I arrived to the Beyond Good and Evil scene a little late. I heard a bit about it back in the day, and even considered buying it for my PS 2
, but ultimately ignored it, despite hearing good things from friends. When the HD remake was released last month, I decided to give it a whirl.
My overwhelming feeling is one confusion. We're thrown into Hillys with only a news report to tell us what's going on. We then have to fight off waves of... green things to protect some kids our heroine and her (pig?) uncle apparently look after. I've no problem with outlandish elements like these, as long as they aren't thrown in my face, giving me scant seconds to try and understand them.
Otherwise, the story is fine. Not really up to par with similar games like Jak II, but it's competently told, for the most part. There are certain lines that make it apparent the game was not written primarily in English, but they're easy enough to ignore. Where the narrative shines is in it's characters. Jade's porcine uncle, Pey'j, is a hoot, bringing a touch of comic relief to the game, while sharing some fantastic banter with his niece that makes Jade more likeable and their unusual friendship all the more convincing. Jade's other sidekick, a loyal member of the Hillyan army (and the IRIS network, the resistance) by the name of Double H, is just as enjoyable. Jade herself is great, a strong but sensitive female character who truly belongs up there with the likes of Samus and Femshep.
The gameplay itself is versatile, if a bit dated. Over the course of the game, you'll sneak, climb, fight with a staff, ride a hovercraft, play air-hockey with a shark, pilot a space ship and, as befits Jade's occupation, take photos. All of these tend to work well, though the stealth (sneaking past almost invincible marines in Powered Armour) can be infuriating at times.
All in all, I left the game moderately impressed. The game has aged reasonably well, and the updated graphics (most evident with Jade and Pey'j) are half decent.
Here's hoping the proposed sequel gets the love and attention it deserves. I'm sure Ubisoft, having gathered knowledge from the excellent Assassin's Creed and Splinter Cell franchises, can make it the classic it deserves to be.