Play it once and then don’t replay it. You can if you want, but I think the best way to experience the game is really to make choices and then never know what would have happened if you’d made a different choice. Because life is like this, and Beyond is the life of Jodie Holmes.
- David Cage.
And the reviews are coming in. First off is a 3/5 review from Giant Bomb. And a 6/10 review from Eurogamer. As you can see, this game's been getting some mixed reviews, with some great things about it (Ellen Page's performance, a more coherent plot than previous games, some of the ways that story and mechanics are intertwined) being marred by some not-so-great things (Willem Dafoe's performance, the existence of some underwritten characters and plot arcs, and the way certain mechanics only seem to work when the story calls for it).
And yet, there are some people, like Polygon and Gamespot that love the game anyway, giving 8 and 9 out of 10 (respectively).
I'm honestly shocked that Cage's previous games have gotten positive receptions, and I think these reviews show that the novelty is wearing off and people are realizing that there just isn't much quality in there.
So far, all three of his works have been games with lousy gameplay, choose-your-own adventures where your choices affect very little (put upon characters with pre-existing personalities/motivations), stories with terrible writing, and movies with (apart from one or two solid performances) terrible acting.
It's depressing, both because this type of game has so much potential, and because people actually believe that these are successful examples of it.
"Apart from one or two solid performances". In this case, those are the two big name actors.
Depending on how you look at it, the fact that most of his other voice actors clearly don't speak English as their first language makes the game much worse or much more enjoyable.
There are some gems in this game, but one thing that is perfectly clear?
David Cage is a terrible writer. The game flips around time constantly and there's no rhyme or reason to the events or mood that they bring.
And the entire Indian segment was just a massive "What" moment for me.
A lot of moments in the game you are just doing meaningless busywork, like...tidying up a house or some shit.
So I've actually checked this game out, and I'm amazed to find that it has far less plot variability and player interaction than the last two. It's absolutely shocking how little this game is played.
As for the plot, it's worse than Heavy Rain (once again, there's no actual theme or development, characters are one-dimensional, and Idiot Balls are everywhere) but not as bad as Indigo Prophecy. The non-linear storytelling doesn't add to the story at all, and seems more like Cage saw Memento just before development started and didn't understand what made it good.
Really? I mean, they weren't the worst chapters in the game (not so long as "Like Other Girls" refuses to leave my memory), but even as self-contained stories the bad writing is just so easy to see.
In Homeless, we can get Jodie almost getting raped by a middle-aged guy (depending on Aiden to save her) just moments before she single-handedly takes on multiple people who are in better shape, Cage's recurring use of implausibly luxurious apartments being applied to the homeless, and an ending that takes railroading to laughable extremes.
In Navajo, we get a lesser one, but one that reflects the Jodie/Ryan love story (and the romances in every Quantic Dream game): The option to kiss the oldest brother comes out of nowhere, other than the narrative demanding that he and Jodie like each other - actual events of the story be damned. It doesn't matter that he interacted with her no more or more meaningfully than anyone else, or that he was by far the least pleasant towards her.
Well David Cage whining, how surprising.
Anyway, my main complaints with Beyond so far are the arbitrary nature of Aiden's powers. You can kill or possess this guy but not the guy ten feet away from him? But, we've been putting up with that kind of shit forever. No one questions why RE protagonists have magic pockets with exactly eight slots in them.
Overall I can already kinda see "this game has a lot less variety than HR" but it only really has one "real" protagonist. You could fuck up completely with Ethan or Madison and still have Jayden to fall back on in HR. Here, you fuck up with Jodie, and what are you gonna do? You gonna go to Hell! You go to hell and you die!
Mostly, where I'm at, the most intriguing element is the non-linear nature of the game's story. Beyond is not a "detective story" like HR was but it has its own overarching mystery in me wondering what the hell is going on. Where did it all go south with Jodie and why? Why are the guys she did so much for aftr her? Is it something she did or are they just evil or what? That's kinda my...incentive to continue right now.
Also the "Soundtrack" you get with B:2S Special Edition is only 4 tracks long. What bullshit.
That sequence was so good. Loved the music to pieces.
It would have made more sense if I hadn't demonstrated for the little shitheads. Them knowing what I can do, and still taunting Jodie, really makes them Too Dumb to Live.
As much fun as I had initially... how many parties has David Cage been to where a bunch of pot-smoking, beer-drinking teens decided to play "burn the witch" and then locked the poor girl in a closet.
Because I'm pretty sure that doesn't happen in most social circles.
Another vote for "Homeless".
it's worse than Heavy Rain (once again, there's no actual theme or development
Woah, woah, woah. Jodie and Nathan develop. The narrative is annoyingly linear, but there is character development.
"This is John Crichton. Somewhere in the universe."