Beyond Good and Evil Overview

What do you think of Beyond good and evil?

Has some stealth that isn’t horrible, but also isn’t really amazing, mostly just a timing puzzle, but you can distract guards with the first person projectile. The combat is nonsensical mashing. Has a bunch of lateral thinking puzzles, which I’m not that fond of. Lots of contextual interaction points, which I think were considered fairly new back then. Tries to be like zelda in a lot of ways, like the automatic jumping on reaching the edge of a platform. Has some collectathon elements I’m not fond of. The boss battles are all rather rote in the usual way. No risk/reward element. Has some alright boating sections, some use of physical space in a mildly interesting ways for the various obstacles. There’s some slight overlap in certain mechanics, like the shooting in first person view allowing you to solve certain puzzles and enemy encounters in alternate ways, from points where you normally shouldn’t, like sniping enemy’s cannisters on their backs or picking off small enemies from high ground, but it’s not terribly significant.

It’s been a while since I played it. My standards were lower back then. Isn’t it kind of funny how a ton of 6th gen games, even ones attempting a semi-serious theme like Beyond Good and Evil, went with a cartoony mascot type of theme? The Propaganda song is great though. A game like this, with its theme, definitely wouldn’t be constructed the way this one is. Games in this vein all had a very strong “telos” for absolutely every element in them which limited their depth. That’s part of what makes interactions feel puzzle-y rather than game-y. Like, every enemy is less like a combat encounter of risk and reward, and more like, follow this sequence and you won’t get hurt and the enemy will die. Like the enemies that shoot lasers at you that you need to push into electrical barriers. The pearl collectibles don’t really seem like an optional powerup currency nearly so much as something you need to get all of in order to complete the game, which feels limiting to me. They’re not measures of progress or optional challenges with positive feedback for completing them or something like a currency at all. It’s like, yeah, collectibles are nice, until you need to collect all of them to finish the game.

Probably the strongest thing that it can be complimented on is managing to create so many alternate enemy types and obstacles that are unique in function, but without a deep foundation, deep interactions with any of them individually, or interaction between the parts, it’s ultimately shallow overall. Much like Zelda, it spreads itself too thin trying to accomplish too much.

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