Beyond Good & Evil - Xbox

Also known as: Project BG& E

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Beyond Good & Evil (Xbox)
Also for: PC, PS2, GameCube
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Ubisoft Montreal Soft. Co.: Ubisoft
Publishers: Ubisoft (GB)
Released: 27 Feb 2004 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 7+
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


One of the industry's most successful developers of the last decade, French software house Ubisoft is responsible for a multitude of well-known franchises that include Rayman and the latest Prince of Persia update. Now there's another, in the form of a role-playing adventure called Beyond Good & Evil.

Setting the scene is the vast, formerly peaceful planet of Hyllis, which has recently fallen under siege to a relentless alien race. After a desperate struggle to defend her island, Jade collapses in exhaustion, only to be tormented by disturbing visions. Suspecting that there's more to the invasions than the government is publicly disclosing, and upon discovering the existence of a rebel organisation, Jade embarks on a traumatic journey to investigate further and uncover the truth.

The gameplay itself sees Jade travelling around a highly detailed game world, meeting a diverse cast of characters, with the emphasis being on collecting photographic evidence of her investigations. Obviously, danger lurks around every corner, so Jade must make use of her trusty dai-jo stick in order to defend herself against an extensive array of enemies and boss characters. And no game such as this would be complete without a littering of puzzles - BG&E has them in abundance and Jade can often rely on the assistance of a couple of partner characters in order to solve them.

Beyond Good & Evil blends an extensive roster of diverse game genres throughout, so it would be easy to assume it could fall foul of over-ambition. It doesn't, however, and the numerous different elements, such as hovercraft racing, stealth missions, platform sequences, and live action combat all cohere seamlessly, tied together by an involving, sophisticated story, to create quite a distinct gaming experience.

And where the PS2 hardware sometimes struggled to meet the demands of such a gorgeous game, the Xbox version does a fine job. It looks great, slow-down is non-existent, and Microsoft's Controller-S makes it easy for players to pick up.

Comparisons with the Legend of Zelda games are obvious - Beyond Good & Evil is the first game in a long time to come close in terms of both style and concept as well as quality. Anyone who's a fan of such games will definitely want to try this out.