Beyond Good and Evil is particularly tricky to discuss because it disregards traditional notions of genre, meaning that there’s nothing to really compare it against. It’s a platformer with stealth sections, an action puzzler with races and an open-world game which you explore through the medium of investigative journalism. It also features flying manta rays, Rastafarian rhinos, space travel, hovercraft races and a cow who serves beer.
The difficulty of classifying the game is reflected by its frustratingly ambiguous title (bafflingly shared with Nietzsche’s masterwork), which gives no clue as to either the plot or the nature of gameplay. Consequently, it demands player’s trust before they’ve even fired it up, a fact which may well have contributed to its disappointing commercial performance. A shame, because Beyond Good and Evil is probably the most emotionally satisfying game ever to feature a talking pig. Actually, there aren’t many games without talking pigs that are more engaging, so it’s worth trying to get to the root of Beyond Good and Evil‘s appeal.
First things first though. What is it actually about?