Beyond Good & Evil – Full Review

Here’s my review of the Ubisoft cult-hit Beyond Good & Evil, re-released as a HD remake last year and waiting for the long-belated sequel to finally come around.

Gameplay: 4½/5 – Over-all the game has a lot of good variety and the controls are easy to remember even after a while. The camera-controls can get a little crazy in a few places but on the over-all are great. You get to ride a hover-craft and even fly a space-ship. The flight controls are reversed from what I’m used to but after a while you get the hang of it. My only gripe is that like StarFox Adventure this game only uses one button to attack which gets repetitive.

Graphics: 4½/5 – The level of detail is pretty good for the most part and I can’t say that anything about the game’s look would have irked me. I like the semi-cartoonish look and though I feel it could have looked better with cell-shading, it’s quite solid for what was originally an Xbox game. I do wish there was just a tad more variety since almost every location is a factory of some kind, but even so, the game’s look never got monotonous.

Animation: 5/5 – Nothing much to complain about. Even incidental cutscenes looked great and the story-telling works quite well. There’s a real feeling of tension and drama as the story progresses.

Music: 4/5 – Quite nice, I especially like the addition of Spanish lyrics in a few of the songs and over-all the score fit the environments well. I especially liked the reggae style theme at Mamago’s. However, the music didn’t quite blow my socks off, even though it was very well made and performed by a full-orchestra.

Sound: 3½/5 – I have to say that the voice-acting in this game left me with mixed feelings. It’s not that any of the voice-actors were bad, but it feels like the voice-direction was lacking and sometimes the actor-performances were just right down inapporiate. Pey’j and Double-H were by far my favourite voice-actors from the bunch and the Shadow Priest did sound badass. Also, there were some pretty nice usage of accents, especially with the Mamago Rhinos and Secundo (I wish he would have spoken up more than he did in the end).

Plot: 4/5 -I felt that the plot took a while to get going and the intro is a little disorienting. However, once the story does start off properly, it’s good stuff.

Replay value: 3/5 – Though there’s a lot to explore and this game will definitely offer die-hard completionists a lot to do, I only found any lasting enjoyment in the storyline. I’ll definitely pick up and play this game through again in the future, but I wont be fanatically doing side-quests for the sheer enjoyment.

Difficulty: From Easy to Frustrating – This is one of the most mixed-bag expiriences I’ve had with a games difficulty. For much of the first half the game felt almost ridiculously easy. The puzzles were no-brainers and the enemies didn’t seem to stand a chance. Once the stealth-element came to play in more heavily with those instant-death cannons, the game got a lot more intense. The first two boss-fights though didn’t offer much of a challenge, but the last two offered almost a little bit too much. So there will be moments in this game where you’ll just breeze through, but at times you will have hick-up moments.

Score: 81% – Beyond Good & Evil is an action-adventure game in the style of Zelda, StarFox Adventure and Mega Man Legends that is absolutely worth a try for the fans of those genres. It combines the epic and cinematic story-telling of Zelda with the stealth elements of Metal Gear Solid with puzzle solving, space-flight and hover-craft racing. But above all else it has a great storyline that keeps you in its grip.