French game developer Quantic Dream experienced a slow start when they launched Omikron: The Nomad Soul, their first retail project, in 1999. Reception was mixed, though the innovative game design and a stellar soundtrack composed largely by David Bowie prompted many players to demand a sequel. A followup never came to fruition however, and Quantic Dream wouldn’t release another game for six years.
After the release of their second game, Fahrenheit (Indigo Prophecy in the U.S.), the studio really began to gain worldwide attention. Indigo Prophecy was almost universally praised for its design, described as more of an interactive movie than a game. This paved the way for the developer’s partnership with Sony to develop and release Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls exclusively on the PlayStation 3.
The relationship between Quantic Dream and Sony has continued into the newest console generation, with the studio announcing their upcoming game Detroit as PlayStation 4 exclusive. However, even prior to the announcement, there were rumblings about the studio re-releasing their previous hits on the PS4 and it has since been confirmed that Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls will both be coming to the platform, and now we know when.
Taking to the PlayStation Blog, Quantic Dream’s co-CEO Guillaume de Fondaumiere has announced the release dates for both of the upcoming games. Beyond: Two Souls will be available as of next week, November 24th, with Heavy Rain scheduled for release on March 1st, 2016. For now, the games will both be digital releases only, though there are indications a physical release is coming sometime next year.
The Beyond: Two Souls PS4 Edition will include a number of changes made to the game’s presentation, such as enhanced 1080p graphics and improved lighting and sound effects. The new version will also increase the difficulty of certain encounters and improve the controls for action sequences. The most important addition for fans of the original though, is the new option to play the game in chronological order.
Though the game wasn’t perfect in terms of its gameplay mechanics, one of the Beyond: Two Soul‘s biggest flaws was its nonlinear narrative. It was poorly executed and made for a muddied storyline that was difficult to comprehend. The game’s story had high emotional stakes, in theory, but by thrusting climactic moments on the player early in the game, it eliminated any sense of attachment to the main characters.
The re-release promises to fix that problem, though there’s no guarantee it will fix the narrative entirely. It will at least give the fantastic performances captured by veteran actors Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe the chance to shine and hopefully draw in new players. The option is available from the start, allowing those newcomers to avoid the disjointed narrative altogether.
Beyond: Two Souls PS4 Edition launches on November 24th, 2015. Heavy Rain PS4 Edition releases March 1st, 2016.
Source: PlayStation Blog