I'm dealing with some major guilt right now, and I need to talk about it. However, it also involves some Beyond: Two Souls spoilers, so I want you to be ready. I'm going to try and be as vague as possible, but I also want this to be a cautionary tale. I made a mistake, but you don't have to. You all have the power to save a life, and you deserve to know it.
As I mentioned earlier, I have been playing Beyond: Two Souls. Last night, I was even up past midnight with it. That's because I was sucked into a story segment called Navajo, in which Jodie ends up being welcomed into a Navajo's family's farm, and drawn into strange events happening there.
I felt like Jodie was doing everything right.
During this event's climax, I made decisions that resulted in Paul's death. I didn't think I was doing the wrong thing at the time. I thought that, since I'd taken time to interact with someone before, that I was doing everything possible to resolve the situation quickly and save the day.
Then I found out Paul died, and Jodie's remarks afterwards made me realize he could have lived.
I've been feeling guilty and angry ever since.
Part of it is because I genuinely liked this family. I've had some trouble connecting to a few of the Beyond: Two Souls characters because of the way the plot jumps around, but I found that this group was one of two that I was rooting for. I wanted Jodie and Aiden to help them. I wanted this chance meeting to make a difference. While I couldn't tell you the name of some people Jodie interacts with in other segments, it was as though I was starting to know these people.
Then I let them down.
The other part is because all of the video games I have played prior to Beyond: Two Souls have conditioned me to react quickly under pressure. I'm from the era where Final Fantasy games have clocks ticking down, requiring you to get something done or die. Heavy Rain has situations where there are no clocks, but still time is running out. In these situations, I had to move quickly, because if I didn't, oh no crazy murderer may trap Madison.
So, when the climactic moment happened during Beyond: Two Souls’ Navajo segment, I was in panic mode. Shimasami was yelling at me; Cory was trying to provide last minute reinforcements to the house; Jay was inside with an injured Paul, and all I could think was that Jodie had to move. Maybe, if she was fast enough, she could get everything resolved in time for Paul to get the help he needed.
I just needed to remember the right moves. Get everything perfectly in place. Work fast, and everyone and everything will be all right.
Except it wasn't. I turned to the Internet after and realized that even though Shimasami was screaming at me, Jodie was frantic, and a Big Bad was bearing down, there was still apparently more than enough time to visit Paul.
Which makes me think Beyond: Two Souls is doing something right. The structure may not be optimal. (I'm praying for a New Game+ chronological mode.) There may be load-time issues. Controls could be better in some spots. It isn't perfect. Yet, this game has been able to make me feel bad about failing a kind, older man that Jodie only knew for about three in-game days. It must be doing something right.