With the news of Beyond Good and Evil 2 at E3 this year, I decided to step back to the original that I loved so much growing up.
Beyond Good and Evil was originally released back in 2004 where it received a cold and unloved response when it finally came to stores, but in the years following its release, it grew a cult following which later led to a sequel announcement.
Beyond Good and Evil follows a green eyed photojournalist, who also owned an orphanage, named Jade. Jade was pulled into a political uprising on the planet of Hillys along with her uncle Pey’j, who just so happens to be a talking pig who is also an engineer.
On the planet of Hillys, there is an alien threat known as the DomZ. As Jade, you must work with Pey’j and the Hillys resistance to defeat the DomZ and free Hillys from their evil grasps.
The gameplay combines elements of Zelda-like dungeon exploration, set in military compounds, industrial complexes and around the hub city and islands dotting the map. Where Beyond Good and Evil differs is in how it mashes together other genres; a large portion of the game revolves around stealth gameplay, so there’s a lot of crouching and creeping around to be done. Given Jade is also a photojournalist, you’re also tasked early on in the game with photographing various life forms in the world and you’re rewarded with the local currency and giant pearls.
These pearls set the pace of the game a bit like Mario’s stars or other similarly-minded platformers. Without enough pearls to upgrade your hovercraft, you can’t move onto the next area or unlock the next key skill. Mastering hovercraft racing and earning as many pearls as possible becomes critical. By blending together these semi-optional side missions with a core story built around location-by-location exploration, racing and pick-up-and-play combat, Beyond Good and Evil nails variety.
It also features a lovely soundtrack, worth writing about all on its own. Unfortunately, it’s also a seven-year-old game. While the art direction certainly lives up to snuff, the world is largely static, broken by corridors and loading. But even so, I do truly love the game and always have.
I remember quitting the game for a long while as a kid because of the heartbreaking betrayal I felt but you will get what I’m talking about when you play the game, or you possibly already know, if you’ve already played through it. In the end, I hope you pick the game up and enjoy it like I have so many times before.