Every now and then as I’ve said before I’ll go looking through the bargain bin of old pc games to see whats kicking around for a couple of pounds. I tend to be pretty picky on what I will pay for and in the past I have read things about the game from fans eager for a sequel to Beyond Good & Evil without really knowing why. For some reason this game managed to fly under my radar entirely when it was released and having found a copy I decided it was worth a shot.

I wasn’t expecting much to be honest and I was pretty blown away by how intriguing the story was and how the characters and music painted a world so full of emotion. It is best described as an adventure game, similar in style to Zelda games on nintendo consoles over the years.  You play the part of a heroine named “Jade” featured above left. She is a photographer on a planet known as Hillys, many of the inhabitants are human but many are also animal humanoids such as Jades friend and adopted uncle “Pay’j a pig mechanic and some Caribbean inspired rhinos that sell various upgrades for your hovercraft and later space ship.

These characters all add some nice flavour to the world and with such a rich story revolving around Jades desperate attempts to look after her orphans, save her friends and do her job as a photographer to uncover the human trafficking taking place on Hillys the game never stops evolving from one type of game to another. One moment you’ll be running around dodging bad guys and swinging your stick, the next you’ll be taking photos of Hillys wildlife or as evidence of human trafficking for the news papers. Another time you’ll be zooming about racing in your upgradeable hovercraft or exploring the various docking places you can find pearls…the primary source of your vehicle upgrades. There are also times when you’ll be sneaking past enemy patrols, up ledges and ducking and diving between energy beams all to get those important photos and advance the intriguing storyline.

The game never gets too difficult and only a couple of times did I find myself wondering what I had to do to solve a puzzle, it was enough to keep you thinking without too much frustration. The music sets every scene perfectly from the sad moments to the achievements and there are also a couple of secrets to be found along with some mini games you can play to earn some extra credits while exploring the city. Visually the game having a unique look to it allows it to avoid the usual problems with old games looking dated and while it didn’t challenge my old rig it was full of colour and atmosphere.

My only real negative was that often I felt the camera was disorienting as it usually follows a set position based on where you move, if you are crouching or running and is a bit slow to rotate if you decide you need to look the other way, which on occasion is impossible because the camera is locked as is often the case with console games. Being on the pc it can feel a little restrictive but because of the pace of the game and the forgiving “retry” feature which pretty much takes you back to just before an event where you might die begins it’s forgivable.

If you get the chance I can highly recommend this game as it seems to cover all the bases of fun, it’s been a while since it came out and Ubisoft so far have not announced a definitive sequel however I have seen news that they are remaking this version with HD textures so clearly they have not forgotten about the franchise and we may yet see a revival on the cards possibly with a sequel coming out after the remake. Get your camera, aim and snapshot your way through a fantastic experience!

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