Friday 25 March 2016

Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls Collection

I don’t like my name (Jason), I never really have but as the years have gone on I’ve managed to live with it. In 2010, my name was dragged through the mud by a distraught father looking for his son. It was hell. I have to go through that hell again because Heavy Rain has been remastered for PlayStation 4 along with Quantic Dream’s other PlayStation 3 game Beyond: Two Souls. All joking aside though Heavy Rain is still a great story with a few niggles while Beyond: Two Souls is a bit of a disjointed mess.

Out now for PlayStation 4 and developed by Quantic Dream, Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls Collection is Quantic Dream’s David Cage at his best and worst. The designer of both games, he lacks an editor’s input, someone to cut down his ridiculous story ideas that never pay off. It felt like he had that editor on Heavy Rain but was left to run wild in Beyond

Beyond: Two Souls looked incredible, featured well-known faces like Ellen Paige and Willem Defoe but the actual story and gameplay felt like a complete mess. One of the biggest problems was the pacing which was scattershot at best to seem more artistic but it almost became in incoherent tragedy. Thankfully, the game allows you to now play through the story chronologically so that the flow feels a bit better. The story though isn’t great and any attempts to be powerful, emotional, or memorable fall flat in a lot of places. The game still looks incredible though with some texture and lighting work done to make it stand up to the big guns on PlayStation 4. There are some locations that feel a bit sparse but I just can’t knock it on its visuals.

The better game of the two is Heavy Rain but it does have a dull opening that I honestly completely forgot about. It’s intentionally slow, making you carry out mundane tasks to illustrate the sad life of the character you’re currently controlling. The mystery of the origami killer though is intriguing and generally well-paced and well-written.

Visually, the game features a much improved lighting system that genuinely makes everything look a lot better. No doubt the rerelease of both these games are for testing reasons to get acquainted with the PlayStation 4’s capabilities with their game engine for their newest game Detroit. Gameplay with both of these games are fairly similar. You’ll spend a lot of you time, walking around and performing rather simple quick time events. The pace at which these quick time events take place drastically change in the context of the scene but do expect some failures as things get noticeably tougher.

In Beyond: Two Souls, the game feels rather static for the most part. You never really feel as though you’re carving out your own story whereas Heavy Rain almost puts the outcome of the story in your own hands. You seemingly get to decide to outcome of everyone involved and honestly it’s more thrilling and enjoyable this way.

Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls Collection is one hit and one miss. 3/5.


Jason Redmond

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