Sony's forthcoming PlayStation 3 game "Beyond: Two Souls" has quite the story to tell — good enough to secure a spot in a prestigious film festival.
The group behind the Tribeca Film Festival has announced that the forthcoming title from game director David Cage and his team at Quantic Dream is an official selection for the event. On April 27, Sony will show an hour's worth of footage (mostly from the video game, with minor behind-the-scenes segments). A Q & A panel will follow, featuring Cage and Academy Award-nominated actress Ellen Page, who played the lead character, Jodie (providing both voice acting and motion capture footage).
Closely following the first Grammy nomination for a video game (from cinematic title "Journey"), the Tribeca honor is another sign that video games are earning recognition as "real" art.
The selection shouldn't surprise those familiar with Cage's work. A few years ago, Quantic Dream produced a startling new gameplay experience with "Heavy Rain," a mystery revolving around a group of life-like characters and the mysterious Origami Killer. The tale unfolded much better than had been expected, making the game a cult favorite.
"Beyond: Two Souls" follows a similar narrative, but with a supernatural twist. It focuses on two characters: Jodie, a young woman on the run from the police, as well as Aiden, a spiritual being who is bonded to Jodie. Players alternate between the two characters, guiding Jodie to help her avoid capture, while occasionally using Aiden to interact with the physical world. The being's interactions range from making objects fly off shelves to fully possessing weaker-minded entities, including police officers .
Joining Page in the game is actor Willem Dafoe, who portrays Nathan Hawkins, Jodie's mentor. Hawkins plays a vital part not only in Jodie's bond with Aiden, but also in her current pursuit.
Cage has always taken a cinematic approach to video games, using state-of-the-art motion capture to realistically portray every emotion for each character.
The story goes a lot deeper than the video game narrative of advancing to the next level. As with "Heavy Rain," Cage's newest game changes a bit depending how you perform in each stage — eventually helping Jodie find growth as a character and revealing Aiden's true capabilities when the being is pushed too far.
"Beyond: Two Souls" will hit stores on October 8th.
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