The small mining planet of Hillys is under constant attack by the evil DomZ. The only thing that can stand in their way are the heroic Alpha Sections; however, a group of rebels known as IRIS are telling a completely different story.
Grab your camera, it’s time to find out the truth.
Beyond Good & Evil plants you squarely in the role of Jade, a photojournalist who is just as good with her combat staff as she is her camera. Jade’s world revolves around her work, the children at the orphanage, and her uncle Pey’j (an anthropomorphic pig). However, she and Pey’j manage to get mixed up with IRIS and things take a turn for the worse. Jade will need all her skills and the help of some new friends to rescue Pey’j and save Hillys.
The game is comprised of several elements that all work pretty well together. Jade needs to use her camera to complete tasks by taking photos, her hovercraft to get from area to area, and her combat skills to take on enemies. A lot of combat can be avoided by being stealthy, though there is always a strategy readily available to take on and defeat just about any foe. Other modes of play involve mini-games such as a rather cool take on air hockey and racing. Everything that you would expect fro ma 3rd Person Adventure Game is here and in pretty fine form.
Jade and her hovercraft handle beautifully, though there are times when the camera does not. There are many sections where the camera will switch to a fixed position which then alters the directional input of the controller which tends to lead to taking a lot of damage or dying. While the controls work fairly well, there are a lot of times at which they don’t seem to respond as well as they should which also leads to some frustration. Another thing to note is that the PC version, which is available via Steam, only allows for Mouse and Keyboard controls. This control scheme is even worse than that of the PS2, Xbox, or Gamecube. There is no way to use a controller directly as the game was made specific for this control scheme back in 2003. Lastly, the game isn’t all that long and won’t take most players very long to complete.
The art and sound direction for the game are phenomenal, with the world and each area in it having a very distinct and colorful feel. I especially like the characters and the way in which they are represented. It’s nice to have a game where humans and anthromorphs live side by side without any complications. Even though I really love the sounds and music in this game, some of the phrases that get repeated become very annoying over time. By the end of the game the words “Carlson and Peeters” made me grit my teeth… even writing it had the same effect.
Beyond Good & Evil is a solid game, despite its flaws. The difficulty is definitely there but set up in a way that it allows a rather large range of players. If you can get past the camera and the controls you’ll be in for one hell of a ride.
GO Rating: 3.5/5