Beyond: Two Souls cemented its role as one of 2013's most highly anticipated game at Comic-Con this year, with creator David Cage joining Ellen Page and Kadeem Hardison on stage for a special discussion. Moderated by IGN's Greg Miller, the trio talked about the inspiration behind the game, how it all came together and more--all without trying to give away any spoilers of the story. Boo.
The most interesting aspect learned from the panel was how Cage began writing the story of Beyond: Two Souls. Answering a fan's question, he revealed how he was led to creating a new game after a sudden death of a close family member: "It's really a shocking experience. It was so sudden, unfair and cruel and incredible, and I've never been a religious guy, (don't really believe in god) but I needed to find some meaning to this experience."
And so which question is Cage attempting to answer, like he did for Heavy Rain? "What's beyond?" (Get it?) In the game, Ellen Page plays Jody Holmes, a young woman who is followed by a strange entity. She must learn to use, move and accept its presence, which Cage hopes will create an unique experience for a gamer, one that is "more personal and have more meaning."
Fans were also treated to more footage of the motion capture process of the game, where they were able to capture the entire acting performances of Page, Hardison, and the other cast members in their roles. "You can shoot everything at the same time...where the actor is free to move around. We captured body, face and voice at the same time." The hardest part for Page was at the beginning, where she was forced to use her imagination to act out a scene, since they were all on an empty stage. But in the end, the motion capture experience was great: "You realize that you're surrounded by 70 cameras and you can really go with what you're feeling...It was much more freeing."
The role of Jody Holmes was also specifically written for Page. Cage spoke about how he put the script together by looking at old photographs of her, from which he was able to build the character, personality, and voice. Only after finishing the story did he reach out to Page to gauge her interest in participating in the game! On her end, she spoke about how she was "completely blown away by the story, this 2,000 page of an epic adventure." As a seasoned actress, she was "totally on board to do something completely new and challenging."
Other details that we learned:
- The gameplay for Beyond allows players to switch between Jody and the entity. This means, "you're invisible, float around and go through walls. It's fully interactive all the time. You control the story."
- Kadeem might have leaked information about his role as Cole Freeman, a government agent who researches paranormal activity and "raises" Jody Holmes (from the dead?).
- Page had such a great experience with Beyond that she's telling all of her actor friends to get into voice acting for video games.
- Cage used a photo of Page from her movie, Mouth to Mouth, where she had a shaved head.
Beyond: Two Souls will be released for the PlayStation 3 in 2013.