Beyond: Two Souls Shows Off Bullet-Time Combat

Beyond: Two Souls Shows Off Bullet-Time Combat

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Jodie's ghost companion may be doing the heavy lifting, but she's far from helpless.

Quantic Dream head honcho David Cage has spoken at length about his upcoming narrative-driven supernatural thriller, Beyond: Two Souls, but we haven't seen much in the way of actual gameplay. That changed when Quantic Dream revealed a series of demos at a conference in Paris, hitting all the game's bullet points with an alpha build of the game. There are a number of similarities to the studio's previous title, Heavy Rain, but Cage stressed that Beyond is a new game on a new engine. And it shows - gone are Heavy Rain's choreographed quick-time-based combat sequences, replaced by a slightly more open-ended choreographed combat system.

The developer walked through several hands-off demos spread across several distinct stages of protagonist Jodie's life. The most spoiler-free was a section in which Jodie fights through a sparring match in a gym, giving us a glimpse of Beyond's combat. Unlike Heavy Rain, which flashed on-screen button prompts for every action, Two Souls adopts a sort of bullet-time system. Every time Jodie's opponent starts to make an attack, time briefly slows to a crawl. During this time, the player simply moves the right analog stick in a direction to counter the incoming blow, and Jodie reacts accordingly. It isn't clear whether the player has direct control over when Jodie chooses to strike or if her actions follow a pre-scripted sequence, but the right-analog bullet-time mechanic seems to drive all the action.

Of course, physical challenges are only half of Beyond's toolbox. Jodie is slightly psychic, and befriends a ghost named Aiden who can help her in a number of ways. In a scene from Jodie's childhood, we see her undergoing a number of lab tests to examine the strength of her psychic connection. With the press of a button, players transfer from Jodie's perspective to Aiden's. The camera shifts to a fuzzy first-person as Aiden flies around the environment, passing through walls and throwing objects with telekinetic blasts. He can also see auras around humans (living and otherwise), trigger useful flashbacks from their pasts, and possess certain characters.

The third demo was a sequence from later in the game, which consequently contains some spoilers, but showed how the mechanics play off of each other in more open-ended scenarios. At one point, Jodie must escape a raging fire. Aiden peers into the memories of a nearby corpse, revealing the location of a fire extinguisher. He then moved safely through the flames to push the extinguisher over to Jodie, who used it with the standard right analog stick controls. It appears to blend pretty seamlessly between Jodie's physical actions and Aiden's incorporeal abilities, though much of that will be dependent on clever level design.

Beyond: Two Souls is slated for an October 8 release, exclusively on the PlayStation 3.

Source: VG247

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So David Cage is making Heavy Rain: Punch-Out!! Edition?

...I am surprisingly interested.

Oh wow, bullet-time? Like in the film The Matrix?

It's so mature and emotional. Why can't videogames grow up to be more like David Cage's? He'll make us feel emotions we've never felt before. I can see his soul looking into his games.

He... likes imitating action films.

...oh.

I count three people in that OP photo. How many emotions is that?

David Cage has met Ellen Page... how about that!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
I count three people in that OP photo. How many emotions is that?

That depends entirely on the POLYGONS! Duh.

Max Payne, Ellen Page and... Joseph Gordon-Levitt? If this doesn't get him the Oscar, nothing will.

V8 Ninja:
So David Cage is making Heavy Rain: Punch-Out!! Edition?

...I am surprisingly interested.

Everyone loves a good Cage Match.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
I count three people in that OP photo. How many emotions is that?

Doesn't count: they're in an octagon, not a polygon :P

Proverbial Jon:
David Cage has met Ellen Page... how about that!

image

I was going to make a joke about fighting helicopters, but it probably would happen in this game.

V8 Ninja:
So David Cage is making Heavy Rain: Punch-Out!! Edition?

...I am surprisingly interested.

Actually, it sounds more like a mix of "Indigo Prophecy: Bullet Time edition" and "Heavy Rain: Heavy Emotion Remix HD"

To be fair, I'd rather play this than Halo or Gears. Same bullshit every year, at least the PlayStation has interesting titles like this once in a while. Not to mention classics like ICO and Okami. What does X-Box have? Nothing.

How many polygons are in her punches?

Proverbial Jon:
David Cage has met Ellen Page... how about that!

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
I count three people in that OP photo. How many emotions is that?

That depends entirely on the POLYGONS! Duh.

That was a trick question: since people have no polygons, the answer will always be 0. :D

On topic: I would like to say that I am interested but:

A) I don't own a PS3 (I am stuck with the old PS2, for the time being);

B) I can't really tell if these are actually gameplay mechanics or just disguised quick-time events. I mean, I am all for improving the dreadful quick time events we have now, but no matter what you do with them, if it's all just scripted they simply aren't engaging for me, and if that's the big chunk of what's in your game, it kind of reduces my enthusiasm (but I don't think I am part of this game's target audience, so nobody cares, I guess).

A serious Dragon's Lair isn't my cup of tea, I'd prefer playing a visual novel over it, as I choose no gameplay over uninteresting gameplay.

GangstaPony:
To be fair, I'd rather play this than Halo or Gears. Same bullshit every year, at least the PlayStation has interesting titles like this once in a while. Not to mention classics like ICO and Okami. What does X-Box have? Nothing.

Seriously? It's almost been a decade with each of the consoles. And your still on this "My consoles better than yours" argument. Dude, seriously. Just get over it.

EDIT: Oh, and by the way; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Xbox_360_games

There's your answer.

Ooh bullet time, I shall enjoy watching Ellen Page move around in slow motion.

j-e-f-f-e-r-s:
I count three people in that OP photo. How many emotions is that?

I don't know, let consult... 'The Emototron!'

*bleep**bleep**bleep**bleep**bleep**bleep**bleep*

'The Emototron' has a reading of... 'Apathy!'

Somebody better a jokes than me make a punchline for this joke:
Q: How many emotions does it take to change a lightbulb?

Only watched the first two videos, but I'm very interested in this. While the bullet time thing is cool, I have to wonder how well it will exactly play out. The Aiden thing was really cool though, although he seemed a bit of a jerk, lol. I wonder if we would HAVE to do everything in that room, or only a couple of actions.

But I loved Heavy Rain a lot, so here's hoping I'll love this game as well!

NinjaDeathSlap:
Somebody better a jokes than me make a punchline for this joke:
Q: How many emotions does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: One. If you give the lightbulb enough pride, the world revolve around it :P

Wow. Lotta people ragging on this. I thought it looked fairly interesting as a break from the type of game I usually play. I'll be waiting till reviews hit, obviously, but it did catch my attention.

So it's actually just more QTE, at least this time without flashing screen prompts.
Baby steps I guess, perhaps in 20 years or so they will actually come around to making gameplay.

Edit: Actually have to correct myself, except for combat everything else is the same old screen flash prompt QTE.

CVG had a great preview of this:

http://www.computerandvideogames.com/397161/beyond-belief-quantic-dreams-next-interactive-narrative-seems-stranger-than-fiction/

I for one am definitely looking forward to it. Heavy Rain was great.

 

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