Beyond: Two Souls is a story driven game, not an exercise in forced experiences. As such, even if you let the protagonist die, you won’t see a ‘Game Over’ screen. The story doesn’t come to a complete stop, but rather, new doors open.
Beyond: Two Souls creator, David Cage, told Joystiq that a ‘Game Over’ screen is more a state of failure for the designer than the player:
It’s like creating an artificial loop saying, ‘You didn’t play the game the way I wanted you to play, so now you’re punished and you’re going to come back and play it again until you do what I want you to do.’ In an action game, I can get that – why not? It’s all about skills. But in a story-driven experience it doesn’t make any sense.
For example, Cage discussed a scene where Jodi, the protagonist, is being hunted down by two police officers on a moving train. If you are successful, it leads to an intense standoff on the roof of the train. However, ‘failing’ means that you are captured and leads to an escape scenario. Those who ‘beat’ the train scene would miss the escape, while those who ‘fail’ will miss the standoff. Nice way to work around forcing players down a particular path!
Of course, Jodi can also die. However, Cage explains:
It’s a game about death, so you can imagine that death plays a role in all of this. Actually, it’s one of the big discoveries – one of the big mysteries in the game is to discover what’s on the other side. And it’s definitely not a black screen.
I really like this idea. I’m more often than not just frustrated by a ‘Game Over’ screen – sometimes I’m just not good at getting through a stage in the way that the developers imagined it. This opens up a whole bunch of new opportunities and also means that each player will get a unique experience. I definitely think this game is sounding cool – looking forward to its release!