August 17, 2005

Beyond Good & Evil

5 out of 5 stars

Ok so I'm jumping on the game review bandwagon, now that it's here in an official capacity (thanks Mat or whoever was responsible). I'm not going to do a full review, but I want to draw your attention to one of the best games of recent years, and one that was sadly overlooked by so many people.

Beyond Good & Evil is a game unlike any other I have played. While on the surface the game mechanics are similar to those of Prince of Persia: Sands of Time (Ubisoft's other much-overlooked Christmas 2003 game), the actual experience is completely different. Beyond Good & Evil is an adventure game – an interactive story about war, propaganda, friendship, and the struggle to expose the truth. As Jade, reporter and photographer for the IRIS network, your job is to do just that. (On a side-note, Alyx from HL2 looks suspiciously like Jade's less interesting sister.)

The game features wonderfully stylised graphics (which obviously look better on a PC than any console), some great set-pieces, and in my opinion, the best music in any game ever.

It isn't perfect – there are times when the controls are a bit annoying, and the PC version can have an annoying bug about half way through – but it comes closer to perfection than anything else I've seen in the last 3 years. That the 2 sequels which were originally announced seem to have been shelved for good is a crying shame, and I would encourage everyone who enjoyed the game to find and sign as many internet petitions requesting these sequels as possible (and there are quite a few). Rarely does a game provide this much innocent pleasure.

9/10 (Yes, 5/5 can = 9/10 dammit)

- 11 comments by 2 or more people Not publicly viewable

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  1. Mathew Mannion

    Don't you make me implement half-stars!

    18 Aug 2005, 00:04

  2. Mathew Mannion

    Oh, and I was responsible, but someone else mentioned it on the Blogs feedback forum, and John Dale rode me like a donkey and made me do it.

    18 Aug 2005, 00:05

  3. hehe

    18 Aug 2005, 00:14

  4. Go on Mat, implement quarter stars :-)

    18 Aug 2005, 03:14

  5. Mathew Mannion

    I'm gonna bone your dog

    18 Aug 2005, 03:24

  6. I'm gonna feed your bone to a dog

    18 Aug 2005, 03:29

  7. Hey. HEY! Keep your filth to yourselves! ;-)

    18 Aug 2005, 11:28

  8. I haven't experienced Sands of Time, but kind of assumed it was a "3D platformer" although more along the lines of Tomb Raider than Mario Sunshine, and had thought of Beyond Good & Evil as similar to Broken Sword: Sleeping Dragon – which I'd call a "3D graphical adventure". Broken Sword was a 2D PC series, but the 3D console game made me imagine what Day of the Tentacle or Sam & Max might look like if they were done today. Rather than a flat scene where you click on items to interact with, your character is in a 3D scene and you move over to the items to interact with them, but otherwise the idea's kind of the same.

    Puzzles and mysteries must be solved, done in a certain order or people talked to and items collected. It's never a case of having the button-mashing skills to be able to make a jump or dodge an enemy, it's whether you've aquired the rope to bridge the gap or attained sufficient knowledge to avoid a confrontation with the bad guys. I sometimes enjoy these sort of games as a nice chance of pace from games where your only decision is to shoot them in the face, or pay the toll…then shoot them in the face and get your money back. Am I on the right track?

    19 Aug 2005, 23:57

  9. Not really. Yes, you are pretty much correct about Sands of Time I think, and it's the one game I've played where the exploration is more fun by far than the combat.

    Beyond Good & Evil is in the same vein – an action adventure game. The emphasis is on exploration with combat being a bit button-mashy (although there's only one special move and you only mash the ONE button). The puzzles are of the nature of working out how to get from one area to the next – very much platformer-style. However none of this is what makes the game great. That honour falls to the uniqueness of the premise and the way in which the story is told.

    20 Aug 2005, 12:47

  10. Sounds intriguing, and only £5 used from Amazon.

    23 Aug 2005, 15:00

  11. Do it! Just don't get the crappy blue one…cos it's not The Right Box ;-)

    23 Aug 2005, 19:08

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