Beyond Beyond Good & Evil

By Alec Meer on May 15th, 2008 at 8:58 pm.

SHE ISN'T REAL

Coincidence is a funny thing. There we all are griping that us Euro-folk can’t buy the fabulous adventure-platformer-everythinger cult classic Beyond Good & Evil over Steam, while the US-folk are, no doubt, busy replaying the thing with unfettered joy in their spoilt, spoilt hearts. And then the sequel gets announced. Lummee.

Well, sort of. BGE and Rayman creator Michel Ancel’s been chatting to France’s JeuxVideo magazine, and revealed the exciting news that he’s been working on a follow-up for some time now. The bad news? Ubisoft hasn’t actually green-lit it yet.

Here’s his quotes, parsed through my faltering Francais (with a spot of online cheating):

“I’m working on Beyond Good & Evil 2. We have been in pre-production for a year, and we’re carrying out research as a small team. But for the moment, this is at outline stage, Ubisoft hasn’t given its agreement yet.
We want to be in the continuity of the first: a large variety of play types, lots of emotions in the gameplay and from the supporting characters. This time we are dealing with the future of the planet, the rapport with the animals…”

What’s particularly odd about this psuedo-reveal is that Ancel is employed by Ubisoft. He’s one of their most valued staffers I’m sure, but I can’t imagine they’d be terribly happy about him jaffing on about unannounced projects. So, donning my conspiracy theory hat (which is, admittedly, pretty much my only hat), I wonder if this is a testing the waters kind of thing. BGE was a cult hit, not a smash hit, so it’s something of a risky investment for a publisher. Slipping out a quiet word and waiting to see whether the internets go nuts or not is a fairly easy way of establishing whether BGE2′s worth going ahead with.

Well then, internets: whether or not I’m a wrong-headed, paranoid buffoon, are you going to go nuts about BGE2?

(The correct answer is yes).

Thanks to the various folks who mailed us about this story.

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82 Comments »

  1. James Lyon says:

    Any chance to resolve that cliffhanger.

  2. Tellurian says:

    I’ll go nuts and even bolts or maybe almonds if that might help getting me more BG&E.
    Yes, the very basic gameplay was “easy”, but whoever complained about that didn’t get what the game was about at all.
    One of the best damn games of the last generation. As a whole. A game that was a LOT more than the sum of its multiple parts. A game with a heart. And a game with a real believable non-oversexed heroine in the lead. Which is REALLY a rare thing in gaming.

  3. toro says:

    Were should we sign?

    ps. O/ Tellurian

  4. azwipe says:

    If this comes out on PC, and it’s not one of Ubi’s shit-on-a DVD lazy ports, it’s a definite buy.

  5. Larington says:

    OMG OMG OMG – And the WANT award goes to…
    This just brought tears of joy to me (Literally), or maybe ‘cos its been a long day (Curse you assignment deadlines!).

    Addendum: WANT ON PC (I forget it was a console game first).

  6. John Walker says:

    I absolutely flat-out don’t believe this one bit. BG&E2 gets rumoured every year, and every year my hopes are dashed on the cruel rocks of LIES. Lies lies lies. Lies.

    LIES!

  7. Pidesco says:

    Awesome, awesome, awesome, awesome, and awesome.

    Also, awesome!

  8. AndrewC says:

    Umm, I’ve played it twice now – up to the factory level where Mr Pig gets put in a box and sent to the moon. Then I stopped, getting distracted and never feeling an urge to go back. Is it the last 3rd that brings out the strong feelings in people? Or did I miss something in the 1st two thirds? I thought it was lovely enough, but was obviously never compelled. Quick recap?

  9. Bobsy says:

    Wearing my wishful-thinking hat: Ubisoft are rich richers, so surely they can afford to publish BG&E2 anyway? Mean bastards if they don’t.

  10. sigma83 says:

    OH DEAR GOD YES. MAKE IT SO MONSIEUR ANCEL! MAKE IT SO!!!

  11. Jonathan says:

    Reply to John Walker
    But has it ever been brought up by the main designer in nationwide print magazine. Also the cost of modern day preproduction means Ubisoft more money canning it, even just in loss of man hours, than letting it develop.

    Other game cliff hangers that need to be resolved ASAP
    Anachronox

    Well just Anachronox really but I really really want a decent conclusion to that.

  12. MedO says:

    BG&E is one of the best games I ever played. Let me sum up a few things about my experience:

    - The story was rather bad towards the end.
    - The same goes for the level design. I was very much reminded of Jedi Knight 2 in terms of idiotic room layouts and puzzles in the later part of the game.
    - The cliffhanger ending was completely unnecessary and doesn’t fit the mood of the game for me. While the credits were rolling I imagined there might be an ending scene with Jade sitting by that tree by the lighthouse again (to come full circle), and a small optimistic talk with Peij or one of the children or something like that.
    - The camera direction often was downright awful and didn’t show you things you wanted or needed to see in some places.
    - The graphics were not too impressive but the framerate was often low anyway.

    That said, it is one of the best games I’ve ever played. Which means that very much about it must have been done right.

    If BG&E2 can come even close to that, it’s a definite buy for me. I’m vaguely optimistic, but so many sequels of great games have been crap…

  13. Cian says:

    Glee!
    Please be real. The recent It’s All Over of Jade with a Pearl Earring revived a deep longing within my heart.
    And I’d quite like to play another Beyond Good & Evil game.

  14. RLacey says:

    This would make my year.

  15. Bitkari says:

    I’d wager that the reason that BG&E was not a huge success the first time around was due more to lacklustre marketing than anything to do with the game itself.

    “Hardcore” games gain popularity at the hands of a few evangelists, spreading the good word. More casual games, especially with a new IP, need to be nurtured towards the marketplace with an intravenous injection of pure Parisian cash.

  16. The Archetype says:

    Hooray!

    My only problem with Beyond Good & Evil was that I thought it was far too short, which seems a bit silly since I got my copy used for $20. I disliked the cliffhanger ending as well. A sequel, which resolves that and let’s me spend more time in Jade’s world definitely gets my vote.

    I have high hopes that this will get made.

  17. BGEQuestion says:

    Does anyone know if they ever fixed the problem where you couldn’t invert the y-axis without also inverting the x? I remember a Ubisoft PR person saying, laughably, that it was done for design reasons. If they fixed that bug, I’ll pick up the original on Steam and finally give it a go.

  18. Larington says:

    I second the call for a resolution for Anachronox! (SPOILERS: I wanna know what happened to a certain character at the end, amongst many other mysteries awaiting a resolution).

    I’d say the strongest element within BG&E is the world itself, some might write off that whole photographing the creatures thing as an OCD collecters type thing, but having all the wildlife around really contributed to the atmosphere – I really felt like it was a real proper world, and the exploring was fun as well… Lets hope theres more to explore this time. ;-)

  19. Bobby_C says:

    Regarding his mentioning the project before Ubisoft has greenlighted it, it’s interesting if you consider the BGE2 rumor that was posted on Surfergirl’s blog a few months ago, namely that Ancel intended Raving Rabbids to be a standard Rayman game with the rabbids as baddies, but that the project was going nowhere until some other guy turned it into minigames starring the rabbids.

    Supposedly Ancel hated the concept and its success, and threatened to leave Ubi unless he was allowed to do absolutely whatever he wanted on his next project. Thus BGE2′s current situation.

  20. mandrill says:

    I watched my wife complete it on the GameCube. It was lovely to look at stylistically, and the story was better than some T.V., which admittedly isn’t saying much. I’m quite sad to see it not being available through Steam to us Europeans. Shame on you Ubisoft.
    I look forward to seeing a sequel though, the sooner the better.

  21. Meat Circus says:

    ZOMFG!

    More Alpha sections! More pig/uncle hybrids! More Hillys! More hovercraft-fixing hippos! More, oh so much more, sneaking around!

    Man is happy.

  22. roBurky says:

    Woo!

    Beyond Good and Evil had the best stealth system ever. It doesn’t get mentioned much, but considering every other ‘stealth element’ in other games gets mutilated by gamer forums, this should be clue enough of its greatness.

  23. Thingus says:

    The stealth was just stealthy enough to leave you the option of combat, but the enemies were hard enough to discourage it, which made beating them all the sweeter. I reckon this was a Good Thing. Also, there were no annoying characters, they never grated or got old. I genuinely liked most of them! Also also, more Spanish holographic storage systems.

    I’d settle for a similar game from the same studio, even if it was a totally different story.

  24. Feet says:

    Yaaaay! I like to take toe-foes of the crazy peoples.

  25. BrokenSymmetry says:

    BG&E is the only game ever where I liked the stealth sections. Oh, and hitting the guards on their tanks was great fun.

    And nobody has mentioned the game’s genious spiralling character input system yet!

  26. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    Ooh, yes please Ubisoft.

  27. James G says:

    :: Shakes Fist at Meer :: Curse you and your misleading lies! I sat with mouth hung open and sparkle in my eyes for a few moments before hitting “Read the rest of this entry »” and seeing the ‘Well, sort of.’ Which means that if it now doesn’t come to pass I shall be flinging obscenities in your direction and placing the blame on you shoulders. Which would be a shame as I quite like you otherwise.

    The first game was great, although I missed it at release and tracked it down (new) on eBay later. But don’t blame me for its poor sales as it came out while I was at uni and had a PC that was born in 1997.

    While its true that BG&E had a strong, non-sexualised, female protagonist, it is a shame that this is a fact that still needs to get brought up. Games are getting better in this respect, but its telling that it is still a characteristic which is deemed fit to mention. Still, I’m glad to see that they do get praised for it, as it will hopefully drive the games industry in a more positive direction.

  28. Homunculus says:

    You have a heart fashioned from condensed flintish misery if your immediate reaction to this news wasn’t yesssssss.

    That said, Ancel’s mentioned this before (and, hey, even rapped a bit), but not in such concrete terms.

  29. Kadayi says:

    BG&E is quality. Annoyingly I was pretty near the end when I foolishly managed to Brick my HD during an upgrade and subsequently never got around to finishing it (same with Psychonauts…). However I’ll be up for BG&E2 for sure.

  30. Zarniwoop says:

    Sorry to be the fly in the preverbial ointment here, but why does everyone want a sequel, exactly? Okay, as good as it was I never got to the very end. But unless there’s some massive cliffhangar I’m missing, I’d much rather just have an equally good game set in somewhere entirely else. With an entirely different story.

    There are some games I really wish they’d hurry up and make a sequel for. Dreamfall, for example. But why risk spoiling such a lovely game as BGAE for no reason other than the fact that it might make Ubisoft a bit more money? Call me an idealist but this is what I feel is wrong with the games industry. Consumers and companies bent on running ‘franchises’ [*shudder*] into the ground.

  31. tmp says:

    But unless there’s some massive cliffhangar I’m missing

    There’s a twist and then nasty cliffhanger pretty much at the very end of the game and past the credits, and so getting to know what happens after that would be nice.

    Somewhat doubtful Ubisoft would be looking at comments on intrawebs as indication if the sequel should get the agreement, but just in case they would here’s one more “yes please” for it.

    do want.

  32. Jonathan says:

    Reply to Zarniwoop
    Sorry but theres a number of things you’re missing
    Hillys is one of the best settings out there and we barely touched the surface in the first game. Space Whales people!
    Jade is my second favourite heroine of all time, beaten by April Ryan, with more humanity and vulnerability than any other character you can name.
    The score is wonderful and ties into the settings and story. In particular that Spanish tinge of the towns and the general cosmopolitan feel.
    There is a huge gut punch at the end which I liked as there had been foreshadowing that it would happen so it isn’t too out there. This needs resolving.
    It made me cry twice.

    Why are you people who haven’t finished it not playing it right now?

    Reply to Homunculus
    That was from a year ago, Ancel now says he’s worked on it for a year. I choose to be foolishly optimistic as long as they get the same team back. Christoffer Heral, soundtrack guy, in particular.

  33. spd from Russia says:

    I loved BGE (Best Game Ever… almost)
    Ansel is one of the best game designers and very underrated. he is the western Miyamoto, no less

  34. spd from Russia says:

    oh and yes, BGE is somewhat like Zelda. but its actually better!
    too bad it wasnt as popular

  35. Sucram says:

    I liked the spiral text input system in BG&E, much better than other conso..

    oh wait; I meant, the story, the setting, the music, the green lipstick. Oh how I loved this things, let us march on Ubisoft.

  36. Flint says:

    The cliffhanger after the credits didn’t annoy me that much, considering we get those in pretty much every game these days. What annoyed me more was the constant foreshadowing (the thing about Jade herself) that happened in the last level and during the final battle, which then got completely unresolved.

    BG&E succeeds perfectly in having a strong atmosphere, something I value a lot. I loved just going on about in Hyllis, the great design matched with the great graphical style and music made even simple traveling great. Plus Jade’s one of the greatest female protagonists ever.

    Do want. Do want very much.

  37. Therlun says:

    Yay!
    Dont like action adventures, but loved Beyond.

  38. Narvi says:

    Why did you raise my hopes only to dash them with the possibility of it not actually happening? :(

  39. Joe says:

    I will actually kill anyone who comes between me and more Jade.

  40. Adam J Hepton says:

    If posting here means it’s more likely to happen, then I post to say that yes, I would be more than happy to pay full price for a sequel. Cock-a-hoop, in fact.

  41. Jarmo says:

    Beyond Good & Evil is one of the most wonderful gaming experiences I have had the pleasure of having. Needless to say, I would immediately buy a sequel.

    The beautiful landscapes, rich emotions the game induced and varied gameplay enriched my free time. Jade herself is the only game character I’ve had something like a crush on. Please, Jade, let us meet again.

  42. fluffy bunny says:

    I bet that if this gets made, it will only be on 360/PS3.

  43. Man Raised By Puffins says:

    @ Zarniwoop: Normally I’d agree that creatives should set about making new games rather than continuing franchises, but I’d much rather a new BG&E from Ancel & co than any more mini-game compilations or licenced games (although Kong was pretty good) which they seem to have been set to work on.

  44. Zhal says:

    I’m already nuts. @_@ GIMME!

  45. Chris says:

    This here bit of the internets is certainly going nuts. Get it here!

  46. phil says:

    BG&E 2 – Yes please

    More spoilers; The cliff hanger for me was less about Mr. Piggy getting an alien zit on his trotter and more about Jade’s relationship to the final boss, though they resisted a “I am your father Luke’ moment you did get the sense there was some history there waited to be explored.

  47. Kangarootoo says:

    I don’t know about the internet going nuts, but I’d put my nuts on the internet if it gets BG&E2 made.

  48. Ian says:

    Woo, and indeed hoo!

  49. Taxman says:

    According to Kotaku who translated a french interview with Michel Ancel the project is for the PS3/X360 only.
    http://kotaku.com/391065/beyond-good–evil-2-is-for-ps3-360

    (The PC seems to have not been mentioned at all so maybe there is still a chance if the project gets green lit)

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