Beyond: Two Souls Blurs the Line Between Video Games and Movies

June 6, 2012

The demo of the new PS3 IP Beyond: Two Souls dropped at E3 last night.

In it we're introduced to Jodie Holmes, a young woman who has supernatural powers through a connection with an invisible entity she calls "Aiden". Played by Ellen Page, Jodie's being interrogated by a policeman when we meet her. At the end, she's standing over the dead body of one.

The game impressed, winning one of the year's first Choice Awards. It was also one of the most exclusively cinematic trailers that's been featured at E3 2012.

Instead of showing us the game mechanics, the world of Beyond: Two Souls is presented through a series of brilliantly rendered story sequences. The entire demo runs for a little over five minutes, and the experience of watching it is almost identical to that of watching a movie trailer.

Making a high-end game demo can take a year or more and takes a significant investment, which means that Quantic Dreams, the French developers of Beyond: Two Souls, are placing a seriously high value on story content here.

What that means in regard to the gameplay, and the gaming industry in general, remains to be seen.

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