PC - Windows : Beyond Good And Evil Reviews

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Below are user reviews of Beyond Good And Evil and on the right are links to professionally written reviews. The summary of review scores shows the distribution of scores given by the professional reviewers for Beyond Good And Evil. Column height indicates the number of reviews with a score within the range shown at the bottom of the column. Higher scores (columns further towards the right) are better.

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Excellent PC game from the creator of Rayman

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 57 / 60
Date: January 02, 2004
Author: Amazon User

I have no idea why Amazon.com has so little information on the PC version of this game, but this is truly an excellent game. Amazingly, the game somehow manages to successfully meld Zelda: The Wind Waker style adventuring with Metal Gear Solid style stealth and oddly enough, photography.

The first thing you'll notice about the game is that it sports some very impressive graphics. (On a good PC with full DirectX 9 support) The world is beautifully rendered and cool blur effects are used very often. Looking around in first person causes a light blur effect which look really really cool. I've never before in a game ever wanted to move the camera around for so long just because it's so fun. The game ran respectably on a Pentium 4 1.4 ghz with 384 ram and a Radeon 9500 Pro but I'm not sure how it'll run on lower end systems. If you're not sure how the game will run on your system, try the demo first.

The controls are excellent also, using the standard wsad and mouse configuration most of the time but switching to set camera angles at a few certain places. The preset camera angles are always very good and useful and help navigating tricky areas.

The gameplay is hard to explain but it's truly fresh and fun. Basically, about half of the gameplay is nonlethal stealth like Metal Gear Solid or Splinter Cell, which is a love it or hate it thing. Luckily, if you happen to die during a stealth part, (Basically, if you get found, you'll probably die.) the game will quickly take you back to the beginning of the room which lowers frustration a lot. The other half of the gameplay is Zelda style combat which is fairly simple but still quite fun. There is also quite a lot of puzzle solving, which for the most part is very simple, such as finding switches or having to turn off the power and take a fuse before the power turns back on. Some puzzles are more involving but non of them will cause extreme frustration. My only concern might be that the stealth parts can be a little tedious, especially when you find yourself sneaking through room after room after room in a complex. The stealth parts in the game may be too difficult for 7-12 year old children.

Overall, this is truly a fantastic game which I would recommend to most gamers with a little patience.

Under-estimated, Under-rated, Overly Fun Title

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 19 / 19
Date: October 19, 2004
Author: Amazon User

I picked this game up for $14.99 at the local CompUSA, and I did not expect much out of it. I had read many online and magazine reviews, but seeing as it was relatively cheap, I decided to make my purchase.

And I haven't regretted it at all.

With many layers of different types of gameplay, it's superbly immersive and almost like an interactive movie. Even from the very beginning, the game thrusts you into the fray during a cutscene. The integration throughout is fantastic.

Later, as you take more quests and become a reporter who tries to unveil a conspiracy, you have to sneak around (great stealth element) and take pictures of evidence (once again more immersion into the game world).

Other events and things you can do in this game are to take pictures of all the animals of the world (for scientific documentation), race in your hoverboat (and upgrade it), fly to outer space, and just plain explore the vast world that Beyond Good & Evil has to offer.

It's very open-ended ala Grand Theft Auto: Vice City style, where you can do things at your pace and/or further yourself by making money/upgrading your hoverboat. Even minor details are in this game, such as night/day transitions and animal movements/behavior.

Because the game is so immersive, you begin to "care" about the characters in the game, and the storyline/plot furthers this all the way until the end. Fantastic movie elements, suspensefulness and foreshadowing are all present in this game.

The music is also something that caught my attention, with beautifully orchestrated tracks, these songs are more than worthy enough to be in a motion picture. Even in the beginning, as the game launches you into a fightscene, the music is very upbeat/serious music, with opera style vocals in the background. The game is filled with memorable music, and it really pushed my appreciation for Beyond Good & Evil. It's production values are fantastic, and in all honesty, even that is an understatement.

Normally I don't write reviews for anything on Amazon.com but this game was just so fun and memorable that I'd like more people to know about this game and be able to experience it. This game did not sell well because of it's obscurity, but don't let that scare you away. Open your mind and try it out. There's something in this game for everyone. I hope you have lots of fun with this game!

as good as computer games seem to get

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 10 / 11
Date: December 07, 2004
Author: Amazon User

i find computer games compelling, but generally disappointing. beyond good and evil starts to really approach something special. it doesn't entirely make it but perhaps goes farther than any other game i've tried and i've tried alot now. i've rated it based on criteria important to me below which i think will explain.

Story: B- it starts out great and is an interesting sort of fantasy sci fi story. compared to other games its great, but when you hear people talk about games with a good story, or that it's like playing a movie, think twice. this is never true, and bg and e is no exception. the premises, world, and characters are well set up, but never fully padded out. the conclusion is not terribly satisfying and things are not really made to have full sense or clarity in the end.

Characters: A- everyone is at least somewhat charming and fun to look at, even more minor characters, with distinctive looks and personalities. the voice acting is top notch and that helped alot too. and everyone (outside of villains) was really kind of sweet which was refreshing and nice to experience in the usual grim world of these games. it reminded me of grim fandango in this way.

Gameplay: B very fun mostly with a nice amount of diversity that i think is crucial to a game like this. hovercraft racing, sneaking (which i usually don't like too much but found manageable and somewhat fun here), an inventive little table game, picture taking, fighting and so on. some parts better than others. fighting a little weak, but easy mostly and looks nice.

Graphics: A- games tend to shine in this category, but BG&E was really wonderful to look at, beautifully designed and without alot of that fakey realistic computer quality so many games have or strive for. it looked cartoony in the best way possible, like a really well done beautiful cartoon, and yet 3d!
Dreariness factor: B this is the issue in games when you go from room to room killing or whatever and it's all dark and bleak and usually there's way too much of it. i'm am sorry to say there's a bit of it here- the endless rooms of the slaughter house for instance, but there's alot of sunshine and brightness and the sweet characters which helps alot.

Technical issues: i didn't have any real problems

Learning factor: A- introduces you smoothly and nicely to how to be jade (your character) it is very fun to discover what you can and get to do.

Product materials: B- one small booklet that provides a pretty good amount of info, though could've provided more.

Chore factor: C+ sometimes you have to go through alot of rooms and quards to get very far along in the story or to a pearl or whatever and there were moments where it felt a little more like work than fun. the way the game mixes stuff up helps, but some parts went on a bit.

Difficulty: B i, unlike, it seems, most people, like games that are somewhat easier. this one was probably easier than average, which was good for me since this game has no difficulty levels. it is challenging without being excruciating (mostly). i liked how hard the puzzles were for the most part too.

Game saves: B usually i hate not being able to save. hate hate hate (do you hear me vice city, mafia et al), but it was well handled here and sometimes i even liked not having to worry about it. and even if you die you rarely get sent back too far, so it all kind of worked in this game, though i did once have to lose 20 minutes of playing cause i had to shut down at an inconvenient time.

that's it. if you've never bought an adventure game or any computer game i really intensely recommend this. if you're just interested in a good game buy this. if you want to cut the heads off of snakes (?), um, maybe try something else.

One of those hard to find games

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 8 / 8
Date: September 30, 2004
Author: Amazon User

I don't mean by my title that this game is hard to find. More that a game as well done as this only comes around once and a while. I spent about 20 hours exploring the world of Hylis. 20 hours which seemed to be only 10-15 hours. Time passes much faster outside the little bubble of blissful ignorance that will form around you while playing this game because, frankly, the outside world will seem to fade as you almost become Jade, becoming increasingly immersed in the beautiful yet dark world of Beyond Good and Evil.

The game opens with an alien attack by creatures known as the Domz. After a simple battle, you recieve your camera and can begin exploring your small island home, which also happens to be a lighthouse. When you first get the camera, you'll recieve one of the game's main side quests: photographing all the world's animals. This quest continues throught the game and takes a bit of work to complete, although you won't regret it. It is one of the most entertaining mini-games I have ever seen, keeping you entertained durring and between misions. After you've finished photographing the animals and exploring the environment, you begin you're adventure by recieving a speedboat from your best friend and companion, Pay'j.

Before I go on to mention anything else, I should probably go into detail about the environment. Although the game's graphics are often very cartoony, the cartoon world of Hylis comes alive in the form of the teeming life you see everywhere around you. There are the small things, such as the detailed rock walls of caverns, to the way the water moves, to all the people walking out on the streets. Everything just seems so alive that it will seem almost magical. The game also has a wonderful distance engine, which allows the player to see things from a very large distance, such as a whale leaping from the water, or other boats, or even the larger details of the game's several islands.

While running around taking pictures and fighting evil is fun, it is just as much fun to cruise around on the speed boat and the rocket ship, once you get it. While there is some fighting and picture taking to be had aboard the ship, it was not quite frequent enough for me, and I had to just make due with the 3 boat race courses and the four smugglers caverns, with the occasional Domz attack.

The main collectible in this game is the pearl, and pearls are required to progress through the game, with some additional pearls added in to give you more choice as to what quests to perform to progress in the game. The games quests vary. While you will get pearls automatically for progression in the game's rich plot, you will also have to take pictures of animals, fight some hidden Domz, win boat races, defeat smugglers, infiltrate government buildings in which pearls are held, and other little quests, many involving the perchase of pearls. Also, to avoid all the annoying serching that most games have to get the last collectibles, you can buy an item that will label pearl and animal locations on your map so that you have an idea of where to look, although it won't tell you how to get them.

The puzzles in the game are very well done, and, for the most part, simple. There is one puzzle later on that is quite well done because it is hard without being contrived or ridiculously pointless or anything else that can be complained about. Other puzzles involve finding clever ways of sneaking past guards or getting over a wall. It's one of those games where solving puzzles isn't extremely difficult as long as you look for the game's hints, yet still give a very rewarding feeling after their completion.

Almost done... This game isn't exactly an action game. Like in most RPGs, you can't fall of edges into bottomless pits, although enemies can kill you. Jade will do most jumping and action oriented moves by herself, leaving you to fight monsters and solve puzzles. The controls are very responsive and should never frustrate the player, especially with the fantastic camera, which places itself in basically the best position almost automatically, although there are sometimes when it would be nice to be able to move it. This makes doing battle simple, although it's not to hard to begin with. Most enemies are slow to attack and give you plenty of time to prepare a good strategy to dealing with them.

To wrap up, I need to mention the two most surprising things about this game. First off, it had almost no bugs that I could find. I found one spot where I fell through a floor, but I can only blame myself for that one, and it was easy to avoid the spot once I knew what I did to get into it. Did I mention that there are save points EVERYWHERE, so you never have to worry about getting really far and then getting stuck having to turn it off and losing 30 minutes of playing. Also, being killed only places you back at the entrance of a room, making some of the more frustrating sneaking bits much less so. The other bug was simply a quest desription bug on Salene which described the Pay'j quest as the "escaping the Slaughterhouse" quest. Other than that, I had no problems with the game's mechanics. Another surprise in this game was the increadible music, which had a great Latin feel and really got your feet moving and sometimes your head moving from side to side.

This game's story line never lets up and keeps you on the edge of your seat right up till the fantastic final battle. There were even several spots (especially the lighthouse bit near the end), when I almost cried because of the game's extremely emotional presentation. The only irritating thing is that the game seems to have one of those 'prepare for a sequal' endings, with some little loose ends to tie up, yet I have heard no plans for one as of yet. I'll have to keep my eyes peeled, I guess.

Anyway, if you're still reading this (I didn't realize I had this much to say about BG&E, sorry), this game goes beyond good and bad and reaches a level which few games attain of utter perfection. Every little thing in this game is thrown at you in just the right amount to entertain you, yet keep you begging for more. If you can find this game used, it makes a great addition to anyone's collection, but even new it's still a great deal for a great game.

A throughout original and entertaining game

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 9 / 10
Date: February 25, 2005
Author: Amazon User

Just finished it, actually I finished it twice because I don't remember it crashing often but it just did before the ending cinematics. Kinda frustrating, but I really wanted to see the ending.

You're Jade, a girl in her 20's, living in the world of Hillys, raised by her "uncle" Pey'j, who happens to be a walking, talking pig (Sus Sapiens if you believe the game). Thing is, the planet is under attack from an Alien species named the Dom'Z and consequently under the protection of the "Alpha sections", who have declared martial law on the planet.

The population is not sure about the strange, helmet-wearing troops, but is too distraught by the war to really think twice about them. After the Dom'z make a direct attack on your home, a lighthouse where Jade and Pey'j are taking care of some young orphans, Jade accepts a mission to investigate who these Dom'z are and what their business is with the Hillyan people. I won't spoil the story, but it kept me entertained till the end, and made me think of a good animated movie.

One thing this game does really well is to take a cinematic approach to the action. There's always a lot of things happening visually so, even as you make your way through mazes or fight enemies, you'll never stop looking at your surroundings. There is no quick-save possibility but it doesn't matter because you'll always be able to restart within the last minute of where you happened to die. All of this contributes to keeping you immersed in the action.

Graphics are top-notch, yet they seem to slow down old machines a little if you push the settings (esp. the intro on my old GeForce4, but my X800Pro shrugged it off with all the settings maxed out :) ) Sound effects are good, music is memorable, which is always a good thing.

There's one frustrating thing though, as other reviewers have mentioned it, it's the camera/control scheme. It's the only bad thing about this game (I don't mind the 10-15 hours duration, I don't like games outstaying their welcome), but unfortunately was enough to turn many people away from it.

The idea is your directional keys are based on the camera referential, not your character referential. But, to maintain the cinematic aspect, the camera typically changes position and angle as your character moves. If you keep your directional key pressed then your character is going to continue in the initial direction, but if you release it and press a key again, it's going to use the new camera referential.

One can get used to it, and to the minor annoyance that comes from having to figure out where you target is again. However, the implementation is not perfect, and sometimes it keeps the old direction even though you voluntarily released the key to adapt to the new view. The only place where I found that very frustrating is in the looter pursuits, and you can finish the game without doing any if you don't want to.

So anyway, it's one of the most entertaining games I've played in the past 2-3 years, and like others I feel this game is underrated, probably because it lacked marketing $, and professional reviewers were turned off by the control issues. Hesitating between 4 and 5 stars, I chose five for its somewhat "cult" status.

A pure gem!

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 6 / 6
Date: August 19, 2004
Author: Amazon User

Sometimes a game gets everything right the first time around. Beyond Good and Evil is as close as it gets. It seems there was very little marketing for this game and that's a real pity, because this is the one of the best action and adventures games since Zelda. A pure gem.

Most adventure games are a real pain. Badly made, poorly acted, shoddily rendered or even worse, all three screw-ups combined. Black Mirror Springs, Road to India and even Uru (Myst4) has many gaming aspects wide of the mark. Then BGE appeared out of the blue. The art direction is just amazing - it's eye candy all the way. Then game play is a hybrid game, with action sequences, some racing, lots of exploring, tricky puzzles and lots of stealth. The fighting is a bit to easy for my taste, but it serves well to get your adrenaline pumping. The atmosphere is great, this games immerses you from minute one. BGE is not very difficult - I would recommend it for beginners and more advanced gamers alike. You play the role of action reporter Jade, s instantly likable, without the obvious qualities of, say, Lara Croft. Your job is to capture the truth and expose the evil governments conspiracy. This games kicks ass with it's cheap price tag of $19 at most stores. Enjoy.

SurprisinglyGood !!!

4 Rating: 4, Useful: 5 / 5
Date: March 12, 2004
Author: Amazon User

Superb game. It's one of those games that surprises you. You didn't think that it's going to be good but it actually turned out quite good. I accidently discovered this game by playing its demo. The first two game scenes are not well done and they don't portray the playability of the entire game. I'm glad I played through those in the demo. Once I picked up the camera, I was hook on the game. And the game gets better and better.

The thing that I really like about this game is the game imagery. The world environment is just awesome. Also the storyline and background music is pretty cool too.

The reason for the fours stars and not five: In some areas of the game, it's hard to control the character. The controls need a bit of work. Also the game is a bit too easy.

Sometimes a game gets everything right

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 5 / 5
Date: March 25, 2004
Author: Amazon User

Sometmes a game gets everything right the first time around. Beyond Good and Evil is such a game. It has been marketed without any ruour or buzz, and that's a real pity, becasue this is just a great little game. A gem.
I've played every adventuregame there is out there, and many of them are a real pain. Badly made, badly acted or badly rendered. Black Mirror springs to mind, Road to India and even Uru (Myst4) got many things just wrong. Then BGE appeared out of the blue.
First of all the art direction is just amazing. The colour palette used is extremely nice - it's eye candy all the way. Then the gameplay. It's a sort of hybrid game, with actionsequences, some racing, lots of exploring and some stealth and puzzles. The figthing is never very difficult and serves to get your adrenaline going. When you 'die', the game let's you start again at the beginning of the sequence, so you can try till you succeed. It makes for a nice change every now and then after an hour or so exploring.

The racing (with a hoovercraft) is cute. It's not difficult either, and with the effects (especially the water) it is so beautiful that you never get tired of it.
The exploring is so much fun, it makes you want to wander around forever. The atmosphere is great, this games immerses you from minute one.
BGE is not very difficult - I would recommend it for beginners and more advanced gamers alike. The heroine is instantly likable, without the obvious qualities of, say, Lara Croft. Jade is very lovable, and you really want to help her out when she's in a tight spot.
So, finally, is there nothing wrong with this game? No, it is that good. And for this price? Wow, it's a steal.

Best game of the new milennium

5 Rating: 5, Useful: 5 / 5
Date: September 08, 2005
Author: Amazon User

This game is in contention for the best video game I've ever played, up there with titles such as Fallout and Resident Evil.

In Beyond Good and Evil, you play the part of Jade, a young woman on a planet called Hillys. Hillys is a futuristic society plagued by invasions from a race of alien abductors called the DomZ. (pronounced doms) Hillys itself is populated not only by humans, but by other races that have evolved not only from apes, but from goats, rhinos, sharks, and many other animals.

Jade is a photographer by profession, and lives in a lighthouse with the kindly pig-man who raised her, where they raise a number of orphan children and Jade struggles to earn enough money from her photography to pay the power bill for the energy shield that protects them from the DomZ. Good backstory, I'd say.

Without giving away too much, the story progresses from there, and Jade finds herself attempting to uncover a government conspiracy through photographic evidence. The device by which you take pictures works beautifully, and you can very soon obtain a zoom lens which not only makes photography easier, but functions as binoculars to survey an area and as a weapon targeting device. You can earn extra money along the way by selling photos, and the income is instantaneous, as the digital photos are transmitted from your camera and funds are electronically deposited into your account.

One of the things I liked most about the game is its variety. There are battles, in which Jade weilds her staff and sometimes has aid from a companion, and there are driving portions of the game, in which you need to pilot a hovercraft (and later a spaceship) to flee, pursue, fight, or earn first place in a race, jumping and shooting all the while. There are numerous puzzles, although they are seldom as conspicuous as those in Resident Evil or Syberia - generally the puzzles in Beyond Good & Evil take the form of a door which must be opened or a creature which must be bypassed. Sneaking is both plentiful and well-designed. If you've ever played Tenchu or Thief, you know how much fun it can be to sneak around, narrowly avoiding being spotted, and then run and hide once you are spotted. And there are even a couple side-games, such as the good ole shell game, and an odd air hockey variant.

The game designers did an excellent job making the game nonviolent. More often than not, you're battling DomZ, which are very nonhuman, and when you do battle humanoids, you're still using your staff, so not blood is ever spilt. Even when you sneak up behind someone, you bash their air-pack to disable them rather than assassinating them.

The PC control scheme took a bit of getting used to, but zooming with the mouse wheel and peeking around with the mouse became second nature before too long. In the PC version, if you're accustomed to navigating with the WASD keys, you should be comfortable, but if not, you may initially find it annoting to use the space bar to run and the Q key to use items, since they're so close to the WASD (move) keys. Another minor annoyance was the inability to skip cinematics. Still, there were a few scenes in the game to which I kept returning to replay, including a phenomenal chase scene laced with cinematic cuts.

The PC version had some minor issues on two of the three PCs on which I installed it. (Yes, I've played the game twice, and installed it on three PCs) One of the issues has to do with graphics compatibilities, but tweaking the settings remedies this. The other has to do with the synching of video and sound in the cutscenes, but the Ubisoft forums has a fix for this if you visit them.

Very annoying controls

3 Rating: 3, Useful: 11 / 20
Date: February 20, 2005
Author: Amazon User

I uninstalled the game halfway through it because the controls are too annoying. At various points, you lose the ability to control where you are looking and just have a fixed view, or have a changing view that the game controls instead of you. Unfortunately, the direction keys are tied to view, so sometimes w is forward and sometimes it is sideways and sometimes it is back. So the game taking control of the view takes control of where you're trying to move, so you have to compensate, and meanwhile you just got killed while trying to get reoriented to the room that's swirling around you.

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