage of players chose what particular actions and where you fall in the choices. While it has no bearing on how the game is played or finished, it’s a nice add on to see how your choices match up with the general population also playing.
It’s also worth mentioning that the remaster includes the “Enhanced Experiments” DLC that was available separately for the PS3 version and features some usage of the DualShock 4’s built in speaker. Beyond that (would have been a good spot for a corny joke) there isn’t anything new in the two year old title’s re-release and to me, that's fine. I’m very satisfied with the care that went into this remaster and while it didn’t require many changes from the original title, it still impressed me.
Beyond: Two Souls is a great interactive action-adventure game that I really should have played sooner. It does feel like you do a bit less actually playing than Quantic Dream’s other title, Heavy Rain (which I am a huge fan of), but I never got to a point that it annoyed me. If you're a fan of the interactive action-adventure and story driven genre, I think Beyond: Two Souls is a must have. Plus if you're a Marvel film fan you get to see the Green Goblin try to mentor and teach Kitty Pryde! I kid… I kid, but in all seriousness Beyond: Two Souls remaster is a top notch re-release and its $29.99 price tag won’t break the bank.