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Beyond Good & Evil: Worth Playing in 2024?

Beyond Good & Evil: 20th Anniversary Edition aims to introduce the beloved Ubisoft adventure game to a whole new audience.

Jeremy Proome

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Beyond Good & Evil is one of those cult-classic games that, surprisingly, not that many people have actually played. Released by Ubisoft back in 2003 in the era of baggy pants and backwards caps, the action-adventure game went somewhat under the radar but anyone who played it waxed lyrical about its interesting world, fun characters, and diverse gameplay. Well, Ubisoft is celebrating the game’s double-decade age with Beyond Good & Evil: 20th Anniversary Edition, giving you a chance to replay (or play, if you missed it) one of the most beloved games of the 6th generation — while also readying you for the long-in-development-hell sequel.

Firstly, the 20th Anniversary Edition isn’t a remake but a remaster of the original, upgrading the game’s polygonal visuals to 4K, delivering 60 frames per second and adding numerous quality-of-life improvements including autosave, cutscene-skip, remapped controls, and cross-save across all platforms. Additionally, the admittedly great soundtrack has been re-orchestrated so the whole game looks and sounds pretty sharp, despite being 20 years old.

But what exactly is Beyond Good & Evil? The game is very-much a quintessential action-adventure experience resembling games of the era. Like Jak 3, Ratchet & Clank, Prince of Persia, and Rayman, Beyond Good & Evil combines light platforming, combat, stealth, and exploration with somewhat of a more mature twist to it. You’ll explore cities, pilot vehicles, fight off enemies with a staff, solve puzzles, and climb around the environments to find collectables and routes to the next areas.

One of the standout elements of Beyond Good & Evil is the gameplay variety that is present, allowing players to always have something new and different to do, rather than purely fighting their way through the campaign. It also all feels very organic and unforced; and with the added improvements, it’s still a joy to play all these years later.

The story of Beyond Good & Evil is a unique one, telling the story of a photojournalist/spy named Jade who wants to uncover and expose the secrets of an alien race in order to end a seemingly never-ending war. The game itself is pretty whacky, with some strange characters and allies you make along the way, and its lovable bizarre nature is just a reminder of the ingenuity and creativity that existed with Ubisoft’s original projects in years gone by.

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Visually, the game looks a lot crisper thanks to a polishing up of the edges of all character models and environments, and thanks to the intentional cartoonish art style (while simple by today’s standards), the game still has a striking visual look that has stood the test of time.

While the game does show its age at times, Beyond Good & Evil is one of the most original and interesting games of the PS2 era, so getting another shot at it with some updated features is a gift. It’s well worth a play if you are the tiniest bit interested in the action-adventure genre and want to sink your teeth into something a little different.

Beyond Good & Evil: 20th Anniversary Edition is available on PS5, Xbox Series X/S, PS5, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.

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