After almost 15 years, Beyond Good & Evil 2 is here.
One of the most exciting games to be announced at E3 this year is, without a doubt, Beyond Good and Evil 2. Set as a prequel to the original game which was released 15 years ago, this trailer got us all sorts of excited. Here’s 5 things we know so far.
In case you missed it the first time, the game is a prequel to the action adventure we saw in 2003. The trailer focused on the crew of Gada, a pirate space ship. The assumption here is that the game is going to be focused around space pirates. This is something we can get behind. The characters are a mix of humans and hybrid human animals. From what we can gather the story focuses on these human animal hybrids who have been enslaved to corporations as labourers. These labourers are forced to make planets safe for colonisation by humans.
The big difference between the first game and Beyond Good and Evil 2 is that these hybrids are treated as slaves. The first game saw them roaming the world freely. It makes sense as the new offering is set 200 years before the original game. The assumption here is that the story will revolve around some sort of “freedom” or emancipation. But we’re simply guessing. The trailer also hinted to an artefact that might play a bigger role with Dakini exclaiming “true freedom lies beyond” on viewing a map to said artifact.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 is set far in the future where humans have colonised vast solar systems and other planets. Think sci-fi pirates. While the universe is the same as the original game it would seem specific settings will be vastly different. The trailer was predominantly based in “System 3” a cultural melting pot society with a mix of hybrids and humans. It would appear to be a new colony that has likely got corporations fighting for control to own the various resources this little cosmic treasure brags. Did we mention there are space pirates?
Without a doubt the most exciting bit about the Beyond Good and Evil 2 announcement was the characters on display. There was diversity amongst the human and hybrid characters but also an incredibly strong display of females in the mix. Our favourite Shani, the funky biker with a distinct Somali heritage and possibly the best head of hair we’ve seen on a video game character yet. Dakini was another female character who appeared to be a ship captain with a robotic hand and distinct green eyes (could this be a throw to Jade, the protagonist from the first game?). Another interesting character was Li Daiyu who is the “rejuvenated madam.” What exactly is a rejuvenated madam you ask? We have no idea but we do know she handles the back rooms for Zhou Yuzhu, who happens to be a bad ass looking hybrid pig.
First In-Engine Demo
No gameplay was shown at E3, only a behind-closed-doors tech demo showing off some of what its engine can do. n-engine demo footage has now been publically released(embedded below), and seeing how little of an actual game Ubisoft has to show us really tipped me over the edge from being cautiously optimistic to just plain skeptical.
And finally, it will be a Beyond Good and Evil game
Apart from the anthropomorphic animals, the sci-fi style, and Michel Ancel’s brain running the whole thing, I worry this will feel like a brand new game set in the same creative universe. It’s a prequel, it’s set at a significantly different scale, and it’s more adult and dark in its tone—see the frequent cursing in the cinematic trailer. Ancel’s reference to taking photos hearkens back to the first game’s photojournalism, but that’s the only gameplay similarity we’ve heard about so far.
All of this is not to say Ubisoft and Ancel can’t do what they are saying they want to with Beyond Good and Evil 2—in fact, I wish them the best of luck because I would love to play the game they’ve described. But I don’t think what’s been shown and what’s been promised are a very good indication of what’s actually going to be delivered come launch—if it makes it there this time at all. We’ve been hyped up on a game with extremely high hopes for itself, but now Ubisoft actually has to make that game.