Videogame (2003). Ubisoft. Designed by Michel Ancel. Platforms: PS2 (2003); GC, XBox (2004); Win (2006); PS3, XB360 (2011).
Beyond Good & Evil is an action Adventure, displayed in a third person three-dimensional view. It is set on Hillys, a colony planet inhabited by humans and anthropomorphic aliens. Hillys is beautiful and peaceful, a harmonious world where even the criminals are charming. However, it is under attack by the DomZ, a race of giant Psionic spiders. While Hillys is supposedly protected by the forces of Alpha Section, they seem strangely incompetent at repelling DomZ attacks. The player character is Jade, an appealingly optimistic and caring photographer who runs an orphanage in her spare time. After a narrow escape from the DomZ, she is recruited by the IRIS Network, an underground media organization who want her to discover the truth behind Alpha Section's ineffectual defence.
Jade's missions for IRIS typically involve her infiltrating an Alpha Section base and photographing secret areas and meetings. Success depends on the player's ability to solve puzzles, covertly bypass guards, and occasionally fight enemies, often in cooperation with a computer-controlled friend. Other gameplay elements include photographing rare animals for money and racing hovercraft. At the end of the linear story (see Interactive Narrative), Jade can broadcast evidence that Alpha Section has been taken over by the DomZ. Before she can triumph over the spiders, however, she must defeat their High Priest and learn that she is not truly human. Instead, she is the incarnation of something precious that was stolen from the DomZ, and she can raise the dead. The plot ends on a cliffhanger, in expectation of an as yet undelivered sequel. Beyond Good & Evil is charming and enjoyable in equal measure, an optimistic fairy tale for adults. [NT]
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