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August 15, 2003
Beyond Good & Evil - Preview
Release Date Publisher Developer Anticipation Players Price
13/11/2003UbiSoftUbiSoft Montpellier1$99.95

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It's the pigman from Seinfeld!
Michel Ancel isn't a name that most people would recognise instantly, but Rayman is certainly a name that you would recognise. Beyond Good & Evil is Michel's latest creation and it looks every bit as exciting as the Rayman titles. What is immediately obvious is that the graphics have a darker and more sinister look to them while the main character, Jade, takes on a human form this time. As with the Rayman titles this game has an storyline worthy of some attention.

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Level detail is stunning.
The planet of Hyllis has fallen under siege by a ruthless alien race. Despite the assurances of the Alpha Section defense squad, the war drags on, terrorizing the once-beautiful planet and crushing the faith of the people. From the rubble of a tiny island rises Jade - a rebellious young action reporter left traumatized by a brutal attack. When Jade is hired by the rebel organization IRIS, she learns that the Alpha Sections are secretly trafficking humans to the enemy. Still wary of who to believe, she sets out to expose the gruesome conspiracy and bring proof to her people.

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On the hovercraft.
Armed with her camera, dai-jo staff, and unflinching resolve, Jade plunges into a sinister web to untangle the truth and restore justice to her planet. But as she earns the trust of her beleaguered people, Jade discovers that sometimes, in order to find the truth, you must look beyond good and evil.

Your mission is to uncover the truth in a world full of deception, where nothing is as it seems and unraveling the truth is the only hope of restoring freedom. As an action reporter, you are required to fight using stealth, force, and wits against the only reality you have ever known. You must stop at nothing until the perpetrators are exposed.

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Jade encounters some guards.
One of the most impressive aspects of this title is the epic feel to the game. This is conveyed, not only through the level design, but also the grand presentation and wonderful cut scenes. In fact, Beyond Good & Evil uses the same graphics engine as in UbiSoft's other Christmas hit Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. Character design is also impressive. Jade looks and moves wonderfully, while her uncle, Pey'j, is the "pig-man" seen in the top picture. Pey'j is also playable during some parts of the game.

What should also impress is the control scheme. Rather then use all buttons on the PS2 Dual Shock 2 controller the developers have created a context sensitive system. If you see a ladder and wish to climb it all you have to do is push the directional controller towards the ladder and so on. The game also includes a hovercraft section. This hovercraft can be upgraded during the game with new parts and weapons. Get enough upgrades and you can even fly to the moon, and the game universe gets even bigger.

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Lovely scenery.
Beyond Good & Evil certainly looks impressive. The levels have a lovely cartoon style not dissimilar to Rayman Revolution, although quite a bit darker. If you're wondering about the widescreen format of the screenshots thatís because Michel Ancel is developing the game in widescreen format to retain a cinematic feel. The audio should also impressive with some moody orchestral scores and wonderful voice acting.

This is shaping up to be a wonderful title with splendid graphics, great story, a lengthy development cycle, and a company that is producing many top quality titles at the moment. The only problem, can this game fit in alongside Jak II and Ratchet & Clank 2?