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Old 10-12-2013   #1
Don Chipotle
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I want to murder David Cage. Beyond: Two Souls, a synopsis.

I fully anticipate this thread going unread or unresponded to, but I don't care. I need to fucking vent. If you ever, EVER considered playing or, god forbid, BUYING Beyond: Two Souls let me caution you.

DO NOT BUY BEYOND: TWO SOULS

I'm not saying that because it plays like a Quantic Dream/David Cage game where even the most rudimentary of tasks is a fucking quick time event and because the game doesn't remember that the ghost buddy has abilities until it wants to remember and that it makes the 'action' parts worse because tension is lost when failure and often success is just "good job pressing those buttons...now have the ghost solve the problems which he should've just done in the first place!"

No. I'm not saying not to buy it because of that. I'm saying not to buy it because the story, arguably the main point of these David Cage wankfests he calls games, is the worst thing.

THE. WORST. THING.

So I am going to tell you the story. I am going to spoil the whole game and how its own 'ending' undermines everything that came before it and how its presentation ruins everything it wants to do.

So either stop reading now if you're even remotely interested in experiencing it for yourself, or read on and then thank me for saving you ten hours of your life and money from your bank account.


Okay, so the game presents its story in a disjointed fashion and the various sections of the game are told out of sequence. I am going to mostly put things in the right order, but I'll probably bounce around because if David Cage can do it so can I.

On the timeline of the game's events, the prologue is the last thing on it because the prologue is just an introduction to the game, Ellen Page narrating for thirty seconds about how she was born with the ability to see things no one else can see.

THIS IS TOTAL BULLSHIT.

Not ONCE in the game does Ellen Page ever see something that others cannot see. She can't even see Aiden, the ghost buddy that she has with her for the whole game. Everything in the game can be seen by every other character.

Anyway, Ellen Page plays Jodie, a girl who was born with a mysterious invisible entity/ghost buddy named Aiden who "can't be controlled" (also a LIE since he most certainly can be). Aiden has the ability to make shit move with his ghostly powers and also he can shield Jodie from harm (but only when the story demands it because David Cage wrote himself into a corner multiple times) and also he can possess people and make them kill people (but only when the game says you can because tension or some shit), also he can choke people. But mostly Aiden just floats around and makes coffee cups fall to the floor like he was in Paranormal Activity.

Anyway, Jodie lives on and was born on a military base and is raised by adoptive parents because her mother agreed to have her child handed over to the government for testing but then changed her mind as the doctor's were taking Jodie away. As a child living with foster parents, Jodie starts having these weird encounters with monsters or something. After nearly killing a kid after a snowball fight, Jodie is sent to live in the Department of Paranormal Affairs, which is apparently a government organization with a bigger budget than the C.I.A. and every other actual government facility ever. Because, you know, taxpayer dollars need to go to studying ghosts and shit.

Jodie is studied by Nathan (played by Willem Dafoe) and Cole (played by Kadeem Hardison), two doctors who are really interested in finding out what is up with this Aiden thing. And for years Jodie lives alone with her two doctor friends until one night she sneaks out because her friends (I assume these are the same 'friends' who locked her in a cupboard under the stairs at a birthday party for getting the birthday girl a book on Edgar Allen Poe poems instead of lingerie) wanted to play a prank on her by telling her to meet them at a bar. Sneaking to said bar gets Jodie nearly raped until Aiden steps in and kills the would-be rapists.

Yes, rape is used as a cheap character development tactic but is only ever brought up one other time.

Jodie is then tasked one night with shutting down a 'condenser' which people at the DPA made to open a passage to the Infraworld, also known as the place where entities and souls live. It's like a dual heaven and hell thing, I don't fucking know. Jodie goes in alone and shuts the passage down. This gets the attention of the C.I.A. for some reason and suddenly now Jodie is being trained to be a C.I.A. operative because I guess the C.I.A. can only carry out missions with a fucking ghost now.

Remember how I said how the attempted rape only comes into play one time after it happens?

In a totally memorable chapter of the game, Jodie invites C.I.A. agent Ryan to her apartment so that she can impress and have sex with him because he is just so handsome and strong and swoooooooooon. After cleaning my apartment, putting on some fuckin' music (that is, music to have sex to), putting on my 'classy yet sexy' dress and making some 'Asian beef' (complete with added ginger because it is an aphrodisiac), Ryan and Jodie go to the bed to start getting it on. But then oh wait Jodie was almost raped once as a teenager and even though she made all of the moves on Ryan and invited him over specifically to fuck him, she is now haunted by the memories and can't have sex with Ryan because he might rape her.

This doesn't stop her from then trying to shove her tongue down Ryan's mouth at every opportunity anyway.

Anyway, Jodie is sent to some African country to kill an African warlord because he's a black man with power and America can't have that. Carrying out the world's easiest stealth mission (seriously, the whole stealth mission is just holding X to run to cover and then pressing square to kill a guy), Jodie meets a young child named Salim who has a gun because war is hell or some stupid metaphor. Rather than do what an actual person on an undercover operation would do and knock out the child, Jodie decides to put the whole operation in danger by fucking letting the kid help her on this ASSASSINATION MISSION. Whatever. Also, Salim is an Arabic name and not an African name and the child is clearly an African child, not an Arabic one.

Jodie and Salim eventually get to where the target is and Jodie has Aiden possess a guard, pick up an assault rifle, and just fucking spray everyone, warlord included. After confirming the death of the warlord, it is then revealed that one of the people Aiden killed was Salim's father in a cheap play at trying to illicit an emotional response. Good one, David Cage, I'm real fucking sad that I killed a guy who was allied with a warlord just because he has a child. You know who else had a fucking child? Fucking Pol Pot. So after Jodie kills a warlord and in the process turns another person onto the "FUCK YOU, AMERICA" train, she gets extracted by her dashing~ C.I.A. boyfriend.

And then it is revealed that the warlord was actually a democratically elected President. Surprise! America does questionable things with their secret missions! Jodie, being the fucking epitome of rational thought, decides to just say "Fuck this" and jumps out of a helicopter and goes on the run. She is now a fugitive wanted by the C.I.A. for treason.

During her sting on the run, she meets a group of homeless people, Stan, Jimmy, Walter, and Tuesday (that is the day she ran away from home.) This part of the game was my favorite part of the game for two reasons: it had some really good characters in the homeless people, and Ellen Page sang Lost Cause by Beck.

The homeless people were really nice people and somewhat interesting. But because Jodie can't get through a part of the game without things going tits up, shit goes tits up. During a dinner scene, Jodie reveals that she has a ghost buddy. The homeless people don't care because they're chill like that. To prove her point, Jodie cures Jimmy of his relapse pains and cures him of a drug addiction, reveals to Tuesday that Tuesday's baby is not a stillborn fetus, and helps Stan get over his loss by channeling the spirit of his dead wife.

Then Tuesday goes into labor and the homeless people relocate to an abandoned building where Jodie delivers Tuesday's baby, a girl named Zoey. Yes, you get to deliver a baby in the game. But right when you're getting comfortable, the building gets set on fire and in helping the homeless people get out of the building, Jodie gets put into a coma for a few months and then wakes up and flees because luckily she woke up on the night that the C.I.A. happened to arrive.

Now she ends up on a small Navajo ranch where she starts crushing on the older handsome Navajo boy that works on the ranch. She works there for a while and then it turns out that the ranch is being haunted by an evil ghost so Jodie plays Ghostbusters and solves their problems because the game needed to pad its length.

Then Jodie decides to call up Cole so she could find her birth mother. She does, breaking into a mental hospital and then mercy killing her mother, and then the C.I.A. catches her. But not to arrest her, no. See, they need her help because those motherfucking Chinese assholes built themselves a condenser and opened a passage to the Infraworld. And America doesn't want anyone using the condensers unless it is America. I'm not fucking kidding. The C.I.A. director or whatever sends Jodie and her C.I.A. boyfriend and his team to China to blow up a Chinese research base because China could potentially use it against America.

So they go to China, which is currently experiencing negative forty degree winter. Ryan and Jodie steal a Chinese sub to go to the underwater Chinese base where they are captured and Ryan becomes Solidus Snake by having his right eye cut out during torture because Jodie didn't talk. Because, you know, the torturer didn't want to torture the girl because that would just be barbaric and it'd be much more painful for a girl to watch her dreamy, hunky, charming C.I.A. boyfriend get cut up. Aiden saves the day again by removing the containment field that keeps the evil ghosts contained thus unleashing ghosts on the underwater base. Jodie blows up the Chinese condenser and escapes with Solidus Ryan (who wears an eyepatch for the rest of the game) and the two of them confess their love on the freezing waters of China.

So far you're probably thinking that this seems fairly normal, right? Well keep in mind that the order of events as listed above is not the order they happen in the game. The only shit that actually matters in the grand scheme of things is the stuff leading up to and dealing with Jodie and the C.I.A.

But strap yourselves in, folks, we're crossing over.

Back in America, Jodie is offered a chance at a new life. A new identity and shit. Jodie rejects this because of reasons and then Nathan does a COMPLETE OUT OF LEFT FIELD TURN where he reveals that he's gone fucking insane with grief over his dead wife and child who died fifteen years ago. Not once, NOT FUCKING ONCE prior to this reveal was it ever hinted that Nathan was so hung up over the death of his family. He was literally a surrogate father for Jodie, always there when she needed him and always looking out for her. But nope, turns out he decides to become a bad guy because he wants to talk to his dead wife and dead daughter.

So in the stupidest fucking move ever, Nathan decides to activate the super-condenser that the DPA has, thus summoning a bunch of evil ghosts to the facility. So Jodie, Ryan, and Cole decide to stop this because there needs to be yet another climactic event. Jodie encounters Nathan who is all "OH FUCK I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS PLAN OF MINE ISN'T WORKING, GUESS I'LL KILL MYSELF AND LET YOU FIX THIS SHIT, JODIE." So he kills himself and is INSTANTLY REWARDED BY INSTANTLY BEING REUNITED WITH HIS WIFE AND DAUGHTER. GOOD JOB, WILLEM DAFOE. YOU KILLED AN ENTIRE BUILDINGS WORTH OF PEOPLE IN YOUR SUDDEN INSANITY BUT YOU GET TO HAVE A HAPPY ENDING.

Anyway, Jodie makes it to the condenser and activates it.

We are now about ten minutes from the end of the game. And it is only now that the game decides to tell you what Aiden is.

Aiden is Jodie's stillborn twin brother.

That's it.

That's the big mystery. Your ghost buddy is really your twin brother that Jodie literally had no idea she had and yet is super sad about.

But just when you think there can't be any more stupid going on, the game pulls a Mass Effect 3 and presents you with two colored options: Blue and Black.

I chose the Black option because it was the option where Jodie lived because fuck you, game, I want a happy ending.

But Beyond: Two Souls doesn't care what I want.

The Black ending gets you a choice of four different epilogues. Jodie gets to have a new life without Aiden but she can choose to have a new life: alone, with Ryan, with the Navajo boy, or with the homeless people who are no longer homeless and live together and earn a living and have a home.

I chose the homeless people because I felt that Jodie would be happiest there with people who actually care about her. The game then goes on to say how happy the homeless people are and how they are getting by and how they welcome Jodie with open arms. A nice, happy ending, right?


FUCKING NOPE

Rather than stopping there, the game continues and it is then revealed that Zoey, the baby you delivered earlier in the game, is 'special'. And then it flashes forward to the god damn apocalypse.

It turns out America didn't learn from its mistakes and accidentally unleashed a ghost apocalypse that destroyed the world and only Jodie and Zoey can save it. The game ends with Jodie and Zoey, decked out in Fallout-style armor, standing on ruined debris starring intently at the ghost apocalypse.

No happy ending.

A fucking ghost apocalypse.

The end.

Oh but what happens if you pick the Blue path?

Well, Jodie decides to die and be with the good souls in the Infraworld. But she keeps in contact with the homeless people because she has a psychic link with Zoey and so she trains Zoey for the future ghost apocalypse via psychic link bullshit.

David Cage managed to turn a game about a girl who has a connection with a ghost into a fucking story about how America causes the apocalypse.

Half of the fucking game is made irrelevant by the ending of the game.

You know, for a moment there it almost seemed like David Cage was learning.
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How dreamlike to see my x-sisters, outside the context of a Papa Song dome. They sang Papa Song’s Psalm, over and over; background hydraulics underbassed that sickening melody. But how jubilant they sounded! Their Investment was paid off. The voyage to Hawaii was under way, and their new life on Xultation would shortly begin... Watching them from the hangway, I envied their certainty about the future.

Last edited by Don Chipotle; 10-12-2013 at 12:50 AM.
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Old 10-18-2013   #2
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I read the end bit, you've since sold the game to me.

Because hell, I like seeing 'murica screwed over by their own ineptitude in matters.

*goes to buy ps3 so he can buy game...
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