Beyond Good and Evil’s 20th Anniversary Edition: a near perfect way to revisit a classic

Beyond Good and Evil’s 20th Anniversary Edition is a near perfect remaster for fans of the 2003 original, with this cult classic’s visuals improved over the previous HD release from 2011. Almost every texture, shader, and material upgraded with a new asset – making for an often satisfying side-by-side comparison. Added to that, current-gen consoles like PS5 and Xbox Series X are also capable of running the game at 4K resolution at 60 frames per second. So from the outset, it’sa slick upgrade that also thankfully avoids straying too far from director Michel Ancel and his team’s original vision.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Developer Ubisoft adds a generous dose of extras to the package here. Hours of making-of documents are crammed in: concept art, pre-release videos and even footage of removed levels and features make an appearance. It’s genuinely fascinating stuff, letting us see the evolution of the project through each E3 demo build, and it’s all round a great chance for Ubisoft to mine its vaults for a deep-dive into the game’s history. For this bonus section alone it might be worth the price of entry for the hardcore fans. On top of that, there’s a new speed-run mode, and just as tantalisingly, content added later in Beyond Good and Evil’s adventure links it to the long-awaited prequel project.

For the initiated fan then, the 20th Anniversary Edition offers a wellspring of new information. It also gives us some much-needed encouragement in Ubisoft’s plans for a follow-up, even if – 16 years on from its original announcement trailer – there’s still no confirmed release date. And most crucially, the remaster gives newcomers a perfect way to jump in and to understand what made the original game so special. For this piece, we’re actually looking at three versions of the game: the original 2003 release, the 2011 HD release (effectively a 720p reworking with some improved textures for Xbox 360 and PS3) and finally, the recently published 20th Anniversary edition, with its 4K/1440p resolution upgrade.

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