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Written by  :  Paul Jones (288)
Written on  :  Feb 03, 2004
Platform  :  PlayStation 2
Rating  :  4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars4.33 Stars
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Shouldn't be overlooked for bigger-name adventures

The Good

Rayman creator Michel Ancel has realised an ambitious vision of the futuristic world of Hylis - a central city (think Star Wars) with islands of varying sizes dotted around a huge lake (don't think The Wind Waker). His green-lipsticked photographer heroine, Jade, is unquestionably cool, undoubtedly French and makes a welcome addition to the growing list of noteworthy female gaming characters. Her companions (a Buzz Lightyear type and a Mr. Fix-It pig), with whom teamwork is key, are also well thought out and acted with admirable humour.

The game is very playable; whizzing around the lake on your hovercraft, which handles very well, is a joy. The game's puzzles, whilst mostly of the lock and key type, are logical and usually interesting although not always particularly taxing, often requiring Jade to make use of one of her companions (e.g. one character pressing a switch whilst another goes through a door). There are some excellent stealth sections, requiring Jade to creep past guards and sneakily take out their air supplies with her wrist-mounted disk shooter. The camera works very well too, rarely obstructing the player's view of the action as so often happens in modern games. The photography aspect is cool - Jade is a freelance photographer working on an assignment for the local underground newspaper. As well as her mission to uncover the secrets of the Alpha Sections and the DomZ, Jade can photograph the local wildlife. This is a great aside from the rest of the game, and the sight of the enormous whale in the lake is truly awesome. The lush graphics, interesting plot, characters and mini-games make this one to get hold of.

The Bad

Some players may feel that the game is too short for an action/adventure game at around 10 hours - and also that there's little warning of when the end is coming. It is quite possible to have gone straight from mission to mission without really exploring the whole world, which is regrettable. Having mentioned this, it's also worth pointing out that it's a shame that there aren't more places to explore. On first sight of the city, it seems huge. In reality, most of it is for show. Perhaps Beyond Good & Evil 2, if there is a sequel (and there are hints that this may be the case), will expand the universe a little and give the player more distractions from the main thread of the game.

The Bottom Line

BG&E deserves a hearty recommendation for anyone who enjoys action/adventure games in the mould of Starfox Adventures, the Zelda series, etc.

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