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SDCC: Beyond: Two Souls panel yields gameplay details

11:14 AM on 07.13.2012

Jayson Napolitano

Music Editor

While yesterday's Beyond: Two Souls panel at San Diego Comic Con focused mainly on actress Ellen Page’s involvement as protagonist Jodie Holmes, a few gameplay and development details did slip out during the session. Director David Cage was joined on stage by Page, who many may know from her recent role in Inception, and Kadeem Hardison who portrays a police officer integral to the story.

Despite the heavy use of cinematic sequences in Cage’s past titles, he considers himself to be a game maker first, focusing on triggering emotions not normally found in videogames. Heavy Rain's theme was, “How far would you go to protect the one you love?,” while Beyond: Two Souls goes a little deeper for Cage, with inspiration drawn from the death of somebody close to him, leading to the therapeutic outlet of writing about it. And a lot of writing it was, as Page commented the script was close to 2,000 pages in length. According to Cage, Beyond: Two Souls’s theme is “What’s beyond. And the game will answer that.”

The gameplay was described as "fully interactive," and not something to idly watch. Players will switch back and forth between Jodie and Aiden, the entity from beyond that has possessed her from the time of her childhood, over the course of 15 years of Jodie’s life. Aiden will be able to walk through walls, possess people around him, and interact with the environment, with Cage noting that players will not only participate in the experience, but also direct it with in-game decisions having an impact on the course of the game. Page also let it slip that Jodie will pilot a submarine at some point in the story, and from what else we could see from the motion capture sessions, there will be lots of dialogue between characters to flesh them out and make them more real to the player.

While it wasn’t much, and no gameplay was actually shown, we are slowly getting to know what Beyond: Two Souls is all about. Do you think it’s going to offer something truly innovative, or will we find ourselves facing the same frustrations that we experienced in Heavy Rain?

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