In gaming there seems to be a lot of good games that don't quite get the sales they deserve, Capcom's Okami, Sony's Ico and Platinum Games Madworld all being prime examples.
Beyond good and evil just so happens to be one of those games.
This is odd really considering that this game had something that the other three didn't, good advertising.
The game is designed by Michel Ancel, the creator of the Rayman games.
The game is set on a planet known as Hillys a once peaceful place that is now plagued by war.
You take the role of Jade, a reporter who lives on Hillys with her uncle Pey'j (Who is some sort of man-pig).
As I said Hillys is at war with a race or aliens known as the DomZ.
Jade lives in an island lighthouse that acts as an orphanage for children who are affected by the war.
The people of Hillys are protected by a military group known as the Alpha sections, but the Alpha Sections seem incapable of doing just that. Because of this people across Hillys start to grow suspicious and uneasy, there is something that the Alpha Sections aren't telling us and it is up to Jade to solve the conspiracy using the greatest weapon known to man... the truth.
Beyond Good & Evil is a jack of all trades, it comes under different genres, it is mainly a 3rd person action adventure, but it also comes under the category of racing and stealth.
I'll start with the adventure aspect. Playing it this game reminded me of Jak 2 for some reason, it may have been because of the story and setting, think about it you are a member of a resistance that is trying to take down an oppressive government, you drive vehicles and always have a partner following you.
It also reminds me of Zelda, you fight enemies with a weapon, you explore the world, you go through multiple lairs/dungeons (what ever you want to call it), you take part in multiple side quests, you jump at the end of the ledge ect. The game does play like Zelda, which isn't really a surprise when you consider that Zelda is the base for most adventure games. That doesn't make it a copy of Zelda though, far from it.
The game has an emphasis on team work, in the game you have a partner who helps you fight and solve puzzles, you can give items to your partner if need be, your partner plays a big role in this game you can't really do anything without him.
Next is the travel the game lets you drive two vehicles, the hovercraft and the space ship.
The hovercraft is your standard vehicle you use it to travel around Hillys, it drives just like a car would, and you can upgrade your hover craft by buying vehicle parts from the black market. The hovercraft is also used in some of the side quests such as racing and chasing looters.
The hovercraft can also be used in combat thanks to its gun.
The other vehicle is the space ship you can used this to fly around Hillys you get it pretty late in the game so there isn't really that much to see and do once you've obtained it.
Now to move on to the games more interesting feature, the camera. Remember the camera in Zelda Wind Waker, well this is just like that.
The camera plays a huge part in the game, you use it in main story to gather evidence of the conspiracy, the camera can be also be used to take personal pictures that you want to keep. The great thing about the camera is its importance, a lot of focus went into it, you can use it to decipher codes and you can use it to take pictures of animals for research. The camera mode can also be used to do long range attacks.
On to one of the games more interesting elements now, stealth.
The games stealth is pretty good, every now and then you come to a section where you have to sneak past a group of alpha section guards, to be honest this is a bit like Metal Gear Solid you are meant to sneak past the guards but doesn't mean you have to, if you want you can kill them instead (Which isn't easy when they are in a group). The stealth isn't perfect but it does work well and it does build up a good amount of tension when playing the game.
The game also has several mini games, these are here for the side quests the games are a novelty more than anything.
The games combat is pretty good too, it is like a mix between Starfox Adventures and a Hack n Slash game. You can take on multiple enemies at once without having to focus on just the one, so yeah the combat is pretty good.
The game has quite a big focus on collecting stuff as well, in the game you have to collect pearls to be able to buy things from the black market, to get pearls you have to find them, most of the pearls are obtained in the main story but you can get even more doing the side quests. Other collectables in the game include stuff like health upgrades which are pretty much standard among adventure games these days.
One thing that does make this game stand out well is the way it is presented, the game feels like a movie at times, you have many scenes that stick with you (Like the roof top chase near the end of the game) it makes the game feel like an epic.
On to the negatives now I have two complaints.
There is a lot of try and die in the stealth sections, there are some parts of the game where being spotted means instant death.
The game isn't as long as it should be, in all it is about ten hours long which isn't much for a game that passes itself off as an epic.
Graphics and Sound
For what they are the graphics in this game are pretty damn good in fact they almost look as good as the games artwork (The box art being the best example).
The music is great too it all fits in with the situation that you are in. The most interesting part of the sound track is that some of the songs are in Spanish which makes it sound cooler because I don't understand a word of it.
It really should have sold better. Good news for those who never got to play this there is a sequel in the works, well there was a sequel in the works. Word on the net is that Ubisoft want to can it.
+ Nice Graphics
+ Interesting if humorous story
+ Some nice ideas
+ Jack of all trades...
- ...Master of none.
- Some annoying try and die
- Bit on the short side.