Monday, July 08, 2024

Game Review: 'Beyond Good & Evil: 20th Anniversary Edition'

There will always be a spot for "Beyond Good & Evil" for gamers who came of age in the early 2000s. Its latest rerelease sparks a knowing smile in those who have been looking for an excuse to relive the dizzyingly creative adventure once again.

The action-adventure escapade boasts a twist-filled story, puzzle elements and a lively combat system. There are also elements of racing and photography that play major parts in gameplay. The dizzying potpourri that keeps the game's wheels greased and has made it one of the most highly-praised cult classics of its era.

Orginally released in 2003 on PlayStation 2 and Xbox, the game got a remastered release in 2011 on the Xbox 360 and PS3. The new release seems to be a graphical and gameplay proof of concert meant to whet the appetite for the long-awaited sequel.

Set on a mining planet in the year 2435, the tale follows green-skinned heroine Jade, an avid photographer with a wild boar-like sidekick who faces off against the DomZ, which has launched a propaganda campaign to undermine the peoples' trust as the powers that be exploit and kidnap the populace.

Jade is a well-written protagonist whose character arc has a decidedly cinematic bent. Just as loveable for her flaws and quirks as she is for her talent and dogged determination, she is a gutsy leader who is just as capable of winning battles with her mind as she is her firepower. Steadfast in the face of crushing adversity, her willingness to take an iconoclastic stand is admirable. 

"Beyond Good & Evil" thrives just as much in its quieter moments as it does in its swashbuckling set pieces. It's a classic that has stood the test of time and looks and plays better than ever in its latest iteration. And the prospect of that elusive sequel seems ever more tantalizing now.

Publisher provided review code.

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