The Making of Beyond: Two Souls – Beautiful Faces, but the Gameplay?

Ever get that “man, how could I stand this before?” feeling when you go back and play an old video game you used to love?

It’s funny how that works; games that looked amazing just years ago lose their beautiful veneer in record time, and we can blame that squarely on the pace of video game technological improvements. Let’s take faces and facial animations for example, as Beyond: Two Souls really shines in that department.

Let’s talk about Faces…

As you watch this new “behind the scenes, making of” type trailer, pay special attention to how awesome the characters look. While you do that, look up a few screenshots from some of your favorite classics and compare. I think you’re going to be quite surprised by what you see, and that’s just one aspect of games!

YouTube player

That was pretty impressive, right? Well, it’s only going to get better.

Though I would argue that it’s a bad idea to make games play out exactly like movies, one thing I’m thrilled to see game developers adopt is the notion of having actors and actual people play the roles, and then suck up all that facial animation and movement data and inject it into the game.I don’t care how good animators are, they’ll simply “never” be able to mimic the subtleties of the human face and body.

jodie holding gun

ugly video game mouthIf you ask me, she looks pretty great. We’re almost at a point where eyes don’t look vacant, and mouths move realistically. Remember when mouths were just flapping triangles? Yeah…

I can’t say I’m too sad to see that go. Hey, Link… Listen… hey… hey… are you listening? This is me talking with my ugly flapping mouth. Hey… listen…. hey… hey…

But what about the Gameplay??!?!

Right, yes… the gameplay, the most important aspect of any video game. Well, the reason I put this last in an article about *ahem* gameplay, is because I feel that unfortunately games have been rather lacking in that department as of late.

If gameplay ingenuity kept pace with our advances in graphics, animations, and sound, oh boy… I would be a happy fellow indeed. But no, that really hasn’t happened, and unfortunately games are starting to resemble movies at a rapidly increasing pace. Tightly scripted scenarios and very little room for agency are the name of the game, and for better or worse, I think we’re going to see a lot more of this as well – especially in a game like Beyond: Two Souls. If you’ve played Heavy Rain, then perhaps you’ll understand.

But what about you guys, what are your thoughts on the matter?

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Chad

I'm a co-founder and writer here at Unfinished Man. I write, manage the look and feel of the website, and make sure that nothing breaks. I also reply to the vast majority of our emails, so if you're sending one through, I suggest you be nice. Everyone says I'm the least offensive of our writers, so they gave the email jockey task to me. When I'm not improving the site, I write about fashion, video games, politics, and anything related to science and technology.

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