David Cage on doing what “no one expects”, creativity & PS4 being “way easier” to develop for

David Cage & Ellen Page

He divides opinion like few other creators, but it’s hard to deny that the man makes some of the most interesting games around. We sat down to chat with David Cage about the future and Beyond…

OPM: On Beyond: Two Souls you’re working with Ellen Page, Willem Dafoe… Has that convinced you of the direction you want to go in future – using established names?

David Cage: I was not looking for fame or a nice picture to put on a packshot working with these people. I was looking for a talent, and the fact they are famous was just a good thing coming with that, but it was not the reason we did it. So what it convinced me of is that working with gifted, talented actors is definitely the way to go. They really bring something absolutely unique.

Beyond E3 screensOPM: Your games have quite heavy themes – love, loss, isolation – is there anything in particular you’d like to tackle going forward?

DC: There are a lot of themes in Beyond – because it’s the journey through the life of someone, so you have to talk about love, you need to talk about death, you have to talk about what it’s like to grow, what it’s like to be different, what it’s like to accept yourself as you are. Games are quite shy at talking about different things: most games are about facing hordes of monsters or saving the world or whatever. Few games actually talk about the real world, about real people – their relationships, their emotions, their feelings. I wish there were more games with the courage to talk about more subversive topics.

Beyond: Two Souls trailer. Subscribe for more PS3 & PS4 videos.

OPM: Jodie going into the military took a lot of people by surprise – it seems a more action-orientated focus than was expected. What was the thinking behind that and how do you respond to people’s surprise?

DC: It’s very interesting – the reaction to Somalia – because we got a lot of people saying,“Oh, it’s cool, it’s a videogame.” And then we had people saying, “Oh, did they redesign the whole game?” It says a lot about the industry – usually you see a scene and you can easily imagine what the game is about. It’s the same mechanics used through different levels, so you just change the graphics but basically you’re doing the same things. When you show a game where each scene is different, people seem a little bit lost. And that’s good. This is exactly what Beyond is about… all you do is not jumping, shooting, driving. You do different things. You fall in love. You’re a kid, you’re a teenager, you’re an adult – you do different things at different moments.

“This is what Beyond is about. You
fall in love. You’re a kid, you’re a
teenager, you’re an adult – you do
different things at different moments”

This scene starts like a classic videogame where you have a mission – you’re here on duty to kill someone, but actually the scene turns out to be something different. You meet someone, a little boy, and a relationship is established – I don’t want to spoil the scene for anyone. Emotion is still at the heart of the scene, and this is just one scene.