Interview: David Cage on why Beyond isn't another Heavy Rain

"Much more exploration," promises Quantic Dream boss in massive, must-read Q&A

Most of E3's truly stunning games are destined for next-gen platforms, games like Star Wars: 1313 and Watch Dogs. David Cage's Beyond: Two Souls looked equally incredible, but here's the amazing bit: it's running entirely on the PS3. How is this possible, and how does it work?

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"People think we are going to have twenty levels of Jodie running in the forest riding the bike, which is absolutely not the case," David Cage tells us before the interview has even begun. "Because it's the only time you're running in the forest, it's the only time you're chased, it's the only time you're on a bike. Our aim was to make the game fully organic."

"So you really get the feeling you're not in a videogame but you are in a cinematic experience. Although it's interactive all the time, don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying it's not interactive. I'm just saying its organic, it's different, it's diverse."


The game plays out across 15 years, so we'll get to see the main character as a little girl. Did you also use Ellen Page for her, or did you have a child actress?

We used a tiny Ellen Page! Sorry, sorry. Ellen is playing the character of Jodie between 14 and an adult. And the young version is played by a young actress, who's an American actress. She's eight or nine years old.

So, will it be like Heavy Rain, with dynamic gameplay and storytelling, where if you fail to make one quick-time event something else happens?

It's not so much about quick time events. I mean, it's exactly the same way as Heavy Rain. This is what I've not explained. What I've shown you here is just one walkthrough. It's just one version of a scene, and depending how you play, you will see many different things. You can get arrested in this scene, for example, and unlock an entirely new part of the scene that you've not seen before. And this is true of each scene. Each scene can be played in different ways and you can see different things. But the scale of the full story is the same depending on the actions and decisions that you make. It's not about succeeding or failing, it's about what you do, what you decide, what you choose. You will have consequences in your life. So this is what is really important.

At the moment there seems to be the same sort of button prompts as Heavy Rain...

This has the same interface at the moment. That may still change before the end, (but) this is not the same gameplay. In Heavy Rain, where Jayden was chased in the market, for example, you were just evading the cops. He was running on his own, he was choosing his gun on his own, you were just choosing prompts. Here, when she's in the forest, you are controlling Jodie. When she runs on the slope, when she runs in the forest, when she runs in the train, wherever she is. You're in control all the time and the prompts are used much more like in God of War.


How large was that area?


Could she have run a long way left and right?

Of course, of course. Again, we just chose one path, we just showed one way, but you are almost free to go wherever you want all the time. This is something I can spend two hours explaining. You won't get it until you've played it, actually. But the big difference also with Heavy Rain is we have much more exploration in, beyond that we which we had on Heavy Rain. Heavy Rain was mainly set in small environments or in small houses.

Interesting. So there's going to be a greater sense of scale this time?

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