quarta-feira, 23 de outubro de 2013

Beyond Two Souls

I put away GTA V (for a while) to start playing BEYOND TWO SOULS (2013), that is the new interactive drama action-adventure video game for PlayStation, developed by French publisher Quantic Dream.

In the publisher’s site is the plot of the game: “Born with a connection to a mysterious entity (named Aiden) with incredible powers, Jodie was different. In an adventure spanning 15 years of her life, your actions will determine Jodie's fate as she faces extraordinary challenges, danger, and heart wrenching loss on a journey to discover the truth of who she is. Beyond promises an emotionally-charged journey unlike any video game before.

As the publisher's previous project, HEAVY RAIN (2009), in BEYOND TWO SOULS the player is invited to experience a kind of a movie with special commands. The game works in what we can call “decision trees” and the narrative is driven by choices the player makes.

The idea of these “decision trees” is to offer the players some choices to create uncertainty and unpredictability among the narrative. Sometimes you have time to choose what to do, sometimes there’s time pressure to choose one way and at moments you have to choose some actions just to add charming flavour to the universe of the game.

To create a perfect balance between game and interactive movie, Quantic Dream brings real famous actors to the production, and you can see Willem Dafoe and Ellen Page acting side by side, but in a different interface. It’s not new; we have lots of games with famous real actors, but BEYOND TWO SOULS brings a new experience in using this cast to create the atmosphere of the game. Check the trailer below:

The narrative is the main point of the game and in BEYOND TWO SOULS players have a chance to use a second screen experience downloading an special app in mobile phone that gives some complement interaction to the story. The connection between different narrative elements give to the game a unique kind of experience.

As Dille and Platten (2007, p.52) remind us, there are a pallet of media elements (voice, sound effects, music, cinematic, text, graphics, commands, etc.) to tell a gaming story. The authors also say “think of them as story elements. Don’t forget – story in video game is anything that helps you immerse yourself into the game-playing experience. Story isn’t just characters and dialogue. An interface element can be a storytelling device”.

In the last year, we saw many games with a focus on the narrative and I’m very excited with the evolution that kind of game will have in the generation of consoles.

Now on to your opinion.


DILLE, Flint; PLATTEN, John Zuur. The ultimate guide to video game writing and design. New York: Skip Press, 2007

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