I can’t say too much about the story without spoiling it, but it focuses on Jodie’s life, from a small child to an adult in her 20’s. The story isn’t told in a linear fashion, however, and jumps all around the timeline, much like the movie Memento, if you’ve seen that. With each event, you learn more about Jodie, Aiden, and the other people in their lives. You see how heartbreakingly different Jodie’s life is because she’s burdened with Aiden, but you also see how he protects and guides her. Ultimately, the mystery of the game revolves around who or what Aiden is, and why he’s linked to Jodie.
The story lasts around 9-10 hours, and they’re some pretty tense hours. It’s a wild rollercoaster of emotions. Despite my aforementioned frustrations with the (in my mind) unnecessary controller prompts, I always wanted to know what was going to happen next. The acting of Ellen Page, Willem Dafoe, and much of the supporting cast is stellar, and the graphics are some of the very best I’ve seen in a game. Facial features and body language is painstakingly captured, to deliver a truly cinematic experience.
But not all is perfect, even from a pure story standpoint. I felt like some of the “action” scenes were a little too drawn out at times. I was also annoyed that some of my choices in the game appeared to have no effect in an important end result. For example, despite the fact that throughout the game I consistently chose dialogue options that made it clear I didn’t like a certain character, towards the end of the game Jodie still responded positively towards him. This almost made me want to crush my controller. I’d rather have no choice at all than just an illusion of a choice. On the co-op side of things, while I didn’t feel the co-op mode was bad, per se, I felt that it was completely unnecessary. My partner and I felt that (for us) it added nothing to the game, and as such makes it pretty undesirable as a “co-op game.”
In the end, I felt like the only way I could review Beyond Two Souls was to take all the good and all the bad and treat it as both a game and an interactive movie. This averaged out to be dead middle, with some extra taken off from a co-op game view. As a “game,” I felt it was pretty bad, but as an interactive movie, it was pretty great. If you’re looking for something that feels like a traditional video game, BTS may not be for you; however, if you’re looking for a game that has a unique way of telling an original story with good acting and amazing graphics (and you can deal with the whole constant controller prompt thing), there’s a good chance you’ll like BTS. As far as the co-op goes, there’s always a chance you’ll like it - but I felt it was completely inconsequential and possibly a missed opportunity. Co-op Score: 2 General Score: 3
The Co-Op Experience: Beyond: Two Soul's "Dual Mode" allows two players on smartphones or tablets (iOs or Android) to control Aiden and Jodie by touchscreen gestures. Players can also use two controllers and alternate the characters. Dual Mode does not allow both players to play at the same time, with play being restricted to one character at a time.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.