Beyond Good & Evil HD

Alright, first things first, I need to confess before I start this review: I never played the original Beyond Good & Evil. I was well aware of the title, I heard people speaking enthusiastically about it in the hall at school, but my funds were limited and I was busy saving for TimeSplitters and the new Spyro The Dragon game. However, this does mean I will have a totally fresh view of Beyond Good & Evil HD as I shall not be tainted by nostalgia or biased opinions because of the love already contained within my heart. At least, that’s the shield of words I’ll be using if my review turns out to bring an uprising of armed fanboys.

Beyond Good & Evil (and the HD version remade since) is centred around a female protagonist named Jade whose life consists of busily jumping between being an investigative reporter and a child minder at a local orphanage… or something. Then, aliens, named The DomZ (capital Z required), invade the planet and it’s up to us and Jade to work with Alpha Sections, the planet’s biggest protection agency, to discover the truth over the war between the two species. For added flare, there’s even an underground movement for the IRIS Network who claim that the Alpha Sections are in fact in league with The DomZ. All of this of course takes place in the future on the far away planet of Hillys. Oh, and she also has a side-kick called Pey’j who’s a boar like creature who can talk – think Pigsy from Enslaved, only more… piggish.

It may not sound like the most ground-breaking plot but even if you don’t take into account that the game is eight years in the past, it’s still surprisingly deep and enthralling once you get past all the basic tutorial missions. One thing which I did take note of in the HD remake notes was that they have improved the sound, and by God does this game sound beautiful. I can’t vouch if it’s better or worse, but the soundtrack throughout the game blew me away! I rarely comment on music in a game without good cause and I certainly have good cause here, it sounds epic for an arcade game.

The gameplay on the other hand is very simple and basic. Not always a bad thing, but after I’d cleared out my thirteenth room of bad guys doing nothing more than flailing my stick and smacking the X button I did begin to lose some of my interest. It’s great in small doses, is probably the best way I can put it, but when you’re venturing into a new location pull of mazing rooms or bottlenecks the game begins to show that the combat system has aged slightly. Not helped by the fact that almost every single time I had to leave a room, save the game, go to a new area, or travel through several areas to get to the one I needed there was a ten second loading screen. It may not sound long but trust me it really began to grind after a while. I eventually used it as my beer break – every time I hit a loading screen I took a swig and continued. Eventually I had to stop though, I was worried I’d pass out. That was one of the most intense drinking games I’ve ever attempted!

Overall, I’d say that I enjoyed Beyond Good & Evil HD. The game mechanics are a little clunky, and the loading did at times make me want to rip my own hair out, but I really had a fantastic time on the journey. For only 800 MSP you really get your money’s worth because the game’s experience was highly acclaimed when it was first released and its strengths, including the plot and writing, are all still there and for a fantastic price.







2 responses to “Beyond Good & Evil HD”

  1. Lauren avatar

    Nice review Duncan! I still have my PS2 copy my gran bought me years ago and I enjoyed it so much, I rebought it for my 360. Ill admit that its simple and some people may get frustrated with it, but it does have charm. Jade is such a good powerful female character who stands up for what she believes in. And Pey’J makes me lark!

    Glad you enjoyed it though 🙂

  2. TimG13 avatar

    I never played BG&E back when originally released either, but I did a few years later (it’s still sitting on my shelf). It’s a wonderful game and anyone who’s even slightly interested should spend their 800 MS Points – like me. I can almost assure you it’ll be well spent. And hopefully it’ll sell enough to persuade Ubisoft to spill the beans on the incredi-looking sequel, if that supposedly leaked footage is anything to go by.

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