Beyond: Two Souls, the latest from Heavy Rain creators Quantic Dream and director David Cage, has finally made its way to stores, with an intricate new tale surrounding Jodie, a troubled young woman who has a spiritual tie-in with a powerful soul named Aiden. Together, they find themselves against the odds, being hunted mercilessly by opposing forces while trying to stay alive the best they can.
There are some things you should know about each character before jumping in, as well as how to switch between them, so heed these beginner's tips well.
Played by Academy Award winning actress Ellen Page, Jodie is more than capable of taking care of herself…though she doesn’t always do so.
When you're first introduced to Jodie, she's a young child, and she won't be doing much when the game starts. That's pretty much left to Aiden, who we'll cover later on in this article.
Once you get through her younger years, you'll catch up to Jodie when she's undergoing military training, mainly through fighting. It's here that you'll be introduced to Jodie's general gameplay style.
Rather than relying on quick prompts like Heavy Rain – though you'll still run into them on occasion – Jodie's style utilizes the right analog stick. You'll use this to execute her punches and kicks, and it really depends which way Jodie is facing. For instance, if she's on the right and striking an enemy on the left, you'll want to push the analog stick left once the slow-motion prompts start – and the opposite if she's facing right.
It's not just about striking offensively. She'll need to stay on her toes to duck and jump as well. If someone's about to strike her from above, or she's coming close to a branch or object she'll hit with her head, you'll need to tap down on the analog stick. Likewise, if there's something on the ground she needs to get over, you'll press up to jump.
She has real-time movement in some stages as well, such as working her way around an Embassy or fighting her way through a CIA obstacle course. These couple with the other controls to create an interesting experience from Cage and company.
That's mostly it, though sometimes you'll need to do these moves in succession to keep Jodie out of harm's way. On occasion, you will need to press a button prompt to get out of a situation, such as climbing up a rock wall or successfully opening a hatch on a moving train. Watch out for these and hit them as soon as you can, or Jodie will fail.
There are some parts in the game where you'll need to switch to Aiden, the spiritual entity that's attached to Jodie. He plays a completely different way. Rather than relying on prompts, he can move around through walls, objects and people, though his tether to Jodie prevents him from wandering too far. He'll need to connect to glowing orange points, which you can do by pressing L1.
He's a powerful entity, though. In the opening stage, he'll assist young Jodie with telling which cards are being held up as part of an experiment. From there, his spiritual energy will come into play in one of three ways.
The first is forced object movement. Objects will highlight as Aiden goes over them, indicating that he can successfully interact with them. Simply hold down a button to lock onto an object, then hold the dual analog sticks down to begin charging the attack. Release the sticks, and the object will jar loose, ranging from anything like a water bottle to a table. The way he scares the living daylights out of a tester in a closed room by destroying various objects is easily one of our favorite moments in the game thus far.
Then there's possession. You'll become introduced to this later on in the game, when Jodie's a little older and confronted by enemies. You'll need to highlight a person that's weak enough to be possessed, like a sniper or one of the weaker guards. To possess them, lock on again and hold the two analog sticks apart. You'll see the screen light up, showing that the possession is in the works. Once completed, the subject's eyes will light up, and they'll be under your control.
You'll generally used possessed people to complete distractions, like crashing a helicopter or moving a car, so Jodie can slip by unnoticed. It's only temporary, and Aiden will soon move free once he's done.
Thirdly, there are those situations where you'll need to shield Jodie, as sometimes she just can't protect herself. For instance, if she jumps off a train, Aiden will have to keep her out of harm's way. Getting through a police barricade will take some work as well. Simply hold the analog sticks together when slow-motion starts, and a shield will begin charging around Jodie. Once completed, she'll be invulnerable, with Aiden's help, and get through whatever obstacle is in her way.
Finally, yes, you can press a button to switch back and forth between Jodie and Aiden on certain missions, but it's not as simple as "pressing X to Aiden." (In fact, it's triangle.) You'll need to work cohesively between the two during some stages, like escaping from a train infested with police officers, in order to move on to the next. Pay attention to the situation and decide which character is best.
Beyond: Two Souls is available now for PlayStation 3.