Fresh out of the pile of shame, this week I decided to write the review for the HD re-mastering of Beyond Good & Evil. The title has a huge cult following even though it is tainted with several defects that in any other game would result in its demise. I am a huge action adventure whore, and seeing as I have never played the original title, I thought of having a go at this classic.
Plot: The game is set in the distant future on a planet named Hillys, which is under siege by an alien planet that enslaves its inhabitants. The Alpha sectors takes charge in protecting Hillys, but seem unable to do so, and a resistance by the name IRIS takes charge in protecting the planet. The main protagonist, Jade, is a struggling journalist who lives on a secluded island on the planet alongside some orphans and a pig like creature named Pey’j (Jade’s guardian). As the alien force start to pressure the planet, Jade and Pey’j join the I.R.I.S. network and take charge in protecting the planet without the help of the Alpha sector and try to bring peace to the planet.
Audio and Video: The sound on HD re-masters is not usually something to impress, but I guess the team behind this project did a good enough job. The voice acting is decent and the soundtrack bolds well with the overall feel of the game. The visuals have been re-mastered well too, though I would have expected a better job on the menus and text, which are extremely blurry and pixilated. One of the most broken parts from the visual aspect of the game is the camera, the hovercraft is undriveable at times as the camera stands low behind it, with the vehicle blocking the view, and during the action parts the camera does a great job of hiding ledges, enemies, pathways, and getting stuck to walls.
Gameplay: The game is set in an open world in which you can travel from one location to the other with your upgradeable hovercraft. Jade’s weapons are simply, a camera for photographic evidence, a melee weapon, and a long range shooter. The button configuration is really simple really; you have a button for sprinting, a button for the melee attack, and a button for action. The fact that you don’t have a jump button for me is a game breaker; the user needs to walk to a ledge and the character jumps, but sometimes you get interactive objects which can be moved or jumped on, and both actions are done by walking up to it. Jade collects money by photographing the planet’s species and sending them to a research lab, and after certain amount of photographs you will be given Pearls which are needed to upgrade the hovercraft. Pearls are scattered all over the planet which can either be discovered in hidden locations, raced for, or complete missions to collect. Pearl are fundamental for the unlocking new locations, so collecting these items is a must. The game has several ell made stealth missions (which are better than the stealth missions found in the current generation games), and also has some very interesting puzzle elements. During the game you are accompanied by someone most of the time, and the game cleverly uses the secondary character to solve puzzles and complete missions in a very immersive way. Autosave is nonexistent in this title, which causes huge problems when you need to quit in the middle of a new location, and you have no saving point close.
Personal Experience: It took me several years to bother purchasing this game, and to be honest I never expected such a broken game will have so hooked and entertained. I mean the game has several problems, which by today’s standards are unacceptable, but the good aspects of the game make up for those problems and balances out the overall experience of the game. This title is really superb, and I really can’t wait for a decent sequel to such an amazing action adventure.
Overall Rating: 7.5/10
Written By Matthew Cesareo