Posted 12 November

Beyond: Two Souls interview – David Cage discusses his supernatural epic

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There are few forthcoming PlayStation 3 titles that are quite so keenly anticipated as Beyond: Two Souls, the latest project from Quantic Dream – the idiosyncratic French developer behind acclaimed 2010 adventure Heavy Rain. Following the story of young Jodie Holmes (played by Hollywood starlet Ellen Page) and her mysterious supernatural companion, Aiden, it lit up E3 earlier this year with its stunning reveal trailer.

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We haven’t heard a great deal on the game since, so we caught up with Quantic’s founder, David Cage, at Paris Games Week for a quick progress update.

We’ve not heard too much about Beyond since its E3 reveal back in June. Is development going well?

David Cage: Development is going very well. Indeed, it’s nice to go to all these shows but we also have to make the game! We’re advancing – we’re now a few weeks off the alpha version. It’s always a very critical moment in the development of a game since it’s the first time all the game data is assembled in a complete version. This first version is often not very playable, but it’s the first time you can see the “complete” game as a whole. After that we’ll move onto the beta version, which is when the game really starts to look like the final version.

Just how different is the gameplay and user interface from your last title, Heavy Rain?

David Cage: The game is very different from Heavy Rain, probably much more than people can imagine. The first obvious difference is that there will be two characters to control: Jodie and this entity that is Aiden. We can do some really interesting things with Aiden: fly, walk through walls and interact with matter or characters in a rather peculiar way. What we showed at E3 was in fact a working version based on the same interface as Heavy Rain, but it is not the final interface of the game.

The first elements of gameplay shown were focused on action. What else can we expect?

David Cage: It’s a balance that will be a little different from Heavy Rain, where we really aiming for the atmosphere of a psychological thriller. Beyond, of course, will also have these components of emotion, depth of characters, strong moments, but there will also be a more epic, dramatic dimension.

All this will be part of a story with a logical narrative following the philosophy that each scene must be unique and different. Take the forest scene for example. This is the only scene like this in the game. We will have more epic scenes and other action scenes, but they will be radically different and have nothing to do with each other in terms of environment and the type of action involved.

Our goal is not to release a game that will just please the fans of Heavy Rain and that we could say, “Ah, yes, it’s like Heavy Rain but a little better”. The idea is really to surprise players and show them that we can actually go much further with the concept of Heavy Rain.

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Quantic Dream founder David Cage directs a motion-capture session for Beyond: Two Souls

Do any elements of Beyond: Two Souls echo your personal life?

David Cage: Absolutely. It’s a phenomenon that I’ve had with Heavy Rain when I became a father and I discovered the unique relationship one can have with their child. On Beyond, I’m drawing on another experience – one that’s less pleasant – because I lost someone very close in my family. This is what started it all – the desire to imagine that there may be an “after”.

Beyond is, of course, about death. But it is also about more positive things, like growth, change and learning to accept ourselves as we are. With Beyond, I really wanted to create a trip – something epic, emotional, and strong that the player will remember long after the end of the game.

Have you had much time to keep an eye on the competition? What games have you been playing recently?

David Cage: I loved a game that has not been discussed much – Papo & Yo, a PSN game that costs about €15. For anyone who loved Heavy Rain and is seeking different games made by authors trying to express something that goes beyond bam-bam-boom-boom, it really is a game to try. I found it amazing, surprising and deeply moving. You can feel that there is a real author behind it – someone who has something to say. It is a game that really touched me.

Have you ever considered tackling something like this – a smaller scale PSN title?

David Cage: I have a huge problem. Every time I start writing… everything I do turns into an incredible historical epic. It depresses the team – they say they will finally be able to make an “easy” game and at the end they don’t! I dream of being able to make a PSN game, but I couldn’t do it even if I really want to.

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Are you ever tempted to try your hand at shooting a movie?

David Cage: Quite honestly this is something that I do not feel capable of, and it’s not something I’m looking for right now, despite the few opportunities I have had. I’m happy to do what I do in video games. I’m not here by chance – it’s been 15 years since I chose to be in this environment. And even after 15 years, I do it with great pleasure, happiness and passion. To get up, go to work and to be with my extraordinarily talented team – year after year it still amazes me!

Do you have a message for prospective players of Beyond? How would you like them to approach the game?

David Cage: I think there should be no preparation for Beyond. You must go into the game trying to learn as little as possible!

Like other game creators, I wish I could say nothing and show nothing, and put a plain black cover on the shelves so that players start the game completely blank, with no information from trailers. This is something that is obviously not possible, unfortunately!

For people who trust us and who loved Heavy Rain – we will surprise you, we will give you something you expect without even knowing that you were expecting it! I think it will be a real experience. We believe in it and we’re working hard for it. We are really surprised every day to see the game being born on the screens; it’s a real treat and a real surprise. I hope it has the same effect on the players.

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Comments

19 Comments 0 Author replies
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looking forward to this. Amazing!

 
left4bread3 12 November, 2012 @ 3:18 pm   2

Looking forward to this , loved heavy rain. Epic poster btw

 
BabkaTapka 12 November, 2012 @ 3:35 pm   3

David Cage is amazing game creator. I believe Beyond: Two Souls be a next best game ever of his team. Good luck, guys!

 

I enjoyed the Heavy Rain demo, and bought the full game last Friday. The PS Move integration is really good.

Beyond: Two Souls is on my wish list, and I wait for its release. Do wknow if it will support PS Move?

 
left4bread3 12 November, 2012 @ 4:46 pm   5

@4

I hope beyond dosen’t get move support as Heavy Rain DLC was cancelled due to them spending to much time on Move support

 

Fony should have tried to have this game out before Christmas. They’ve a really weak line up going into the holiday season this year.

 
RossyWilson 12 November, 2012 @ 5:27 pm   7

@Voodoo341 While other publishers rush out games and churn out countless sequels every year sony lets the developers like quantic dream take their time and produce arguably some of the best games of this generation.

 
Adie_Stone 12 November, 2012 @ 5:36 pm   8

Looks amazing. Shocked how everybody has forgotten about Fahrenheit though. I prefer that to Heavy Rain despite HR being absoluty beautiful in every way.

 
dark_angel69 12 November, 2012 @ 5:50 pm   9

This game is looking great. Very excited to try it out. I missed out on Heavy Rain but been meaning to pick it up. Loved the demo for it. The poster looks class. Is there any release date planned yet? Would we be expecting it like early 2013?

@Voodoo341
I would rather games to take as much time as it needs than to have it rushed. Would you rather have it now and full of bugs and problems then complain they didn’t do a good enough job or wait longer when it would be a nice polished game?

 

Heavy Rain is the only mature game and working perfect with move, games like this is good to support by move why not with Beyond? i hope for some new gameplay footage soon, i can’t wait. guys ignore voodooo341 he complain is every post

 
Voodoo341 12 November, 2012 @ 7:10 pm   11

@RossyWilson

Yeah true… Fony let their developers have as much time as they want. That’s why GT5 was delayed by years, we’re all playing the Last Guardian and we’re left with two Nintendo rip offs this Christmas and a game that thinks it’s a book. Just brilliant! So much for best this this generation.

Fony.don’t.believe

 

I loved Heavy Rain. Finaly an adult game. The only thing that rubbed me the wrong way was the lack of prommissed DLC in favour of the Move update forced by Sony. I wish I could have learned a bit more about these characters.
Anyway, I’m looking forward to the next masterpiece of this studio and finaly a game that doesn’t force a stupid mp on you. Day one buy for me!

 
MohammedMK 13 November, 2012 @ 6:35 am   13

This game has to succeed. Everything about it is absolutely promising.

I played all of David Cage games “except the PC game in late 90s” and enjoyed them thoroughly. I like how David Cage is doing different things in the gaming industry.

 
VegetaSSjd10 13 November, 2012 @ 8:06 am   14

I think Quantic Dream don’t just making video games. I think they making art. Games like Heavy Rain and Beyond are reason for considered video games are something more and not just games.

Thank you Quantic Dream, thank you David Cage!

 
TINTINTB303 13 November, 2012 @ 11:06 am   15

I LOVED Heavy Rain!!

It was my first Platinum :-D

I played it through with the pad and with the Move.

The traditional pad playthrough was MUCH better. The Move added nothing to the experience and it did not feel natural at all. It really did feel like it was shoehorned in there.

Cannot wait for this game!

@Voodoo341
I would much rather wait another 12 months for a polished finished product than Quantic Dreams try and rush it out for this Xmas and we end up with a sub par game!!

 
Carnivius_Prime 13 November, 2012 @ 11:45 am   16

I dunno. I played Heavy Rain but it left me cold. I kept wondering why on earth I was having to use the joypad or move to do often quite mundane (and other times just bizarre) tasks that just were not fun at all. What was the point? I think I’d have preferred it if it was simply a movie.

 
TINTINTB303 13 November, 2012 @ 12:43 pm   17

Heavy Rain was/is a very Marmite game.

People either love it or hate and there seems to be no middle ground at all with regards to peoples feelings on the game.

I adored the story and also loved the replay value. For example playing the game to get the “Perfect Crime” trophy was genius.

I would have never played the game through with that mindset or from that angle if it wasn’t for that trophy.

I can see why some people didn’t enjoy it though.

Different strokes for different folks and all that.

 
Stonesthrow 13 November, 2012 @ 5:53 pm   18

David Cage is a god.

 
sackboy-j499 15 November, 2012 @ 10:50 pm   19

loved heavy rain hopefuly this is better i like games to reflect true life in emotion this should be fun and gripping