Anyone who played Heavy Rain can attest to the excellence that Quantic Dream displayed in their ability to tug at their heartstrings. The tale of a divorced father desperate to save his kidnapped son was variously tense and tender and more than capable of allowing players to feel the whole gamut of their emotional range but, in another sense, it was very limited. The entirety of the game took place in a dreary industrial American city. Not that there’s anything wrong with that; in fact, an argument can be made that it helped to focus and direct the narrative. Whether you choose to look at it as a benefit or detriment to the storytelling, it has been confirmed that the team’s follow-up effort, Beyond: Two Souls, will be more of an international affair.
Speaking with ShackNews, David Cage, founder, CEO and creative director of Quantic Dream mentioned that the game will have you travelling more and exploring a wider variety of locations, but that will still be set mostly in America:
“Heavy Rain was set in Philadelphia, while Beyond will be set all around the world. Although it’s mainly based in America, you will explore different locations. You will travel much more. It’s going to be a journey in a physical sense, and an emotional sense.”
It’s an interesting little fact and we’re hoping that the two different facets are inextricably linked to make it a cohesive experience. Considering how bound up Heavy Rain was with its story beats, we have little doubt that Cage and Co. are entirely capable of pulling this off. In concert with the expanded scope in terms of its themes, i.e. life and death, it should prove to be quite unique and worthy of attention.
In the same interview, Cage explained the team’s decision to create a new engine to power Beyond, rather than iterating on the one found in Heavy Rain and his answer is interesting, to say the least:
“We’re just crazy people. We don’t do this for money or fame. We want to take risks because we enjoy trying to push the envelope. Does it make sense from a company point of view? Not really, to be honest. Being the CEO of the company, I can tell you that it’s totally absurd. But we enjoy it so much. We’re a team of passionate people. This is ‘what we should have done,’ but we’ve done something else.”
I can’t speak for the rest of the team, but I love it when I hear this kind of thing from a creator. The willingness to throw logic aside in the single-minded, unerring pursuit of a goal is something to be admired, and it’s disappointing that it isn’t done more often due to the safety found in innovating through iteration.
Beyond: Two Souls currently holds an unspecified release date in 2013, exclusively on the PS3.