Beyond Good & Evil - 20th Anniversary Edition Review - Screenshot 1 of 3

It feels like we've been waiting forever for Beyond Good & Evil 2 to show up, and to tide us over until then, Ubisoft has now released a new remaster of the original outing – this time celebrating the game’s 20th anniversary. Yes, this year marks two decades since the original title debuted on the first Xbox (which was later followed by a high-definition version for the XBLA in 2011 on the Xbox 360). So, is this new version worth the 20 units?

Firstly, if you haven’t played this action-adventure before (and we’ll forgive you because it is now 20 years old…), it stars the “action-reporter” Jade who is assigned to investigate alien attacks in the land of Hillys – a futuristic mining setting located in System 4 where its citizens rely on a not-so trustworthy group known as ‘Alpha Section’ to protect them, although not everything is as it seems. Jade, codenamed ‘Shauni’, is sent to investigate what’s going on, and she’s joined by her “uncle” Pey’j (who’s not really her uncle, or the same species for that matter), and eventually Double H, a fellow “homo sapien” with a military past.

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Jade, with the help of these characters and her trusty weapon: Daï-Jo, must save the day by going on an adventure, collecting pearls, upgrading and unlocking gear, taking out bosses and bad guys, solving puzzles and even participating in hovercar racing and mini-games while capturing the whole experience with her camera. Phew!

When you first boot up Beyond Good & Evil: 20th Anniversary Edition, you’ll immediately see the new speedrun mode and a special gallery filled with “never-before-seen” artworks and videos, exclusive anecdotes, and some secret surprises. When you jump into the main experience though, you’ll (hopefully) be flooded with all sorts of nostalgic thoughts about the original release, or perhaps even the HD version.

Generally, it looks and feels the same, but the reality is that it’s now running improved graphics with 4K resolution, and a frame rate of 60FPS carrying over (along with "resolution" and "performance" rendering options). Thankfully, there’s no charm lost – with the characters, environments, and action each feeling livelier than before with all forms of life to catalog. To add to this, the audio and soundtrack have both received an update, including re-recordings with a live orchestra, making the game sound better than ever. There are also some quality-of-life improvements, like the ability to skip cutscenes and auto-saves, and then there are some links to the long-awaited second game in the form of a new treasure hunt.

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What some fans might not necessarily welcome back with open arms are the controls. Even remapped, they still feel a bit clunky in certain sections. The movement (and sometimes camera angles) can also be a struggle, especially during more heated moments, but none of this should come as a surprise to returning players, and it has somewhat been refined. Some other parts of the game’s design, like select puzzles and mechanics including stealth, admittedly haven’t aged quite as gracefully as gameplay in certain other titles from 20 years ago, but your muscle memory should kick in, and before you know it, you’ll be enjoying BG&E like you’re back in the early 2000s.


For the asking price, this 20th anniversary remaster of Beyond Good & Evil is a great experience – with respectable visual upgrades, sound enhancements, some quality-of-life improvements, and bonus content to top it off. While the gameplay, mechanics, and environments don’t always feel quite as fresh as they once did, Jade’s story is still as charming as ever. Now, about that next adventure…