#533 Beyond Good & Evil

Posted: 15th March 2018 by Jeroen in Games
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678th played so far

Genre: Action/Adventure
Platform: Various
Year of Release: 2003
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft

Beyond Good & Evil often gets advertised with the two protagonists of the game – a young woman and a pig man. As in a pig’s head and such. That latter part always looked interesting and made me curious about the game. Now, I get to see what that’s about in today’s action/adventure.

Our Thoughts

For the most part of the game, this has been a lot of fun to play. I had an issue on the timing of one minigame – a chase/race that relied on awkward controls – but for the most part this game ramps that up well. What’s good about it?

First of all, you’re dealing with a lot of interesting characters. You’re a young woman running an orphanage that’s running low on money, so you step up as a photojournalist as well. Your companion Pey’J – the pig-like creature – is an inventor who creates a bunch of the gadgets that increase your powers as you go along. I believe we find out more about him later, but I’m trying to avoid spoilers here – I certainly thought he was fun to have around.

The world builds on that, with interesting characters. The setup is a city dominated by a military dictatorship, with plenty of underground criminals, so there are enough small sidequests there. You end up joining the resistance to try to make things better. At the same time, you need to collect money and finish side quests to be able to afford your upgrades. The collectibles themselves are first of all photos of different species, for financial gain, while others increase your health. It’s a good mix and gives a lot of rewards.

Playing the game itself is straightforward in the best way too. There are no jumping puzzles and jumping feels fluid and intuitive, it didn’t get in my way. Beyond that the puzzles were simple and combat didn’t involve too much (yet). Vehicle combat wasn’t as good, but it clearly didn’t matter as much. Combat in general felt fine – most of the challenge came from being overwhelmed, but the first big boss we fought had a great mix of puzzle and action elements where you were always able to keep moving.

Final Thoughts

Beyond Good & Evil is a game where everyone was surprised it never got a sequel, and I can see why it’s that surprising – the world is unique enough, with a interesting, gripping backstory, while the mechanics feel balanced for what the game is trying to be. A good polish pass would probably smooth out the few remaining bits, but it’s still a worthwhile game to play.