A Beyond Good Offer: Beyond Good & Evil Is Free

Seems like we post about how Beyond Good & Evil 2 is/is not coming every six months or so. HAPPY FACE! Oh no but SADFACE! And so forth. What we don’t often do is talk about the Beyond Good & Evil game that does really, truly, honestly, no honestly exist. Its beloved nature is so often discussed only in terms of frustration that it never saw a sequel. Well, now’s the time to establish a) why so many people still bang on about Michael ‘Rayman’ Ancel’s jumpy-thumpy adventure and b) whether they should still in good conscience be doing so. Ubisoft have made the whole kit’n’kaboodle free for a few days.

It’s available from here. You’ll need a Ubisoft account to download it, and don’t go thinking you can somehow sidestep the divisive Uplay app/service – you have to download it before you can install the game. I only had to sign in four times to make it work this time!

But: free. By way of contrast, it’s £7 on Steam. Often pops up in sales, but, y’know. No-pennies is hard to argue with.

Beyond Good & Evil is… well, it’s a lot of things. That’s part of why we like it. It starts off as if it’s gonna be some formulaic action-platformer, possibly even aimed at kids, then keeps spiralling out to all these other places. It becomes progressively more maudlin too, which is probably not what one would expect. Also: green lipstick. Style icon.

Whether it still seems as smart or even coherent as it was back in 2003 I can’t say. Much has happened since. Go find out, eh?

Not sure when the offer expires – Ubisoft say only “for a limited time”, so get yon skates on.

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  1. Gunsmith says:


  2. Premium User Badge

    caff says:

    First played this around 2 years and fell in love with it’s cheerful world and quirky (if sometimes a bit console platformer-y) gameplay. It had aged a bit and probably seems more so now, but given that it’s free I’d definitely try it if you haven’t already.

  3. ScubaMonster says:

    I’ve never really encountered problems with Uplay. I don’t think I ever played a game when it was first introduced though, so I’m sure it’s come a long way. Doesn’t seem any worse than Origin though.

    • ww says:

      I don’t have much experience with Origin, but uPlay had its fair share of problems especially with the earlier AC games (have not played anything beyond Black Flag though). Still dislike the idea of having half a dozen or more clients for each and every large publisher each replete with their own byzantine EULAs reserving the rights to legally take possession of your entire being.

      • inspiredhandle says:

        It sure is messy. It wouldn’t even bother me if they were both on par for quality/reliability with steam (origin and uplay).

  4. Premium User Badge

    AutonomyLost says:

    Uplay has never given me headaches, and even has a place on my Taskbar for easy accessability; I’ll be downloading and trying this game out for the first time in the next few days. Thanks for the heads-up, Meer.

    • inspiredhandle says:

      As far as my experience goes… Uplay downloads, installs. You go to run a game. The game fails to run. You look it up on forums. Turns out Uplay client is out of date (they link you to out of date versions on the website). There is no auto detect client version detect/update. You then have to search back through their website for a link to the latest version etc.

      I seem to remember there being other problems as well (logging me out randomly or something).

      Now, I can’t remember for sure if this experience was with origin or Uplay. In my mind though, one is orange, one is purple, they’re both shite.

  5. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    It’s been years since I played it, but I do remember it very fondly. And yes, the variety is a big part of the appeal: you’ve got vehicles, you’ve got some light stealth, you’ve got beat-em-up fights, you’ve got those great chase sequences to punctuate dramatic moments, you’ve got the creature photography…In lesser hands it would seem overstuffed, but Ancel and co make everything feel natural. Plus it has an all-time great soundtrack, and a cast that feels genuinely likable. Might have to go back and see if it’s held up as well as I remember…

    • apa says:

      Jade is a great leading character. For once the space marine super agent is a comic sidekick. But there is sadly a boss fight…I had to have GameFaqs open in my phone while grinding the fight.

  6. Vermintide says:

    I played BG&E for the first time last year, when I picked up a copy for the PS2 for next to nothing.

    I was underwhelmed. I know it’s hardly the best port, in fact it’s probably the worst; but ignoring any technical aspects, I found the game simply didn’t match the hype. This game is pretty much the precursor to all our modern cookie cutter Arkham’s Creed games.

    If I enjoyed that type of game, I’m sure I would have had more fun with it. But I seriously hope nobody is getting too hyped for the sequel, because I daresay it will end up being the very epitome of the Ubisoft open world formula.

    • Frank says:

      “I seriously hope nobody is getting too hyped for the sequel”

      There are a ton of people who like that formula and buy games built on it, so that’s certainly a vain hope. Zelda and Metroid were doing action adventure games this way before BGE and Arkham Asylum riffed on it.

      My more modest hope is that it isn’t built around crafting or other forms of grind borrowed from MMOs and beloved by the youth of today.

    • aerozol says:

      “This game is pretty much the precursor to all our modern cookie cutter Arkham’s Creed games.”
      Us being burnt out on copies of it doesn’t make the original a bad game. Reading between the lines it seems to imply the opposite. That first cookie was just SO GOOD – and then we had to eat hundreds of that same cookie and find all of the hidden cookies in each cookie – and now we can’t even think about that first cookie without feeling sick :(

    • MisterFurious says:

      Same here. The art design is good and the music is fantastic and I love the idea of a playing a photographer and using a camera instead of a gun but the actual gameplay is crap and it’s got a horrible camera. I liked the style but I hated the substance.

  7. tslog says:

    Crappy UBi has been using the existence of BD and E 2 as a manipulative propaganda tool for years now.

    Whenever they’re in trouble they bring it out as a tease to garner more public support.
    And the timing of UBi stock takeover with it finally being officially announced at the same time! is not a coincidence.

    And who says they can’t cancel BGaE2 in the future ? Or just let it keep sliding away into the distance future.

  8. dystome says:

    2003 was before my PC gaming years and I always meant to go back and get this since a lot of people recommended it.

    Glad I can finally find out whether or not those people were filthy, lying scum.

  9. Zekiel says:

    Does anyone know if it has controller support? I tried playing Sands of Time (when it was free in this deal a few months ago) and was confounded by its substandard controller support.

    Not to look a gift horse in the mouth or anything! I just like calibrating my expectations.

    • dystome says:

      It doesn’t, though it initially looks like it does.

      You can navigate through the menu screens with a 360 pad, then you’ll stand there uselessly getting smacked in the face when you get to the first fight.

      • Scurra says:

        Really? I’ve played through the first bit (all the way to Black Isle) with a 360 controller just fine. So yeah, I’d say it has controller support.
        (The original poster may disagree, of course; I didn’t have any particular trouble with a controller on Sands of Time either, so it’s hard to know what they mean by controller support.)

        • Zekiel says:

          Thanks for the replies.

          As I recall my problem with Sands of Time was that the analogue sticks didn’t quite work right, and the start/select buttons didn’t access the menus. Or something like that. Whatever it was, it sort of worked but was frustrating enough that it was a barrier to continuing. Of course, the fact that the gameplay was basically an inferior version of Assassin’s Creed (which is not in any way the fault of SoT) didn’t help.

          Anyway, I’ll appropriate lower my expectations and have a go at BGaE sometime.

    • Frosty Grin says:

      Yes, the Uplay version has controller support with button prompts. Just turn down “mouse sensitivity”.

  10. welverin says:

    Each one of the 30th Anniversary games has been available for a month.

  11. somnolentsurfer says:

    I spent most of last year telling everyone I know that Life is Strange was my favourite game ‘since Beyond Good and Evil’. They’re all getting links to this now.

  12. Askis says:

    It’s also available on GoG if you want it DRM free.
    Currently not on sale at 10$

  13. Warp15 says:

    link to club.ubisoft.com is not working. I get a spiraly circle,but no download.Anybody having this trouble?

    • Camerooni says:

      I had the same issue.. had to disable privacy badger plugin in my browser.. basically everything from the ubisoft club website triggers warnings and disables scripts and cookies to the point where the page just won’t even load.

      If you have a plugin blocker or something, try disabling it temporarily.. if you dare *mwah hah ha* ;)

  14. Gordon Shock says:

    Let’s just hope the sequel will not be too much Ubified….you know, icons galore, endless and pointless collecting (with no real rewards) and still telling me to press X to do “that” after 80 hours of gameplay.

  15. Warduke says:

    It’s gotten to the point where, when a game is offered for free, if it isn’t on Steam I don’t even look at it.. There was another game a few weeks back for free too (on Origin maybe?)… I just wish the publishers would accept that if it isn’t Steam you aren’t going to get the people. Ubi and EA are trying but how long before “xxx service is closing down..”. It’s only a matter of time.

    • Frosty Grin says:

      What makes you think you can speak for “the people”?

      • Henke says:

        Indeed, I’ll gladly open up uPlay or Origin if they’re handing out free games. Heck, 95% of my Origin library is stuff they’ve given away for free. :P

        • inspiredhandle says:

          Warduke’s authority is absolute, his word; final. Now off to the gulag with the rest of your uplay/origin sympathisers.

          I had a stab at using a semicolon. I’m almost entirely sure it’s wrong.

    • Zekiel says:

      Ubisoft’s (and EA’s) approach is *exactly* how to attract people like me to try their platform. They’ve got some cracking classics, they probably aren’t making much in sales, so giving them away free entices people to use their platform. And what do you know, they aren’t that bad.

      Its absolutely fine if you don’t want to use anything but Steam, but that doesn’t mean everyone else thinks the same.

      In fact I think there’s a decent argument that Origin and Ubilauncher are good things because it would be worse if Steam had a literal monopoly (instead of just the virtual one it currently has).

  16. Unsheep says:

    Unless it’s DRM-free it’s not actually ‘free’.

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