Beyond Good and Evil (GameCube) Preview

By James 12.03.2003 2

UBI Soft, have you heard of them? No, oh right, well, you must have heard of Splinter Cell, Rayman or Ape Escape. Well Ubi Soft created all these brilliant franchises, and, as of late have had a sudden surge in the overall creativity, flair and skill in designing games. Ubi Soft have been making a big name for themselves lately mainly with the Tom Clancy series, the current games out being Ghost Recon and Splinter Cell both enjoyable games with lots of potential. Other than more Tom Clancy games what else have Ubi Soft got to offer the normal Gamecube gamer? Well Ubi Soft is currently working on what looks like a very interesting little gem of a title, Beyond Good and Evil.

We like innovation. Innovation is simple, its curious, its original. That would sum up many franchises new and old, something old can be original and filled with innovation, take the latest in the Legend Of Zelda series, The Wind Waker, such a bold graphical style made something old new. Then we have the new franchises that are the gaming industries' future, take Pikmin for example, or Metroid Prime. Metroid Prime is a great title because of its innovation. It's a very old series yet, it for an old 2d game converted amazingly well to a new flashy 3d look that is mixed with parts taken from retro gaming such as the morph ball sections.

Beyond Good and Evil is brimming with potential and innovation. Set on the seas of Hyllis your objective is to follow Jade through the game to eventually bring safety and peace back to Hyllis. Jade, just a typical, standard Hyllian is then Hyllis last hope for freedom as a gang or race of alien species begin to obliterate all life. Jade also has an Uncle who goes by the name Page, although, we're sure that should be pig. Pi, sorry, Page is not just somebody who Jade most escort about, no, thankfully he isn't as useless as some of the characters who you have to carry about in The Legend Of Zelda games. Page can actually aid you in some situations, namely, when in combat Jade can order him to attack so she can attack after his distraction. This should help promise keep the gameplay fresh and add variety to Jades normal goings on of photography and saving the world on her own.

Screenshot for Beyond Good and Evil on GameCube

Playing as Jade a young girl that resembles Nicco from Broken Sword, born on the water covered planet of Hyllis you will undertake many tasks to find the truth behind the new species and to return freedom to her race, the Hyllians. Jade can travel across the land on foot, but for when it comes to travelling quite a way Jade is in desperate need of some vehicular support, and, thankfully its there in the form of a land and sea hovercraft. The hovercraft is fully equipped for defence and attack missions and is fully upgradeable. These upgrades will be in the form of weapons for the hovercraft but no official word has been expressed on this matter as of yet. Jade can travel on foot around great cityscapes on Hyllis that portray real cities busy atmosphere very well. Like many things on Hyllis the Hovercraft is green. Hyllis is not a normal planet and its not going to try to be normal either, the see is green (that might be true for Earth pending on how bad the sewage system is) and Jade's clothes are green. Ok, so it is quite like Earth but if it were an entirely new planet with different ways of communicating this might detract too much from the core of the game and would cause more confusion and trouble than its worth. Hyllis has to be in some ways similar to earth, if it wasn't the gamer wouldn't be able to take in and understand the majority of storyline and information throughout the game. Earning money around Hyllis is a very original affair, racing throughout Hyllis on your hover boat can be one way, an alternate it to utilize your cameras full potential...

Screenshot for Beyond Good and Evil on GameCube

Jade is equipped with a simple camera that she can use in many different ways. She can take photos of different types of animal on Hyllis and sell them for money so she can buy items. Depending on the stance and the pose of the object you are taking pictures of will affect how many points and money you get, so, with perseverance you're rewarded. Once you have used up a roll of film and earned a large enough sum of money can you then go on and buy more items and upgrades such as a zoom lens. This can be very important as closer shots with more detail can, again earn you more points, but with some animals otherwise unable to shoot well enough with the standard lens, the zoom lens can really show off. If you go astray and heading off in the wrong way or are spending too much time on a puzzle then Jade might occasionally get an email expressing what she could or might do. Then, if you're really in need of help you'll receive some audio advice. This advice aren't the dire commentary-style voiceovers you'd have come to expect but they are actually much better and actually do provide help as well. If you are short of things to do Beyond Good And Evil will be filled with a surplus amount of mini games to keep you entertained if you're stuck.

The gameplay won't be lacking in any department. The graphics engine is working very well, with the Gamecube's very high polygon pushing power no game should be lacking in this department, and, thankfully Beyond Good and Evil is not exception. No laziness here, the game looks stunning and so it should as Ubi Soft have worked on the game for 3 years.

Screenshot for Beyond Good and Evil on GameCube

The detail on Jade herself is very well done indeed. She looks like shes out to save the world, she looks like a hero, and, quite frankly we were becoming a bit sick of cell-shaded heroes in Gamecube games. Such an excellent game shouldn't be blemished with a poor novelty or gimmick. It doesn't need it and thankfully it hasn't received cel shading. Jade looks curious, fearless and she looks like she on a mission. This provides a change for the more serious gamers, no more limbless creatures, portly plumbers or bashful bandicoots. The effects on the sea are splendid. They look like some of the levels from Wave Race a game that has very high graphical standards when it comes to water effects. The landscapes look a tad blocky but, not everything can be perfect can it? The architecture of the buildings doesn't give off that futuristic, smooth, metallic look that you'd expect from another planet but a rather more historical style. The buildings are made from some rock like mineral and are decorated with bold, simple patterns. Overall we have to say the graphics are shaping up to be extremely pleasing.

Screenshot for Beyond Good and Evil on GameCube

Final Thoughts

Beyond Good and Evil has been a very intriguing little title that many have been watching and anticipating for a long time now, and, when a game looks this good why not? Ubi Soft have been making giant waves in the industry for the past year now with great hits such as Rayman 3 Hoodlum Havoc, Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell and Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon so with these highly acclaimed titles under their belt you can see why we're so excited about their latest offering Beyond Good and Evil. Beyond Good and Evil is a different title, no question. Playing as Jade through a large amount of missions all varying you can undertake such tasks as fighting zany bosses, flexing your photography skills and speeding down the vast sea world of Hyllis on a Hovercraft, interacting with characters and more. This should all provide a very original experience that's rewarding and fun. Like many action/adventure games Beyond Good and Evil lacks a multiplayer but with this absence of a multiplayer in so many adventure games in today's gaming age we can't say we'd be expecting one. Sadly though as with most of Ubi Soft's latest titles it isn't exclusive to the Gamecube and will be appearing on the XBOX and the Playstation 2.

Developer

Ubisoft

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (4 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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