If you haven’t been living under a rock lately, especially around E3 time in June, you probably came to hear the game called Beyond Good and Evil 2. Beyond Good and Evil 2 is an upcoming action-adventure video game in development by Ubisoft Montpellier and to be published by Ubisoft, it is a prequel to 2003’s Beyond Good & Evil. Its development was characterized in the media by uncertainty, doubt, and rumors about the game’s future until it was officially announced at Ubisoft’s E3 2017 conference, although no release window or target platform has been revealed.
You can view the extremely early development gameplay video below and judge for yourself whether you think this game will likely come to the current console generation. It took the team 3 years alone just to develop the engine dubbed ‘Voyager Engine’, and it has even been stated by the Director of the game that it is on Day 0 development.
As you can see from the video above, the concept is similar to games such as Star Citizen, Mass Effect, and No Man’s Sky.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 takes place a few generations prior to the events of Beyond Good & Evil. It takes place before the birth of Jade from the first game in a multi-ethnic society in a distant solar system called System 3 in the 24th Century in which the stars are dominated by the future superpowers India and China who lead the space colonization efforts. Corporations have taken control and enslave hybrids that they cook up in their labs, and pirates struggle for resources and survival. You will play as a pirate as part of a rag-tag team of heroes fighting in the name of freedom. The game has more traditional computer role playing game elements compared to the first game; players will generate a character that starts the game “at the very bottom of the social system”. The character can be male or female similar to the Mass Effect series. As the player completes various tasks, they will improve in various attributes, and gain spacecraft and crew members which they can also improve over time. Players will visit planets that have their own societies, and by completing tasks on these planets, will gain new technologies or other facets to improve their spacecraft. Ancel said that they do anticipate that there will be a narrative element that includes fixed story events as well as events based on what decisions the player had made in exploring planets.
Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot stated that Beyond Good and Evil 2 will be made more accessible to the new generation of players, in an effort to make sure the sequel does not suffer the same commercial failure the original did. Guillemot clarified that statement, later on, saying that they do not intend to make the game more casual player-oriented.
A core element of the game is the ability to explore several different planets via space travel. To power this, Ancel and the Ubisoft Montpellier team started building a solar system simulation tool about three years prior to the E3 2017 reveal. This tool uses a combination of design elements and procedural generation to assemble those elements for a given planet. Only just before E3 2017, they complete the preliminary work on the tool so that they can then start building the rest of the game around it; Ancel considered that they were only at “day zero” for the game’s development.
The game will have single-player and cooperative player support; even as a single-player, the player participates in a shared universe, with some events affecting all players at the same time. You can see why many people are doubtful that this game will come out anytime soon, let alone on the current hardware platforms. Whether this game does come to current consoles, only time can tell. But from what I’ve seen so far, it’s shaping up to be the space game that I’ve been waiting for years.