When Beyond: Two Souls was released in 2013 is was seen by a mixed reception. It excelled in many areas but as can be expected with any David Cage game, the quirks that make it a unique and enjoyable experience, were not received well by everybody. In the case of Beyond: Two Souls I found myself on the favourable side of the spectrum, enjoying it for what it did. Re-released, Beyond: Two Souls Remastered has made some of the right changes to now appeal to a wider audience.
Beyond: Two Souls takes us through the life of Jodie (Ellen Page) and her ghost-like friend Aiden who has been attached to her since birth. Unseen by anybody else this gives Jodie “powers” by being able to have Aiden do things on her behalf. As such her life has been spent under the watchful eye of the scientist Nathan Dawkins (Willem DaFoe). The story itself is very good, the scenery is beautiful and the acting (most notably Ellen Page) is excellent, but how the story was delivered is what split opinion. The games timeline is split up so that the scenes jump back and forth throughout the life of Jodie, which did make it harder to follow at times. But I enjoyed it because it was different (I found the life of Jodie interesting enough to want to follow), even if at times I would forget chunks of the story.
Fortunately if that does not sound appealing the Remastered version lets you play the game chronologically. I certainly found playing it chronologically easier to follow, but still feel the chopped up version has its merits for being the experience it was designed to be. But now with that option it can appeal to a wider audience and for players like myself it gives a great second playthrough option.
One of the strengths of the game are its “choices”. Sometimes it is as obvious as choosing between dialogue options or an act for Jodie. But other times it is more subtle, in allowing you to do an action as Aiden, but waiting and finding another action can be the better choice. The effects of the choices at times do not seem to have too much weight to them, but I am always a fan of being given the option to fill in the story they way you want to.
The remastered version also comes with the “Enhanced Experiments” DLC but most importantly the controls have been tightened. In the original release the controls at times were quite shonky and these have been noticeably improved.
While there certainly are a lot of improvements in the game, one issue I had was still present. You can play as Aiden and you can float around, go through walls and other actions to that effect. While the game explains that if Aiden gets too far from Jodie it begins to hurt her, I found walls that you could not go through for no apparent reason. While a bit trivial I found this would pull me out of the experience at times.
The Remastered version of Beyond: Two Souls is certainly a superior version of the game to the original, there is not too much more there for players of the original game.
Some minor annoyances aside (mostly Aiden and walls) I thoroughly enjoyed playing the game in chronological order and that may be enough to be worth giving a try for anyone who did not appreciate the original style. But for anyone who has not played the original I would certainly recommend giving the remaster a spin.