Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain, for all intents and purposes little more than an interactive movie, was critically acclaimed and loved by many gamers. So how could the French developer top it? By hiring kick-ass big name actors like Ellen Page and Willem DaFoe for the follow-up Beyond: Two Souls, of course.
A game driven by narrative needs that narrative to be believable, and while we liked Heavy Rain just fine, some of the game's performances fell unfortunately flat. Beyond doesn't have that problem (not with the two leads, at least). And Ellen Page kills it in the starring role.
As Jodie Holmes, Page plays a CIA spy, a boots-on-the-ground soldier, a miracle worker, and a homeless woman, and she does it without batting an eye. In our interview this week Page gave credit to Quantic Dream founder and Beyond director David Cage for creating such a fantastic character.
But let's be honest, people. Page deserves plenty of credit as well. We also chatted about the game's dark, emotional story, the potential of video games, and the need for more strong female characters across all mediums. Read on for the full interview.
Something Beyond: Two Souls excels at is taking gamers out of their comfort zones. Did it take you out of your comfort zone as well?
Yeah, I mean, it took me out of my comfort zone because it's very different from shooting a film, you know? I mean A., I've never done motion capture before, and then B., you're making a video game. Very, very different process. And then, yeah, the game goes to really intense emotional places. And intense places just in regards to deaths and specific things that happen. So I mean for an actor it was actually an incredibly, incredibly challenging job.
Have you played it?
Yes—not all of it, but I'm playing it right now.
You play a huge range of different personas, from a secret agent to someone who's been living on the streets. Is it weird seeing all those different sides of you in video game form?
Yeah, of course. I think what's weird is yes, A., being in a video game—it's weird. I just wouldn't have expected that that was going to happen. If you'd told me that like three years ago, I would have been like, you're drunk, you know? [laughing] But you don't think about that. I didn't know that this opportunity would happen.
And then I think what's the weirdest is, like, remembering being in a room with nothing and just seeing how much they were able to capture, and then what they're able to create. You know, I'm such a minuscule part of this. Like just a tiny part. Hundreds of people all have put years of work into this, and I did what I could do, and, you know, for me it's like just as interesting to see it all come together as it would be for anyone else.