Cult classics are usually termed so because they weren’t given the praise they deserved at release. A few examples in video games would be Aliens: Infestation on the Nintendo DS, Earthbound on the SNES, and Hello Kitty Island Adventure on the PC. They're all great games, just not generally recognized for being so until years after release.
I had heard, from both gamer friends and game “journalists”, that Beyond: Good & Evil was a sadly overlooked and under-appreciated action platformer that held the rare combination of a compelling story and tight gameplay.
"One day", I thought to myself, "one day I’ll play this fucking game and decide for myself whether it is deserving of both its cult classic status and an upcoming, high-profile sequel!"
It a action/adventure game released fifteen years ago this coming November 11th. That makes this a 2003 release, something that we can take into consideration, but not forgive or excuse. Jak & Daxter was already two years old at this point, and it seems as though this game was attempting to capture and capitalize off that Naughty Dog-style of the aughts.
It starts with some awful news broadcast, something too many games did in the yore. I was almost tempted to turn it off right then. It wasn’t blurry or anything, the textures looked sharp enough, but the animation for the characters was just so stupid as was the cringing dialogue.
There is a Mexican computer and that’s something you don’t see in Sci-Fi too often, Espanol anything. Still, I nearly died from choking on my own laughter at the La Computadora’s accent and pronunciation of the word “Jade”.
Action consists of pushing the X button and then the A to jump away. We didn’t have the most complex of fighting combinations in platformers of the day, but this one seemed too simple, even for the era.
As was the hub, a giant lake you cruise around and shoot giant monsters from your hovercraft. It played okay, but just as basic as the combat. Pew, pew, drive, boost, boost. Please. Stop. I can’t have much more fun than this.
All this game does is smash a bunch of different gameplay tropes awkwardly together, thinking it’s clever when it’s just ripping off the aforementioned Jak & D, Pokemon Snap, and I don’t know, maybe GTA III or Gun, even some Spyro the Dragon and A Boy and His Blob.
If they would have focused on one aspect, maybe I would have played more. Maybe if they had a better story introduction and a plot that doesn’t feel as though it was written by a video game writer of the 90’s, I would have stuck around longer than 2 hours. But they didn’t and I didn’t.
Game Over. I would not play anymore of this game and I did not. Instead, I deleted the game from the Xbone’s hard drive. It’s just too old, too basic, too slow, and too dumb.
Maybe you have fond memories of this game. Good for you. I don’t and I still don’t. Enjoy your oddly placed nostalgia, I’ll keep mine for other classics of the era, like Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic or Prince of Persia: Sands of Time. You know, games that were and still are good.
Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my enthralling Beyond: Good & Evil HD gameplay, where we talk about everything from Bestiality to Wakanda!