Electronic Theatre In-depth Review: Beyond Good and Evil

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Rating: 5.0/5 (3 votes cast)

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What do we want? War, senseless destruction, mayhem and mental pyrotechnics! Well, not all the time… Consider Beyond Good and Evil, a game wherein averting the afore mentioned chaos is the general idea, so no Mini-gun or Flame thrower. That doesn’t mean you don’t get to kick ass though. In Beyond Good and Evil for the GameCube, you play the character Jade, a journalist thrown into a conspiracy which she must expose – or face losing her friends and the peace of the planet. As a journalist, your main piece of equipment is a camera which you can use to earn money by snapping local wildlife, of both the hostile and non-hostile kind, and get objective information by photographing and analysing key locations. If you’ve played Metroid Prime certain elements may seem familiar and will help you get to grips with the system. Photo analysis is a key element of the game (and one which progresses the story) so be sure to take a good look around the rooms, your camera will pick up on key locations and items within them.

Early on you get to island hop and explore new maps thanks to a handy little Hovercraft. There is room for diversity within the arenas on the playable map, and the thread of the storyline is maintained throughout different sections through your own investigations. Extra depth is made through the use of sub-quests and mini-games, not all of which are essential, but they may put you on the right track for picking up items and makes for an atmosphere to the game. The mini-games aren’t huge in variety, but offer a little distraction from the main adventure. The best of these featured would be a variation on the table game often found in arcades, Air Hockey. The mini-game sees you competing against a CPU character, with four white discs in each player’s half. There is a small chute linking to two halves, and the idea is to remove all the discs from your half before your opponent does the same to you.

In terms of game control, it won’t tax your thumbs greatly, even in action sequences the control plays smoothly and respond well. Logically for the genre, progression through the game comprises a variety of control sets for the different missions and mini-games, though these are largely automatic upon entering a dungeon section. When you must sneak around under guards’ noses Jade tends to get sucked to the walls a fair amount as the camera can become unreliable.

Graphically average, the game has few faults and a review of your photo album (yes – you get to keep pictures!) reveals that takings snaps with lens movement produces blurs not pixilation, which is worthy of note, because of course you’re not going to get ideal locations to shoot from, all of the time… Once again, the game’s sound remains average for the current generation, although this maybe more to do with the fact the game is multi-format, rather than poor development.

What we have is a story led action/adventure and a stylish one at that, but not one which engages the genre in the way that Eternal Darkness fans will know.

 

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