Beyond: Two Souls launched in 2013, late in the PlayStation 3’s life cycle. The title sold well and is in the news once again due to its recent PC release. Yet, Beyond’s launch was rather divisive among critics and gamers alike. However, despite criticisms about the disjointed timeline, which was later made optional, and protagonist Jodie Holmes, writer/director David Cage said it’s likely the “most important game” of his career. In fact, some players may have find the game’s influence particularly evident in 2018’s Detroit: Become Human.
David Cage recently spoke with DualShockers about the release of Quantic Dream’s titles on PC. During the interview, he detailed how his work on Beyond has had a lasting impact on him. “You cannot imagine how much I learnt working on it,” Cage said of Beyond, adding that it may be “the most important game in my career as a writer/director.” Writing the game’s script allowed him to explore sensitive topics he hadn’t yet deeply delved into, such as suicide. Cage referred to this aspect of the process as “freeing.”
It was also a freeing exercise for me, where I realized that games could evoke serious themes like suicide, identity, marginalization, and the difficulty of accepting who oneself is. It was definitely a massive challenge to talk about all these deep and intimate topics, but they gripped me.
Even Detroit: Become Human’s writing and development were influenced by Cage’s experience with Beyond: Two Souls. “I really believe that Detroit: Become Human would have been a very different game if I hadn’t written Beyond,” he divulged. Cage also feels Beyond made him a better director, thanks to working with talent such as Willem Dafoe and Ellen Page.
Beyond contributed to more than just Cage’s creative life. In addition, it helped him reflect on his personal life. When talking about creating Jodie Holmes, Cage said, “Writing different moments in the life of a character was also incredibly challenging and fascinating. It made me realize how the different moments of our lives are connected, how each choice we made makes us who we are.”
Not everyone remembers the game as fondly, though. Of the studio’s three most well known titles, Heavy Rain, Beyond, and Detroit, Beyond received the most unfavorable reviews, having a lower Metacritic score than the two titles its sandwiched between. Cage seemed well aware of this and acknowledged that Beyond “may not be the most accessible game I made.” However, the creator firmly believed “the players who got it are deeply attached to it.”
Recently, Quantic Dream dissolved its second-party relationship with Sony Interactive Entertainment. On the heels of receiving an investment from NetEase, the developer announced plans to self-publish its titles, which will be developed as multiplatform experiences from now on. In addition to self-publishing, Quantic Dream’s next order of business is to develop new IP.