Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition review: a marvelous remaster of a game that’s aged tremendously

Truly beyond good

Screenshots of gameplay from Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition
(Image: © Ubisoft)

TechRadar Verdict

Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition is a real treat regardless of whether you’ve played the original release or not. The 2003 game’s visuals have received a gorgeous glow-up with improved textures, shadows, and lighting, and there’s a surprising amount of new content from unlockable cosmetics to an entirely new questline. This is simply one of the best remastering efforts we’ve seen in years and comes highly recommended at its sub-$20 / £20 price.


  • +

    Sublime visual touch-up

  • +

    New quest and cosmetics are lovely additions

  • +

    Eclectic and memorable soundtrack

  • +

    Still a broadly unique action-adventure game


  • -

    Combat can feel a little stiff

  • -

    Some stealth sections drag on

  • -

    Intrusive Ubisoft Connect implementation

  • -

    Very occasional performance dips in Resolution mode

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Review info

Platform reviewed: PS5
Available on: PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC
Release date: June 25, 2024 (July 12 for the physical version) 

A good half a year since Ubisoft confirmed its existence, Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition is finally here. The 2003 action-adventure game is a cult hit, broadly considered to be one of Ubisoft’s best games. And now, it’s available to play on modern hardware thanks to this absolutely superb remaster that does the original the justice it thoroughly deserves.

Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition is one of the most thoughtful remasters we’ve seen in years, expertly enhancing textures, shadows, and lighting while still retaining the iconic look and feel of the original game. There are a handful of welcome additions like a development gallery, unlockable cosmetics, and even a brand new questline that ties into Beyond Good & Evil 2 (so, fret not; it seems Ubisoft still plans on releasing the prequel eventually).

What’s also notable is the incredibly fair $19.99 / £17.99 price tag. In an age where remasters often charge a premium for much less (oh hello, Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD), it’s very refreshing to see Ubisoft put out Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition at a more accessible, great-value price. 

Beyond belief

Screenshots of gameplay from Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

In Beyond Good & Evil, you play as Jade, a reporter who doubles as a guardian to orphaned children at her lighthouse home. After an attack by the DomZ - a mysterious alien race - threatens to destroy her home and kidnap the children, both she and her adoptive uncle, Pey’j, embark on a mission that slowly unravels the truth behind the world they live in, the enigmatic DomZ, and the Alpha Sections - the militant security force that governs it.

Both Jade and Pey’j are incredibly likable characters. They have fantastic chemistry, bantering with each other as they progress through the game and sneak behind enemy lines. This also applies to Double H, Jade’s big-hearted resistance companion who joins up roughly halfway through the game. Beyond Good & Evil’s world of Hillys, in general, plays host to a range of incredibly charming characters, many of which offer dialogue that provides hints on optional objectives throughout the game.

The game world is incredibly compact; not exactly fully open-world, but it offers plenty of avenues for optional exploration. In doing so, you’ll typically find pearls that can be used to upgrade Jade’s hovercraft, adding things like a homing blaster and jump thrusters that are required for main quest progression. Alongside this, a game-spanning optional quest involves Jade taking pictures of Hillys’ wildlife, which grants her Credits she can spend on upgrades and healing items in addition to more pearls.

Open-world design has come on leaps and bounds since 2003, but Beyond Good & Evil’s approach to the formula is still quite refreshing to this day. It’s completely free of the bloat found in many checklist-style maps and the relatively bite-sized design makes it incredibly manageable to fully complete in just a couple of sessions. 

In the thick of it

Screenshots of gameplay from Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

General exploration aside, the main missions in Beyond Good & Evil typically involve segments of combat and stealth. Combat is actually one element of the game that hasn’t aged as gracefully as others, feeling somewhat stiff as Jade hard-locks onto her nearest target. It’s also a one-button affair, with Jade performing combos with her staff or a more powerful charged attack after a few seconds of holding down the button.

Best bit

Screenshots of gameplay from Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Simply seeing one of my all-time favorite games receive such a respectful and content-rich remaster was a joy. Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition is the definitive way to experience the game, and I was relieved to discover the world of Hillys has aged so gracefully.

Her companions are also quite useless in direct combat, often getting themselves hurt or immobilized unnecessarily. They pick up the slack, though, with their ‘Super Action’ which stuns enemies for a few seconds, allowing Jade to either launch them off cliffs, into other enemies, or simply for bigger damage opportunities. Combat overall does feel somewhat inelegant and simplistic, and this also extends to the handful of boss encounters, which all have a small set of mechanics to avoid before a brief damage window makes itself available.

Stealth sections are more compelling, however. It’s an extremely simple affair in Beyond Good & Evil, typically requiring Jade to stay crouched and out of sight to avoid the Alpha Sections’ cone of vision. Combat strictly is not an option here, with the Alpha Sections troops posing very dangerous threats should Jade be spotted. However, she is able to neutralize these enemies with a swift kick to the behind, which is always hilarious.

While stealth can be good fun and plays into Jade’s skill set as she sleuths around restricted areas looking for photo evidence against the Alpha Sections, these parts can occasionally feel imbalanced. Huge chunks of levels are dedicated to sequences of stealth gauntlets, offering increasingly trickier challenges. As a result, they can often overstay their welcome when you just want to press on with the objective and return to the world outside.

A stupendous remaster

Screenshots of gameplay from Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Overall, Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition is an expertly-crafted remaster. It vastly improves the game’s shadows and lighting while smartly up-dressing textures and even adding texture depth to characters and their clothing. On PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC, you can get 4K resolution at a near-flawless 60 frames per second (I only noted two major dips during sections with dense particle effects). It’s also a remaster that avoids overdone changes like excessive bloom and wonky upscaling.

As for new content, there’s a good amount to enjoy. A handful of outfits for Jade and her companions have been naturally implemented, as well as unlockable liveries for the hovercraft and late-game Beluga spacecraft.

Most impressive of all, though, is a brand new questline that ties into the upcoming prequel game Beyond Good & Evil 2. This sends Jade on a treasure hunt across the game world, unlocking new hand-drawn and voiced cutscenes that explain Jade’s ties to the prequel. It’s a lovely little quest that adds roughly an hour of time to your playthrough. Plus, it’s just superb to finally have the follow-up game acknowledged in such a charming and thoughtful way. 

Should I play Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition?

Play it if...

You have fond memories of the original
Ubisoft clearly has a lot of respect for the 2003 game, and it shows with this near-impeccable remaster that’s blissfully free of bugs and visual oddities.

You’re in the mood for a game that can be beaten in one or two sittings
Beyond Good & Evil is a relatively short game, even with the new content. This allows it to be very well-paced for the most part and makes it quite replayable. 

Don't play it if...

You can’t hack the awkward combat or simplistic stealth
The game’s combat does show some signs of aging poorly, and none of its mechanics are particularly deep. If you want something meatier, you may wish to look elsewhere.

How we reviewed Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition

My PS5 playthrough of Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition took 10 hours during which time I completed the story, obtained all pearls and wildlife photos, as well as cleared the new optional side quest. I also started a new game by way of the new speedrun mode, clocking in an overall total of 14 hours played.

I played Beyond Good & Evil 20th Anniversary Edition with the DualSense Edge controller on an LG CX OLED TV, at 4K resolution. I also paired the experience with the JBL Quantum 910P gaming headset in order to enjoy the game’s wonderful soundtrack. 

First reviewed June 2024.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.