Heavy Rain/ Beyond Two Souls
Heavy Rain/ Beyond Two Souls
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When you're saying anything at all about Quantic Dream, the first thing you need to say is that they're bold. They produce thrillers that don't quite fit into any pre-existing genres and here PS4 owners can dig right in with remastered versions of two PS3 classics. With Heavy Rain, Quantic Dream set out to produce an interactive noir thriller that's truly cinematic in scope with masses of tension, very human (and flawed) characters and multiple branching pathways for players to wind their way along. So, a quick plot rundown - a difficult job without giving away spoilers but, here we go: in Heavy Rain the basic aim is to save someone from death and to catch the person who put the victim in the position whereby they could die. Oh, and the perpetrator happens to be a serial killer. He or she is "The Origami Killer". You achieve these tasks by conversing (if you're not a fan of the Mass Effects or Monkey Islands of the gaming world, you may want to stop reading now) and by completing quicktime events. Unlike most games, you control five characters: a father, a female journalist, a male FBI profiler, a male private eye and one further character. You do this in different parts of the game, not simultaneously. With the control system, it must be said that Quantic Dream produced an imaginative and pleasant-to-use method of getting the most from the controller. As well as certain basic movements for getting about the game, you'll use motion control at certain moments to follow on-screen prompts that can be deceptively tricky. Getting them wrong can mean anything from failing to sit down to sudden death. Death in Heavy Rain is unlike that which you see in other games. There is no miraculous resurrection - once a character is dead the game continues without them, adjusting the plot to accommodate their untimely departure. You can actually allow all the playable characters to die and still see the ending of the game, such is the branching nature of the story. Heavy Rain could well draw you deeper into a game than you've ever gone before. Beyond: Two Souls is another big stride into heavily narrative-driven games from Quantic Dream. Yes, we've certainly had stories in games for a looooong time now, but not quite like Quantic Dream does them. The game follows Jodie, a young woman who has had a strange psychic connection to an entity called Aiden since birth. After frightening everyone around her with the strange abilities Aiden gives her, Jodie is taken into the care of a doctor, Nathan, and finds herself working for a government agency. Working for a government agency never goes smoothly for people with spooky powers, however, and she soon ends up on the run and trying to figure out the true nature of Aiden. The game plays out with the player controlling both Jodie and Aiden, directly and through a series of sophisticated QuickTime events. The real power of Beyond: Two Souls is in its story. It's a character-driven narrative that's got more in common with The X-Files than the usual all-out action and over-the-top antics of games. Hollywood character actors Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe have been brought in to play Jodie and Nathan, respectively, and bring both their voices and motion capture to their roles.