It isn’t often that games challenge what is considered the norm. Often times they may be given a new coat of paint but are just the same as every other release happening that year. Quantic Dream is one of the few developers that makes a conscious effort to give something different to the market. The last time they did so they brought the story driven thriller, Heavy Rain, which ended up seeing surprising sale numbers and love from reviewers.
It wasn’t surprising that they would attempt to follow that success with another story driven title. Using Hollywood talents Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe they sought to create a psychological supernatural action story in Beyond: Two Souls, with initial excitement for the title high. As time went on, hopes seemed to wane and at release the title met with mostly tepid reviews. But was the game at fault?
Many reviewers lamented the toned down of the interactive control of the title. A feature they felt refreshing not a few years earlier when Heavy Rain released. They saw its disjointed storytelling without the linking factors that were present, in a style that critically acclaimed and cult film classics have used to great success, and marked it down for it. The irony being that many reviewers are constantly lamenting the absence of good story telling and strong single player experiences. Yet there is no balance as series such as Call of Duty see barely any negative impact for what are generally seen as weak solo experiences.
For far too long review styles have been designed to be one sided views of a title with a random person assigned to review the title. Many consumers do not listen to reviews as is, instead taking chances, trying demos, or even opting to rent titles before committing to a purchase. However there are still many others who rely on reviewers to direct them on what games to buy. It is to the point that a two sided system should be implemented, one that has both sides of a bias of a title shown.
By ensuring a review has two views on a title, it is more likely to be a positive benefit to not only the editorial publishing the reviews in an opportunity to increase readership, but to the publishers as well as increasing the chance for those who were unsure of a purchase to commit to picking up the released game. Until such a time comes it is up to the consumer themselves to take everything they hear with a grain of salt. It is the only true way to try their best not to end up with a game they regret playing. The average buyer should do the research if they are interested in a title and attempt to make an informed opinion on what to do with their money.