Beyond Good & Evil Review

Beyond Good & Evil (BGE) started life as a console game, but you shouldn’t let console-port bias affect your opinion of the game. BGE is primarily of the action-adventure type of game that dominates the console market, but it manages to bring in elements from a wide variety of genres and wrap it all within a unique and engaging story set in an imaginative world. The result is a game that stands out from most, and while it certainly won’t appeal to all PC gamers, others will find it an interesting and enjoyable experience.

Stealth is just one aspect of the game.

In BGE you play Jade, a freelance journalist with a strong sense of justice and a big heart that has compelled her to open her home to war orphans in spite of the poor state of her personal finances. There are orphans in need of homes because Jade's planet of Hillys is under siege by an alien race known as the DomZ. The DomZ make things difficult for Hillys by unleashing periodic firebomb attacks and sending the occasional giant monster to wreak havoc. Jade cares for the orphans at her island lighthouse and lab when she is not on a freelance assignment. Fortunately she does not have to manage everything on her own. Her right hand man, er, pig, is Pey'j who can always be counted on in a pinch, and her computer chooses to represent itself as a holographic Spaniard named Segundo. Both provide the aptly and colorfully named Jade with some quite colorful companions.

As the game opens, the DomZ manage to land on Jade's island and try to kidnap her children. Before you know what's happening, you must use her Dai-Jo stick and extensive repertoire of judo moves to fend them off and save the orphans. This serves as an introduction to the insidious DomZ and to the game's fighting system. The combat interface is pretty simple - you are in control of pointing her at an enemy and optionally charging her attack for a more powerful blow, with Jade automatically selecting her attack move. It may seem too simplistic for you action gaming types, but it works well enough for a game that’s not primarily combat-focused.

Soon after you beat back the attackers, you'll pick up your first two assignments and be off on your way. The first is to photograph all of the species of animals on the island to create a catalog of life in the event that they are wiped out in the war. This is an ongoing assignment that will earn you credits throughout the game that can be spent at the various shops on the planet. You'll always have your camera with you, so when you happen to sight a new fish, bird, or animal, you can pull out your camera and try to capture it on film. Some are harder to capture than others, as some are slow-moving and lethargic while others dart about at high speeds. Snapping shots of the faster creatures is made tougher by the fact that composition counts, so you'll need to catch the animal in the center of the frame. Controlling the camera is easy, placing you in a free look mode that allows you to frame the shot and take a picture with a click.