A review of Beyond: Two Souls [The Daily Beast] / by Alec Kubas-Meyer

Ellen Page

Wherein I tell Ellen Page that she makes for an amazing rebellious teenager.

The first official video game review I ever did. Unlike every other review I've done, though, this one actually started as an interview. Ellen Page starring in a video game is a reasonably smart marketing tactic, because it's the kind of thing that will get non-game-centric outlets to talk about it. So it was actually a film PR company that I've worked with numerous times on Flixist that reached out to The Daily Beast (but not Flixist) about interviewing Page. My editor accepted and put me on the job. I requested a copy of the game (I hate going into interviews blind) and received it in time to marathon it over the weekend.

As with any Quantic Dream game, I found myself extremely conflicted by the experience. On one hand, it does some legitimately cool stuff with the way it lets players influence the story... but it is also poorly written and has generally mediocre gameplay mechanics.

But I like what David Cage and co. tried to do, especially how the story changes without people realizing it. Problem is? Nobody realized it, so people claimed that you couldn't impact the story while unknowingly impacting it the entire time.

(Awkward.)

Wherein I talk about how a game crash led me to see a genius moment. [Destructoid]

Let's be clear: your actions, even small ones like letting go of the analog stick for a split second, can have pretty serious consequences. It won't always, and the big fire scene at the end of "Homeless" is undoubtedly one of the biggest. (Another, bigger one: I failed to get Jodie out of her confines to play a scene that apparently takes place at a bar. Pressed the wrong trigger. Oops.) Anyone who says otherwise is straight-up wrong.

That being said, those consequences likely don't mean much to the greater narrative. But they're there, and many of them are actually invisible, so good on Quantic Dream for that... and pretty much only that. There's a whole lot that the game does very wrong, and it will be interesting to see if the power of the PS4 can help David Cage write better scripts.