For centuries, the planet Hillys has been bombarded by a relentless alien race. Sceptical of her government's inability to repel the invaders, a rebellious action reporter named Jade sets out to capture the truth. Armed with her camera, dai-jo staff and fierce determination, she discovers shocking evidence leading to a horrific government conspiracy and is forced to battle an evil she cannot possibly fathom.
Join the Rebellion as action reporter Jade, join an underground resistance group and expose your government's secrets using stealth, force and wits. Stop at nothing until your people know the truth. Expose the Conspiracy. Enter a futuristic world full of deception, where nothing is as it seems and exposing the truth is the only hope of restoring freedom.
Age requirements: ESRB Rating: TEEN with Comic Mischief, Violence. PEGI Rating: 7+ with Violence.
Minimum system requirements: Windows XP or Windows Vista, 1 GHz Processor (1.4 GHz recommended), 256MB RAM (512 recommended), 3D graphics card compatible with DirectX 9, Mouse, Keyboard.
Posted on 2009-03-26 11:42:08 byajh209:
Beyond Good & Evil holds a somewhat bizarre position in gaming.
Released on every console that mattered, as well as the PC (to which, without a gamepad, it is rather unsuited), it quite successfully bombed on every one of them. This is in spite of critical praise from virtually all quarters: all the PC and console magazines rated it highly, and both Eurogamer and PC Zoneread more published articles relatively recently re-encouraging people to play it. (Eurogamer's Xbox Cult Classics, go search for it: there's some good stuff there).
However, the game failed to sell. Beyond Good & Evil (BGE) seemed too esoteric, too bizarre. Much was made of Michel Ancel being behind it, much as Tim Schafer's Psychonauts was seen as his artistic work. Neither sold. Both are brilliant. Why?
Much of this is down to perception. True, few people buy Independent Developer-type games, but neither is a Darwinia. Of the two, BGE is by far the most accessible. But the appearance of perceived esotericism did in for it.
Not that Psychonauts is inaccessible, but it is intentionally, brilliantly, wierd. The wierdness is what makes it funny.
BGE isn't wierd. Not really. It's just brilliant.
It's got Zelda-esque brilliance.
The comparison is more than a fecetious one. On a structural level, BGE copies Zelda almost directly, with central Hubs to the world, a main town, where shops can be frequented and people interacted with, to dungeons providing the "quest" gameplay. Hell, even the controls are extremely similar.
And yet, the comparison is just as apt in another way. The storytelling and the pacing are sublime. And not-at-all esoteric. The plot is highly focussed, and (again, much like Zelda) has a strong emotional focus. There's one or two moments that are genuinely moving. Jade, unlike Link and the inhabitants of Hyrule, may talk, but the voice acting is superb throughout.
You care about the characters. That's another triumph.
BGE is significantly shorter than most Zelda games: with roughly four or five dungeons and lots of hub world activities, it's not without stuff to do, but it is a roughly 12 hour game to complete. That makes for a remarkably tight story, and actually benefits from not being over-long.
What most people miss with the Zelda comparison is that the wonderful sense of controlled freedom present in Zelda is present here. As is the wonderful accessiblity of the game. Anyone can enjoy Zelda, despite the fantasy setting, because the game is deep, involving, and - crucially - fun. BGE knows that, and hits all the right marks.
This game is unique, though, in its setting, and some of its characters. The game looks fantastic. Not even for its age, since the art style has the same kind of cartoony charm as Team Fortress 2. It doesn't matter that its a little old now: play it. It still feels fitting.
The world is actually relatively small, but manages to feel enormously free due to the use of a hovercraft, and, later, a space-ship, which you can use to blast into orbit. The go-anywhere do-anything attitude is wonderfully immersive, yet you always have a strong knowledge of what you need to be doing next.
The Hovercraft sections are a joy - controlling it is easy and feels natural very quickly, it never lets itself get bogged down by failing to provide you with a destination, or to restrict your activities either. The hovercraft race sequences are worth a mention all by themselves - they're far better than Knights of the Old Republic's speeder races, and brilliantly diversionary.
Also unique is the nature of the game - to an extent. Jade, your main character, is a reporter: a photographer. This informs your goals: you need to photograph evidence in the "dungeons," rather than find items or kill bosses.
Also, you have a constant mission to photograph all the many life-forms, from sentient species to flies, in the world (although to a large degree this task is non-essential past the first section).
The latter is surprisingly involving, and also brilliantly magical - waiting for the right moment for a whale to surface to get the perfect picture is stunning - and many reviewers have acclaimed this aspect. True, it is unique and special, but giving undue attention to what is essentially a side-quest throughout the game can skew the balance of perception. The game is simply not about this. Any more than Zelda is about collecting Heart Pieces.
The other aspect is that Jade needs to be stealthy in the dungeons since she is not able to fight the guards mano-a-mano and win. But the game encourages experimentation and should you wish to kill every enemy in the game this is highly possible. Everything has a weak spot. The stealth element is fun, and used sparingly enough that the "dungeons" in the game don't ever begin to feel simply about that.
The game also tries to have its cake and eat it, like most games under the woeful generic title of "action-adventure." Whilst Jade cannot fight the large guard-type characters straight-on, all other enemies she can whack with her stick, which stands in for a sword. The combat is fine, and there is actually a fair bit of combat too, as well as a number of bosses to defeat. Generally this works fine, and (particularly with the final boss) the game plays several clever tricks to make the rather routine work-out-the-pattern boss fights feel fresh.
Calling this game a "cult classic" or "hidden gem" actually does it down. Playing a "cult classic," one expects a lack of polish, and dodgy elements which would have to be ignored. Beyond Good & Evil has neither. Perhaps the only inaccessible facets to it were the title (Beyond Good & Evil?! What is that? It can't have helped sales, really) and the box art, which didn't seem to know what it wanted to be. Also, the lack of a franchise (this is not Zelda 8) to give it familiarity probably contributed to lack of sales.
This game is hugely accessible, and whilst the plot is original much of the gameplay is not, and this too helps with fostering an ease of play. Think of when Banjo-Kazooie nicked Mario 64's controls: that did not make it a bad game, far from it. Likewise BGE and Zelda.
That this game is on GoG now is a fantastic, wonderful new lease of life for a sadly-overlooked but always acclaimed marvel of a game. Buy it. You owe it to yourself. It's a nearly perfect game, in every way that matters.
If only they'd thought up a more catchy title.
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Posted on 2009-03-26 19:20:03 byUglyDuck:
There are a lot of classics on this site. I respect that. Some of my personal 'best games evar' are hosted here, much to my delight. Bearing this in mind, Beyond Good and Evil is, without a doubt, the greatest game on this service. All of the fun of brawler with none of the repetition. All of the character of a JRPG with none of the whining exposition. All of the intensity of aread more stealth game, but crafted within a rich, satisfying context, so that it is challenging, yet rarely ever punishing. Beyond Good and Evil is a stellar experience from the moment you start playing to the bit at the end of the credits that you didn't see coming. Even the credits are superb.
There are few flaws. I can list them for you. The camera, if during combat and in a confined space, can be a bit awkward, as if it is tied to a monkey having a seizure. There are occasional one-shot drones scattered through a couple of levels - they can't see you, but encourage you to stay hidden. There are a few too many plot points left untied by the end of the game, which are intended to be resolved in sequels. These are all the flaws in the game. That is pretty much all you need to worry about.
BG&E is a quality game with a level of fullness and satisfaction that surpasses most of the games you'll ever play. Honestly, it's okay! You can buy this game! Just calmly, fearlessly, scroll up, click download now, then enter your details. You'll be in possession of one of the finest games ever crafted.
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Posted on 2009-03-26 13:34:47 bylowyhong:
Beyond Good & Evil to the adventure genre, is what Planescape Torment is to the RPG genre - a true masterpiece, a game that has set the bar so high that it far surpasses most previously released titles and has not been matched ever since by any game today
BG&E takes place in a universe called Hillys that's very different from ours. The game contains both actionread more and adventure elements. You will get to fight and interact with the weirdest creatures: a pig for an uncle, children and citizens of Hillys who look like animal spawns, and of course the DomZ, who are the law enforcers...or so everyone thinks. Without spoiling anything, the game has you - Jade, a reporter - going about snapping pictures of rare creatures to earn pearls for currency, and of course to expose the hidden enemy
The storyline is top notch. You can't go wrong with the game here. Sure it's bizarre, but it grips you and drags you into a believable living world, just like what A New Hope did to all of us Star Wars fans. The NPCs all feel alive, and it's a joy talking to them. I have to say, the voice acting puts a lot of modern games that proclaim to have "aweshum voice acting!" to shame
BG&E is a package of many different genres of games and mini-games, though it still aptly belongs to the adventure genre. It contains adventure (look and pickup) elements, stealth elements, button mashing elements, photohunt elements; and the mini-games include racing, playing cups etc. I can't remember all of them now, because it's been a really long time since I last played it, but even in the gameplay aspect, BG&E puts modern games to shame too. Games that proclaim to have IMURSIVE MINIGAMES and all that hogwash usually do nothing more than detract you from the experience, but HERE, in BG&E, it all melds so well together, nothing feel's tacked on at all. You feel like you're IN the game and not playing the game, because the pacing is so well done
If there's a problem in the game, though, it's that it is at times rather repetitive with the stealth elements. Occasionally, you will find yourself having to go stealth through one long stretch of similar environments. Thankfully, the game does not overdo this, and when you're getting bored of these areas, hey it just so happens that you've finished the level. Again, this all comes down to the excellent pacing of the game
If I were to list down and praise every single noteworthy thing of BG&E in detail, this review would take up 1 hour of your time to read, and you probably don't want that. Instead, you want to play the game. You want to jump into Jade's shoes, to explore Hilly's, to feel the adrenaline rush of chasing down an enemy, to hunt down and snap pictures of that very rare creature. You can't go wrong with BG&E. At a price of USD10, consider it an amazing steal
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