Quantic Dream, the studio behind Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls, are about as polarising as a developer gets. Some people hate their games. Some people love them! I’d like to think there’s one aspect of their output we can all get behind, though: the way they include some of the world’s best animation shorts in their games.
Both Heavy Rain and Beyond: Two Souls feature kids, and feature TV sets. At certain points in both games, kids are watching TV, and you can see what’s playing on those TV sets. The cartoons they’re showing are simply incredible.
Normally, when a TV is playing in a video game, there’s a short, crummy piece of canned animation. Occasionally, a developer like Rockstar tries harder and implores us all to Fuck The Dutch.
But Quantic Dream’s TV shows are in a different league.
So where does a major video game developer find the time to make not just a game, but a series of award-winning animated shorts as well?
They don’t. They’re smart enough to use the experts.
Quantic Dream is a French studio, and the clips being shown are the work of students at Gobelins, a visual arts school in Paris that’s famous for not only producing a string of animators who have gone on to work at Pixar, Dreamworks and Disney, but also the directors of Despicable Me and Shark Tale.
If you’ve played the games and seen some of these, enjoy the encore. If you haven’t and you’re seeing these for the first time, hoo boy. Enjoy.
BEYOND TWO SOULS
After The Rain
If you liked what you saw, you should settle in with a cup of tea and check out more. There are several shorts released by graduating students each year, with most of them available on YouTube.
Last-Gen Heroes is Kotaku’s look back at the seventh generation of console gaming. In the weeks leading up to the launch of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, we’ll be celebrating the Heroes — and the Zeroes — of the last eight years of console video gaming. More details can be found here; follow along with the series here.