Note: Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls are available both separately and as part of the bundled Quantic Dream Collection. Buyers who have purchased Beyond: Two Souls on PlayStation 4 prior to Heavy Rain’s release are able to buy the game at a discounted price. The PS4 version of Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls was primarily tested for the purpose of this review.Considering the fact that we’re handling multiple titles in this case, and the easily spoiled nature of each game, I’d like to stick to a short analysis of each story, starting with Heavy Rain, the oldest of these two titles.
Heavy Rain is arguably one of the most impressive titles within the Quantic Dream portfolio, consisting of many great twists and turns that change the story drastically as the mystery unfolds before your eyes. Its strengths lie in its pacing and the plot twists in question, yet the game’s narrative does suffer on a few fronts, including its often awkward style of dialogue, which is amplified by the fact that some of the performances are rather wooden unfortunately. Character development is greatly present, but as noted, the performances are simply an aspect that you’ll have to get through in order to appreciate the greater narrative, which can be rather silly or over-the-top at points, but remains decently consistent throughout.Beyond: Two Souls is a much more divisive title. Unlike its predecessor, Beyond’s narrative is a lot less deep and interesting when it comes to storytelling, which isn’t because it doesn’t have enough to tell, but because Beyond simply has too much to say for its own good. Spreading the story across an out-of-order storytelling mechanic, the game is often simply too confused to know what it ultimately wants to do. However, in contrast to Heavy Rain , Beyond is supported by great performances, which despite the hammy dialogue still manage to portray the emotional aspects of each sequence, even if the sequences by themselves are ineffective. The games in the Quantic Dream Collection wouldn’t be what you’d call a full remaster, but more of a port to say the least. Each title is presented in 1080p at its original (albeit optimized) framerate, without much (if any) technical updates.
Once again starting off with Heavy Rain, the increase in resolution is very apparent from the first moments of the game. Performance and textures are much more clear than they ever were on PlayStation 3, but in exchange for the performance and resolution boost the game does showcase its age when it comes to geometry and animations. Whilst stylistically Heavy Rain is still a well-designed title on a visual front, the visuals haven’t aged quite as gracefully as one would’ve hoped. To be fair, the fact that this is more of a direct port rather than an actual full-fledged remaster does make me give the game some slack, as this is the best the game has ever looked in retrospect.Beyond is a whole other story. Built as one of Sony’s last large scale exclusives for last generation, Beyond at times can hardly be distinguished from being a native current generation title in a lot of aspects. Presented at a film-inspired aspect ratio of 2.40:1, the game is built upon its cinematic presentation, which not only applies to the screen format, but to the framing, animations and lighting design that can be appreciated even more thanks to the increase in resolution and the much needed locked frame rate, which makes Beyond a lot easier to appreciate on a visual front. Character models and textures are incredibly well-detailed, and its animations have aged quite well, which is also a showcase of the technical leaps that Quantic Dream has made in between the development of both titles.