Considering the lengthy ongoing development of Beyond Good & Evil 2 and the subsequent grilling from eager fans that Ubisoft has brought upon itself over the years, it’s easy to forget just how darn good the original game is. First released on PS2, Xbox, and GameCube at the end of 2003, Beyond Good & Evil was one of the most unique adventure games of its day, showcasing a world that Nintendo itself would have been proud to call its own.

This 20th Anniversary Edition remaster updates the experience with revamped visuals, improved performance (sort of), quality-of-life upgrades, and more. But is it still as enjoyable now as it was two decades ago? Well, the answer is thankfully a resounding “yes”: Ubisoft’s re-release is easily the best way to experience Jade and Pey’j’s epic journey on Nintendo hardware, but it’s also not without a few niggling issues.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Touching on the visuals to start, Ubisoft has done a great job upgrading Beyond Good & Evil without losing any of the original’s charm. Real-time lighting has been implemented which gives both the environment and its cast of characters a completely new lease of life, while certain models have been updated to look a bit, well… better. This is perhaps most apparent with Jade’s uncle and sidekick, Pey’j, whose eyes are slightly larger and more animated than we’re used to in the original. All told, however, the game is definitely boasting a ‘This is what you remember it looking like back in the day’ vibe; it’s familiar, yet refreshed.

We feared that the upgraded visuals might result in some iffy performance, but the game manages to maintain a mostly stable 30fps. This dips occasionally when you’re dealing with certain effects like explosions or cascading water, but it’s minor enough that it never got in the way of our enjoyment. Now, it’s worth noting that other versions of the game on PS5, Xbox, and Steam run at 60fps, and even the 360 version of Beyond Good & Evil HD runs a lot smoother on a Series X thanks to the Xbox’s FPS Boost feature (albeit without the visual enhancements seen here). It’s a tough pill to swallow, but in isolation 30fps feels more than adequate.

A similar level of care and attention has been given to the game’s soundtrack, too. More than 15 tracks have been completely re-recorded under the supervision of original composer Christophe Héral. Most of it sounds familiar and you’d be forgiven for thinking that nothing has changed if it’s been a while since you played the GameCube version, but it helps modernise the audio nicely.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Docked)

The true joy of Beyond Good & Evil, however, lies in its gameplay. Yes, many aspects have indeed aged quite a bit in 20 years: the combat feels slightly stilted, the camera can often get in the way, and some of the UI feels like it could have benefited from a bit of TLC. The thing is, though, there’s just so much variety on offer that it never feels like a chore to play. One moment you’re fighting off a bunch of giant bugs, the next you’re taking a photo of a curious-looking bird in the city centre before hopping into your hovercraft to participate in a race.

Progression is largely linear in that you simply follow the story beats and make your way to designated locations. Exploration is still encouraged, however, since you’ll need to complete tasks to gain pearls. These pearls can then be spent at the Mammago Garage (rocking some updated music, by the way) to gain hovercraft upgrades; an endeavour that is often mandatory if you want to reach certain locations. The pacing is honestly exceptional and it never feels like any one gameplay mechanic outstays its welcome.

Aside from the main game, the 20th Anniversary Edition adds a few tasty bonus features. You’ve got a new speedrun mode which should allow for some significant longevity, along with new outfits for both Jade and Pey’j. Finally, a comprehensive gallery section dives into the production of the game and includes both still images and videos. What’s great is that each section is enhanced with contextual information, walking you through each segment and its relation to the main game. It’s not on par with, say, Atari 50, but it's clear that this has been crafted with great care.

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Captured on Nintendo Switch (Handheld/Undocked)

Ultimately, it would be easy to dismiss Beyond Good & Evil as a ‘jack of all trades’, but truth be told, its photography mechanics, melee combat, vehicle racing, code deciphering, and world exploration are all wonderfully executed, resulting in an experience that’s truly like no other. There’s no doubt that the game has aged considerably in many respects, but much like the GameCube’s Zelda: Wind Waker, the positives greatly outweigh the negatives and, at such a reasonable price, we have no qualms recommending this to both new and returning players alike.


Nintendo has been getting heat for the pricing of its recent Switch remasters, so to see Ubisoft's Beyond Good & Evil so lovingly restored for a reasonable price is a true joy. The 20th Anniversary Edition boasts some lovely visual and auditory upgrades, an excellent gallery feature, and a whole bunch of meaningful extras that make this journey back into Hillys well worth taking. Granted, the 30fps performance on Switch is a bit of a bummer compared to other platforms, and there's no denying that the experience has aged considerably in certain areas, but the gameplay is so varied, and the world so unique, that you'd be remiss not to at least give it a shot. Welcome back, 'Yade'.