Revisiting Beyond - An Underrated Game

Many years ago I reviewed the game Beyond. It was the next major release from Quantic Dream, and their second PS3 game. For me this release was a big deal — not just because I was interested in it’s story, but because it was also the first time I got to be a part of it’s “hype train.” You see, when Heaven Rain released on the PS3 before it, I was what you might call an Xbox fanboy. (Well, Xbox and Nintendo fanboy.) I had no interest in going back to Sony at the time, despite loving my PS2 and PSP, and there was nothing coming out in PS3 that really interested me. At least, not that I was aware of. Heavy Rain was one of those games I actually heard about from one of those in store GameStop advertisements, and at the time I just completely ignored it. At least until I started hearing about it online.

The game was huge, and stupid me had no idea why. I started seeing conversations about it non stop, and I kept seeing all of the hype surrounding it. The more I read, the more interested I became, and eventually I realized that it was something I would really love — if I had a way to play it. So, long story short, it became one of the few reasons I actually wanted a PS3, and it was one of the first games I bought for it. After that, I told myself I wouldn’t miss out on what was to come, and that ended up being Beyond.

When Beyond released, I was caught up in the hype of the whole thing — I won’t lie. The game also came out during a hard time in my life, so it became a much needed distraction to keep my mind off of things. While normally I wasn’t the type of person to be into ghosts and spirits, for whatever reason Beyond was still a game that pulled me in. Maybe it’s because it was more focused in living the main character Jodie’s life (and not just a typical horror ghost story), or maybe it was because I loved the mystery of the whole thing. Either way, it was a game that kept me hooked from start to finish, and it was one I continued to come back to.

While Heavy Rain was something I have only played through once (at this time), Beyond was the game that I played over and over again to see what would happen. Originally I was going to get the platinum trophy, but a single ending stopped me from achieving that. Despite my love for the game, playing it from start to finish roughly seven times eventually burned me out. But that’s okay — it was something I needed to do. It was something I really liked and wanted to continue, and playing it non stop finally gave me the closure I wanted when the ending credits rolled the first time. It was a world I didn’t want to leave, and I one I didn’t until I finally tired myself out. It’s rare for a game to make me feel that way, and now here we are all these years later, and I’m right back to it.

Replaying Beyond on the PS4 had brought back so many memories of why I loved the game. Despite knowing the outcome of the story, there’s still some mysteries that I have completely forgotten about. And this time playing through it with my fiancé is yet another way for me to experience it. Although we aren’t playing the coop mode (which I honestly forgot about), it’s still fun to go through the story with another person. This time it’s not just fully my choices, and now it’s fun going through Jodie’s life with another. While I played through parts of Heavy Rain with friends, Beyond was something I played through completely alone. So it’s nice having that no longer be the case. 

Despite all of this though — despite my personal feelings towards the game — it’s actually really underrated.

While Heavy Rain continues to be a game discussed by the gaming community, Beyond is one you rarely hear about. While Detroit also isn’t as popular, it being a PS4 game has helped it to keep it’s steam over the past few years. But even then, you can’t put all of its popularity on being a PS4 game. Considering Detroit, Heavy Rain, and Beyond are sold in bundles together on PS4, and despite Beyond being a free PS+ title, Beyond still remains the lesser known of the titles. 

For whatever reason, Beyond just didn’t make quite the same waves as other QD games. Maybe it’s because it didn’t appeal to as many, or maybe it’s because it wasn’t as open with as many options as Heavy Rain. Or maybe it’s because of the whole “I’d rather buy a movie and not play one” argument. Either way, Beyond just wasn’t as popular, and it really is a shame. 

Now that we are back in the Halloween Season, I see it as the perfect chance to give this game another shot. If you haven’t checked it out before, now is a great time to jump in. Or if you haven’t played it in a long time, why not be like me and give it another replay? It’s a pretty special game, and it’s unique story is worth experiencing more than once. 

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