Beyond Good & Evil HD Review
Beyond Good & Evil HD Box Art
System: Xbox 360
Dev: Ubisoft
Pub: Ubisoft
Release: March 2, 2011
Players: 1
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

The biggest highlight of Beyond Good & Evil back in 2003 was the gorgeous graphics. A great color palette, Jade's flawless facial expressions, and backgrounds perfectly molded to fit each area immersed the player into the world of Hyllis. Considering the amount of other titles that could benefit from a high-definition makeover, it's surprising to see a facelift for this one. But it has made a great looking game even better. With nice textures, good lighting and shadowing, and nice water effects, you'll feel compelled to oppose the notion that this is simply an updated port of a 2003 game, miles in the past by technical standards.

Beyond Good & Evil HD Screenshot

Equally impressive is the digitally remastered score, with orchestrations that add to the mood of the scene. After entering a new area or solving a puzzle, the ensuing piano, ensemble, or synthesized tunes keep your attention and intrigue you to continue to uncover the next part of the story. The sound effects and voice acting are considerably well done as well, with Jade's believable conviction and anxiety well portrayed, and every water drip or electrical current having a nice, crisp sound.

Along with the addition of HD, a few extras have also been included. There is a list of twelve achievements to unlock, but most of them will be awarded without straying too far from the story, or by mastering the minigames with only a few attempts. The other feature is an online leaderboard, but this too could have been more polished. Basically, you're ranked by the percentage of game completed, and while you still can view other player's gamer cards, there's no real lure for you to claw your way to the top. A few simple additions, perhaps an achievement or rank for a devilishly difficult race time or total credits earned, would make it a little more difficult.

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Small disparities aside, Beyond Good & Evil remains a truly great piece of programming and written genius. While its short ten to fifteen hour completion time will likely leave you wanting more, you'll probably appreciate the pacing afterwards. You won't feel bogged down with mandatory side quests, and the next mission is always a quick hovercraft ride away. Even small touches like grayed out questions relieve you of having the same conversation twice and keep the story moving along.

Currently, Beyond Good & Evil HD is available to download through Xbox LIVE for a meager 800 Microsoft points ($10), but is expected to be available on the PlayStation Network later in the year. It is possible that the fate of a sequel could depend on the sales and reception of the HD version on both systems. If so, I've done my part by offering well-deserved praise through this review. Now it's your turn to dole out a few bucks and play a great game.

By Sean Engemann
CCC Freelance Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.4
Graphics
Even for a port, the updated graphics seem current, with gorgeous environments and a great color palette.
3.6
Control
While simple in structure, the controls do water down the combat experience, and the reaction time could have been a little tighter. However, navigating the world and the menus is easy and quick.
4.6
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
A beautiful piano and orchestra score, with great sound effects and voice acting, only made better with the remastered version.
4.2
Play Value
A fantastic story and colorful characters make this a memorable game. The only problem is, after you finish, you'll wish there was more.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Delve into a deep story of deception - gather evidence, expose twisted propaganda, and uncover a conspiracy.
  • Updated HD graphics, unlockable achievements, and an online leaderboard round out the list of new features.

  • Screenshots / Images
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