On Thursday last week, a panel discussion for »Beyond: Two Souls«
took place at the Comic-Con 2012
in San Diego. Indigo Prophecy
/ Heavy Rain
creator David Cage was present at the event alongside the star of the video game, Ellen Page, and newly revealed co-star Kadeem Hardison
(»A Different World«
). He will be playing a character named Cole Freeman, a U.S. government official who investigates paranormal activity and eventually ends up raising Ellen's character Jodie Holmes. While the rumour concerning actor Willem Dafoe's
involvement was finally disproved, a new behind-the-scenes clip showed Page with another actor, Eric Winter
, both in full performance-capture suits and in a range of scenarios, from conversing around a dinner table to maneuvering in what appeared to be an earthquake. The identity of Winter's character has not been disclosed, but judging from the video footage he could be a close friend or even a love interest for Jodie.
» GameSpot - Beyond: Two Souls - Comic-Con Panel (07/12/2012) «
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© CBS Interactive Inc. All rights reserved.
» Beyond: Two Souls - Comic-Con Panel Highlights (07/12/2012) «
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© Sony Computer Entertainment Europe / Quantic Dream. All rights reserved.
Although the panel was pretty restrictive with in-depth details regarding content of the game itself (except the fact that Jodie will pilot a submarine at some point), the three participants onstage took the opportunity to talk about the process of weaving together an emotional gameplay experience that has a deep narrative and even shared some private stuff like their video game experience. David Cage revealed that Hardison outed himself as a serious video game fan while talking for 45 minutes about his experience playing Heavy Rain
during their first meeting. Ellen in turn admitted that, outside of playing around with the original Playstation console, she is a lapsed gamer. "Other than a very intense relationship with the Sega Genesis when I was a kid, video games ended for me when I was 16. That was a product of school, work, life," the Canadian actress said in response to a fan question about her interest in taking on a video game acting role. "When it came along, my brain didn't even know how to process this opportunity," she added with respect to the wonderful chance of being a part of this unique project. "At first it was perplexing, just what it meant and what David was doing. But I was fascinated." In fact, she couldn't have envisioned two years prior to her work on »Beyond«
what she would even been doing: Acting on a virtual set in Paris, surrounded by 70 cameras and covered in body-tight performance capture gear. But after reading the script, the filming turned out to be an incredible experience, "it completely exceeded my expectations and was completely fulfilling as an actor. [...] I was so blown away and so moved, truly moved, by what they have created and the world they had created, the scope of the technology and the beauty of the game." At the same time, she thinks that what Cage has written is so powerful and so beautiful.
» Beyond: Two Souls - Behind The Scenes Footage (07/12/2012) «
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© Sony Computer Entertainment Europe / Quantic Dream. All rights reserved.
Speaking of that story, David let loose that he spent a full year simply writing the 2000-page script of the game, and that it required 160 actors over the course of ten months to film in its entirety. From the outset, he pictured Ellen’s disturbed character of Sherry from »Mouth to Mouth«
as inspiration. By the time he was done writing, Cage once again confirmed he could not see anyone else playing the part. During the Q&A session, a fan inquired about the inspiration behind Cage's story for »Beyond«
. Whereas Heavy Rain's
narrative was inspired by his experiences as a new father, he said that the upcoming game was partly inspired by the death of a family member. "I lost someone in my family that I was really close to. It was a shock. This was the first person I lost that way. People who have lost someone close will know what I'm talking about. I've never been a religious guy, don't really believe in god, but I guess I needed to find some meaning to this experience. For me, writing this story was a way to do that." Overall, he wants to write games that are more personal and have more meaning than the regular video games out there. While Heavy Rain's
theme was, “How far would you go to protect the one you love?,” »Beyond: Two Souls«
goes a little deeper and will answer the question "What’s beyond?".
The gameplay is described as "fully interactive," and not something to idly watch. You will switch back and forth between Jodie Holmes and Aiden, the entity from beyond that has possessed her from the time of her childhood, over the course of 15 years of Jodie’s life. Aiden will be able to walk through walls, possess people, and interact with the environment. Gamers will not only participate in this experience, but also direct it with in-game decisions having an impact on the course of the game. Furthermore, there will be lots of dialogue between characters to flesh them out and make them more real to the player. In this way, David Cage and his development team at Quantic Dream
hope to create a truly unique and emotional experience for all gamers combining the latest in performance capture technology and amazing acting talent.
Later that day, Ellen and David Cage met with journalists including IGN's
Greg Miller and X-Play’s
Blair Herter to chat about »Beyond«
, which is currently slated for release in early 2013 exclusively for the PlayStation 3. Check out the videos below to learn about overwhelming challenges of bringing the world and characters of this ambitious, next-gen ghost story to life.
» IGN - Ellen Page & David Cage Comic-Con Interview (07/12/2012) «
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© IGN Entertainment, Inc. All rights reserved.
» G4tv - Ellen Page & David Cage Comic-Con Interview (07/12/2012) «
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© G4 Media, LLC. All rights reserved.
Due to the lack of new in-game scenes during the Comic-Con presentation, I also strongly recommend taking a look at the following video provided by Vorzocker. It features 16 minutes of gameplay and some sequences which weren't part of the other 23 minutes long video leaked in June. [ Video removed at the request of Sony ] » Vorzocker - Beyond: Two Souls 16min Gameplay (07/02/2012) «
Watch video | Download
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© Vorzocker / Sony Pictures Film und Fernseh Produktions GmbH. All rights reserved.
In line with the current Comic-Con
festival, I would like to draw your attention to Morgan Spurlock's »Comic-Con Episode IV: A Fan's Hope«. While the documentary explores the amazing cultural phenomenon by following the lives of five attendees as they descend upon the ultimate geek mecca at San Diego Comic-Con 2010 in the first place, there are also extended interviews with some of the folks seen in the professional interview portions of the film – and even some that were actually cut out of the final version. Running a few minutes each, the subjects include Joss Whedon, Stan Lee, Felicia Day, Kevin Smith, Ellen Page, and many more, some talking specifically about Comic-Con
, some more about geek culture and their connection to it in general. Check the reviews on The Blu-ray Blog
for more information!