So I just finished Beyond Good & Evil. I bought it when it first came out on the PS2 years ago. I played until I got to a point in the Factory level where I got stuck for some reason. Apparently I thought the game was hard or something. I stopped playing it and never played it again until now. I just finished the game and my reaction is mixed.
First of all the story. The concept behind the game sounds awesome. There is a war going on and semi military/government entity called the Alpha Sections is ostensibly protecting the planet from invasion. However, not is as it seems. Throughout the course of the game you discover that the Alpha Sections are in fact in league with the invading DomZ. The whole uncovering the conspiracy part of the story is cool.
But the implementation of the story was flawed. It is implied that the planet you're on -- Hillys -- is part of some sort of galactic or interstellar government, coalition, federation etc. It is also implied that the DomZ and the Alpha Sections are active on more than one planet. But you never hear any more about these things. Essentially you're in a vacuum when you know there is more out there beyond your grasp.
And then the plot takes a turn into the supernatural. The leader of the DomZ is called the DomZ priest and it turns out he's been looking for the protagonist, Jade, for a long time because she's not entirely human and is in possession of some mysterious power. That power is never explained! It's kind of just mentioned as you get close to the end of the game. And apparently this power also grants her the ability to bring the dead back to life? I don't really know. It's supposed to be a plot twist of some kind but it was just poorly done.
Thirdly, the overall tone of the game. Is it serious or humorous? It's like the game can't make up it's mind. You have anthropomorphic rhinoceroses with Jamaican accents, but then at the same time you have a paramilitary organization responsible for mass kidnappings and murders. It just doesn't mix very well. I wish the developers would have picked a direction and stuck with it.
Now from what I know, this game was supposed to be the first in a trilogy but due to poor sales, the sequel has been delayed until about now. According to the game's creator, Beyond Good & Evil 2 is under production. So maybe a lot of these issues will be addressed in the next game. But still, it seems either a little arrogant or sloppy to quickly introduce some plot elements at the end of the game because you're planning on explaining them in a sequel. That presumes that you'll have the opportunity to make a sequel in the first place.
I still enjoyed the game. It wasn't perfect, but it was fun. There were other elements that could have used a little more work -- the combat for one. And I have issues with the last boss -- reversing your controls for the second half of the fight is a cheap shot I think. Especially when that section of the fight dragged on and on.
Still I have to say I look forward to hearing more about BG&E 2. It's still a good possibility that I'll pick it up once it comes out. I'm going to score this game on a scale of 1 to 10, but please bear in mind that I've never actually thought about scoring a game before. So this is more like a rough draft of a score. Or an amateur's score if you will.
Final Score: 7