Today’s music is from Beyond Good & Evil, Home, Sweet Home, composed by Christophe Héral. That’s right: the first French composer I’m introducing in this weekly posts! Speaking of which, it looks like Cristophe will be composing music for the movie, Adventures of Tintin.
Beyond Good & Evil is another cult classic in gaming that innovated in story narrative and excellent art direction. Directed by the creator of Rayman series, Michael Ancel, Beyond Good & Evil is set in an alien planet, Hillys, that’s currently under attack against the parasitic invaders, the DomZ. The planet’s military, Alpha Sections, defends Hillians from these invaders, but as photojournalist Jade soon discovers, the military is hiding their ulterior motives.
Beyond Good & Evil is predominantly a stealth game, but includes short spurts of action, puzzle, photo-shoots, flight and racing. The game is a bit short, but does a good job at adding new gameplay that feels fresh and interesting. Visually, the game portrays a wide variety of aliens, with each citizen as a unique race. Unlike most modern games, Beyond Good & Evil makes sure the interactive allies are more varied than the enemies you fight with.
What Beyond Good & Evil does best, however, is its narrative. It was sold back when the US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, and was marketed as a criticism to those events. While I wouldn’t necessarily say this is true, it certainly highlighted the importance of protests. The game’s plot flowed well, introducing new events one at a time instead of the usual, “go defeat the 8 evil bosses” affair that was frequent back then. Because of this, the game was divided by missions, rather than levels (again, uncommon at the time). Additionally, the game requires Jade to frequent an ever-changing city where her underground muckraker group meets, and it is here where the game shines. As the player, you see this city gradually evolve from a naive and scattered population, to one that, despite decreasing citizen numbers, is unified and demanding of the truth from the military.
Beyond Good & Evil was originally released for the PS2, Xbox, and Gamecube, but a release is available for Steam and PC. Better yet, Xbox 360 owners can download the HD version of the game, upgrading the graphics to a more smoother quality.
Title: Thoughtful Reflections
Game: Beyond Good & Evil
Composer: Christophe Héral