Review: Beyond Good & Evil HD
Beyond Good & Evil HD is the video game equivalent of that one scene in every teen movie where the nerdy girl takes off her glasses, and is instantly Shannon Elizabeth. You remember the game being quite something before, and this just makes it even better. The visuals still hold up magnificently, with the game’s opening scene remaining quite breathtaking. This is one of those rare cases where a game’s art style ensures its timelessness, in much the same way as Zelda: Wind Waker has the ability to look fantastic at any point in history. However, though the visuals in the game may be lovely, it is how Beyond Good & Evil weaves everything together to create a convincing world that makes it stand out most. The way the game drops you in to its narrative, and allows you to piece everything together for yourself. This isn’t a game that starts off with a long piece of exposition, it throws you straight in to combat, opening with a boss battle.
The game is filled with these moments, moments that keep you absorbed in the game from beginning to end. Whether it’s sneaking around an unsuspecting guard and snapping an incriminating picture, or being chased by those same guards across rooftops, the game ensures that you are never bored by your surroundings. It’s one of those rare triumphs of a game that, while never quite leading you by the hand, teaches you everything you’ll need to know naturally. You learn that pearls are valuable through having to give up your first one to fix your hovercraft and you learn that you can eliminate guards by blowing up their air tanks through a dossier. The game even goes as far as to explain why the magical purple polygons you collect manifest themselves as currency in your inventory, which is a really nice touch.
The PSN version of Beyond Good & Evil holds up extremely well, with the addition of leaderboards, which are sure bring a few of your competitive sides out. However, not everything is rosy. The game does occasionally suffer from slowdown, although it only seems to occur when there’s smoke on the screen, meaning the problem usually rears its ugly head in the game’s racing series. Also, Ubisoft has been true to the original to the extent that they’ve even brought over the game’s path finding bugs, which leaves allies stuck behind walls, which led to a particularly tense moment where, under a time limit, my co-op partner decided to get stuck in a wall whilst I patiently waited for him to get in to the hovercraft. It was annoying, but I managed to free him and complete the task in good time, so it didn’t actually ruin the experience in any way, shape of form.
Beyond Good & Evil certainly hasn’t lost any of its luster over the years, with this HD release representing the game at its very best. It shines brighter than ever before, and if you’ve never played the game, now is the perfect time to jump in to the world of Hillys, and take back the planet.
A copy of this game was purchased for review purposes. For more info on our review policy click here. This review is for the PlayStation 3 version of the game.
What I Like:
- After all these years, it is still absolutely wonderful
- The HD coat of paint makes the art style look even better
What I Dislike:
- Features one of the most aggravating cliffhangers ever, purely because the sequel isn’t anywhere close to being out yet.
- Minor slowdown at points.