Beyond Good & Evil was a great game when it released back in 2003, and now… well… it’s not quite twenty-years on despite the name, but it’s STILL a great game.

Check out some screenshots down below:

Beyond Good & Evil takes place in the year 2435 on the planet of Hillys, which homes both humans and anthropomorphic creatures in kind. It has found itself in a state of war, with an alien race known as the DomZ abducting the inhabitants of the planet – there is a military organisation known as the Alpha Sections fighting back, but their intentions are shady, with an underground group known as the IRIS Network left fighting for the truth and freedom for Hillys. Players take on the role of Jade, a freelance reporter who runs an orphanage on a small island alongside her uncle Pey’j. When the power to the orphanage is cut off, she has no choice but to try and make some money to keep it going, but soon finds herself caught up in the big conspiracy between DomZ, the Alpha Sections, and the IRIS Network.

Beyond Good & Evil stood out as a unique experience back in the day, and even now its gameplay loop still manages to feel distinct, with players traversing open areas on a hovercraft, stealthily working their way through locales, taking photographs as part of their in-game assignments, and getting caught up in a bit of combat when the time calls for it. It’s pleasantly surprising how good all of these aspects still feel, and whilst some of the insta-fail stealth sections could get a little bit tedious, there’s a satisfying smoothness and sense of creativity to the gameplay that still makes it fun to play now. It can be a little slow-paced at times, but also offers moments of madness in vehicular showdowns that bring plenty of action when the time calls for it. It’s just really, really good, with it easy to forget that you’re playing a game that first released back in the PlayStation 2 days.

“This feels like more than just your typical remaster, with Ubisoft clearly putting a lot of love into ensuring that fans get to experience the game in its very best form.”

Of course, it does help that this 20th Anniversary release has also seen some improvements to help bring the experience up to a modern standard. The visuals have been revamped to allow for 60fps gameplay at a 4K resolution, the textures have been given a fresh lick of paint, the controls have been refined to feel more intuitive for modern gamers, whilst quality-of-life features such as the auto-save alleviate the frustrations felt during some of those aforementioned stealth sections. Whilst these are all things you’d expect from modern titles, they weren’t previously present in Beyond Good & Evil, so it’s nice to see that a real effort has been made to ensure this is the definitive way to experience the adventure.

There is plenty of additional content on offer for players to dive into too, with a gallery of art, videos, and development notes giving players a real insight into the creation of the game. I love things like this in modern re-releases of older titles, with it always interesting to look at the development process of each game and how they came to be. There’s also a new Speedrun mode for players who want an extra challenge out of the game, whilst the new skins on offer felt refreshing (especially since you don’t have to purchase them as separate DLC).

Check out some screenshots down below:

I think the most interesting addition to the game comes with the newly introduced treasure hunt questline that doesn’t only offer more insight into Jade’s past, but also links up to Beyond Good & Evil 2. Players have been left in the dark about the sequel over the last few years, so the fact that this questline exists will certainly give them hope that they may not have to wait TOO long before Ubisoft lift the curtain on the eagerly anticipated release – especially since such an effort has been made to make it feel relevant here.

Sure, there are aspects of the game that will remind you that it originally released over twenty-years ago (particularly with the occasional fiddly camera), but it’s hard not to be impressed by how good Beyond Good & Evil still feels to play. This feels like more than just your typical remaster, with Ubisoft clearly putting a lot of love into ensuring that fans get to experience the game in its very best form.

Beyond Good & Evil: 20th Anniversary Edition Review

Beyond Good & Evil: 20th Anniversary Edition is an excellent re-release of one of the best games of the noughties, with the entertaining gameplay loop standing the test of time and the fancy new bells and whistles ensuring it hits a modern standard. It does show its age here and there (the insta-fail stealth sections and occasionally fiddly camera stand out as the worst offenders), but it’s impressive just how well everything manages to hold up. Add to that the cool new content that has come with the game and it’ll be easy to see that this is the best way to experience this beloved cult classic.

Now… where’s Beyond Good & Evil 2?!

Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Platform(s): PC (Reviewed), PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch