-Graphics aren't that high definition
-Feels dated sometimes
Final score: 8 / 10
A functional Xbox 360 with an Internet connection
Beyond Good & Evil HD is the latest in the array of high definition remakes we've seen appear in the last year or so and Ubisoft's attempted at seeing if there are enough fans to warrant fully investing in Beyond Good & Evil 2, one of the most anticipated sequels in the whole gaming industry.
The title was launched as part of the Xbox Live House Party promotion and wants to deliver the same great game originally released back in 2003, but with upgraded graphics fit for a new console generation.
Has it succeeded or should Beyond Good & Evil HD slowly sink to the bottom of the oceans on the planet Hillys, alongside the possibility of a fully pledged sequel? Let's find out.
Leading lady Jade ...
... and her unusual companions
Beyond Good & Evil HD has a pretty tough job ahead of it, adding a few new features to one of the most critically acclaimed titles of yesteryear, and trying to cement it into mainstream gaming culture, after they original failed to actually sell lots of units.
For a guy like me, who hasn't played the original game and was fresh into the whole Beyond Good & Evil experience, it has pretty much succeeded.
Even if it is a high-definition remake, the improved graphics and resolutions still take a back seat to the story and the unique characters, including leading lady Jade and her friends.
Beyond Good & Evil paints a world where things may look cute and cuddly, thanks to the anthropomorphized animals, but there are some serious things afoot, starting with the invasion of the weird DomZ aliens and reaching even the Alpha Section, a force that promises to help the residents of Hillys in front of the evil monsters.
Jade, with the help of her Uncle Pey'J and others must use her photography and stealth skills to uncover the conspiracies behind all of these events and restore peace to her world.
Photography plays an important role in the game, perhaps more than the actual fighting, as it is used not just to complete objectives and missions but also to earn credits and pearls, one of the special currencies in the game world. While it may seem a bit annoying at first, taking photos becomes quite interesting and, dare I say it, addictive, so you'll start to search for rare animals in order to complete your collections in no time.
You'll still do quite a lot of fighting and platforming though, and even if it has a simple combat system, with just one button to press, it becomes more difficult as it progresses. Platforming is pretty good, but there are some instances where navigating the levels becomes too complicated.
The actual levels in the game are pretty much split between wider, open ones and small, cramped little rooms or corridors. You'll find yourself going through a lot of loading screens, while extra animations like when saving your progress at special stations throughout the world can also get tiresome.
Still, exploration is one of the most important things to do in the game, as not only can you uncover secret items or new animals to photograph, but also other activities, like racing or chases with looters that are quite exciting.
Moving around the world can get a bit annoying because of the dodgy camera system, however, as the angles that the game chooses to display its action are extremely bad and fail to show you that you have enemies in the new chamber you're entering or if you have a special nook or cranny that you can explore.
The most important thing, however, is that Beyond Good & Evil HD still has a lot of charm for a game originally launched in 2003, starting with Jade, who has emotions just like a normal human being, and ending with the world of the game which is extremely memorable.
Explore the oceans of Hillys ...
... and conquer its puzzles
Graphics-wise, Beyond Good & Evil HD manages to take the old game and really give it a new coat of paint. The textures could have used some more work, but, overall, things have improved and they'll keep people interested in the game.
It's not Crysis 2, but don't forget that the base is still a title released 8 years ago for platforms like the PlayStation 2, Nintendo GameCube or the original Xbox.
Overall, Beyond Good & Evil HD, for those who haven't played the original, is a great choice and will prove certain delight, even if its visuals aren't what you might expect in 2011. For those who still keep the older one in high regard, it's a pretty fun blast from the past which feels great even after many years.
Beyond Good & Evil HD is available for download on the Xbox Live Marketplace for 800 MS Points and will appear on the PlayStation Store later this year.