The Birth Of Tragedy: No Beyond Good & Evil 2?

By Kieron Gillen on August 25th, 2009 at 1:55 pm.

Sad news which broke last night. Luckily, I was already drinking vodka. Via the medium of twitter, Colin Solal Cardo of Gamesyde posted: “I got confirmation at Cologne’s Gamescom that Beyond Good & Evil 2 is on hold for now. No idea if it’s def or temporary but it sucks.” It does, indeed, suck. 1UP bring up an old Ubisoft quote that it was never certain anyway. I suspect worldwide recession hasn’t exactly helped a marginal game like BG&E. See what everyone thought was test footage for BG&E2 beneath the cut…

Sniff.

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83 Comments »

  1. CMaster says:

    Ouch. And there was me hoping the buzz that seemed to have built up and how well the relaunched BG&E was (hopefully) selling would be helping a lot.

    But then in a lot of ways, a new game with the same kind of charm and exploration as BG&E would be in many ways preferable to a sequel anyway (I occasionally want sequels but most of the time I personally prefer to see a new game made).

  2. JohnArr says:

    That’s it. I’m done with games. From now on I’ll stick to croquet, where you have to work very hard to get excited about anything at all.

  3. Axiin says:

    This looks astoundingly beautiful, but also reminds me very much of a console action game. To me it looks like Mirrors edge..

  4. Subject 706 says:

    Hey, it is UbiSoft after all, the french version of EA. Meaning, if it had been released, it would have been disappointing anyway.

  5. Andy says:

    While I was aware of that video, I’d never actually watched it and, again, while I realise that it’s purely target footage of what they wanted it to be like, it’s outstanding!
    I loved the first game and if this rumour turns out to be true my keyboard will short-circuit from the tears….

  6. cyrenic says:

    Let me try and console myself by determining they would have just messed up the setting and story, so we’re better off without it…

    Nope, didn’t work.

  7. Ghil says:

    Sad indeed. The first game was a triumph of originality, and to see Ubisoft giving up on one of the best franchise these recent years, to keep churning out Imagine games instead is sad.
    It makes me think of EA before 2008, where they magically grew a pair of balls and birthed many originals games that where risky, but paid out in the end.

    Cold feet over BG&E…the franchise had so much potential. Marketable potential, if done right.

  8. Owen says:

    Oh.

  9. Alaric says:

    This is too bad. I was looking forward to BG&E2.

  10. Malibu Stacey says:

    This looks astoundingly beautiful, but also reminds me very much of a console action game. To me it looks like Mirrors edge..

    Assassins Creed to me which is no bad thing as I quite like it (on best friend’s loaned PS3).

    One can only hope the “on hold” status means it’s not being canned forever & it will return to active development when Michel Ancel talks Ubisoft back into it as losing something like this would be devastating.

  11. LionsPhil says:

    “This looks astoundingly beautiful, but also reminds me very much of a console action game.”

    Um. Having seen some footage of the original, but never played it, isn’t that what it was? That seems a bit like saying “I don’t know, this Half-Life 2 trailer looks beautiful, but also reminds me of a first-person shooter”.

  12. Metal_Circus says:

    Now thats a shame.

  13. postmanX3 says:

    I think a little part of me just died.

  14. Wulf says:

    I don’t know if I’m saddened or relieved by this.

    After all, the original Beyond Good & Evil was a thing of beauty because of the truly alien looking locales, it was haunting, but at the same time it was colourful, it was almost a fairytale of a game. Then there were the myriad and interesting alien races and their quirky personalities, I loved the Jamaican Rhinos at Mammago’s. Aside from that, it was a game of exploration in which one came to understand and even befriend the World of Hillys.

    The first screenshot scared me (the one at the top of this article) because all the colour was gone, all the enchantment was gone, and even Pey’j no longer looked like a proper Pig-bloke, he looks like a guy in a particularly odd choice of fursuit. An average, everyday desert was hardly an enchanting locale, either…

    What really cut me to the quick though was the preview video of play, the most boring thing I’ve ever seen come out of the Beyond Good & Evil Universe, it looked astonishingly dull, and it had nothing but humans. Where was the colour, where was the distinctive character of Hillys, and where did all those wonderfully eccentric alien races go?!

    They also said that they’d dumbed down the gameplay in order to make it accessible to idiots … or something along those lines, I forget the exact details. Is that why we have the rather poor example of a third person version of Mirror’s Edge in the preview play video? All the sense of exploration is lost because the character is moving too fast to truly stand and appreciate anything, and there’s nothing to appreciate anyway.

    But what made Beyond Good and Evil — the original — really special?

    It looked so amazing that it was worth taking pictures of, and the designers knew that and built that into the game. I wanted to stop and take pictures of things, both as part of the photography quest, but also to remember some of the clever and beautiful things I’d see. It’s like how the KI in Uru could take pictures, some games are so beautiful that even the designers recognise it.

    The thought of a new Beyond Good and Evil did excite me, to a degree, but I think for the most part I’m happy that the game isn’t being resurrected, and it’ll be remembered for being a colourful, enchanting, eccentric thing of beauty and wonder, instead of the dull greytones of it’s would-be sequel.

    Footnote: Yes, I really do feel this passionately about Beyond Good & Evil, it’s hard to explain. But some of my favourite games are those were I can wander around and marvel in wonder at the beauty that the designers have created. I’m findng I can do that less and less in modern games and it’s one aspect of gaming I wish would be resurrected.

    It’s amazing when a game is so stunning that you actually hang around in an area after you’re done with it simply because you feel you want to soak up every little bit of beauty around you.

  15. Lars Westergren says:

    @Axiin
    >This looks astoundingly beautiful, but also reminds me very much of a console action game.

    Yes, the first game was the closest you could get to Legend of Zelda or similar console role playing games on the PC. I liked it a lot, had likable characters and a great Euro-cartoon design very reminiscent of Guiseppe Ferrario -
    http://www.giuseppeferrario.com/

  16. Heliocentric says:

    Ah well, maybe we’ll hear about this again. I could hate on ubi but its market forces really, if ubi pump out lowest denomitor stuff and the market drinks it up who are we to expect quality?

  17. Dracko says:

    Still don’t get the fuss about the first one.

  18. CMaster says:

    @Wulf
    How exactly would you “dumb down” the gameplay of BG&E? It had easy, 1 button combat, key collecting, straightfoward stealth with enemies on short patrol patterns and plenty of cover and some arcadey racing bits. It was all great fun, beautiful and full of charm but pretty straightfoward and simple.

    I’d also always imagined that that trailer was either using someone elses existing assets (certainly uses the old Jade sound files) or was perhaps set on another planet to Hillys.

  19. Larington says:

    Excuse me whilst I go shoot myself. Ok, not really, but it is a shame. Hopefully this is temporary and they will give it another shot sooner or later.

  20. Ludo says:

    Ach, this is sad news. Hopefully in a few years they’ll blow the dust off and have another go. It’s a crying shame to see such a vibrant and original IP disappear completely.

    I guess the only consolation is that not even Ubisoft can cancel vodka.

  21. rocketman71 says:

    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  22. Wulf says:

    @CMaster

    “How exactly would you “dumb down” the gameplay of BG&E?”

    That’s not as hard of a question to answer as you think it is. It could easily be dumbed down by removing the following…

    - Exploration.

    There was exploration and hidden areas in the Beyond Good & Evil levels, but the levels of the sequel seem to follow a set path.

    - Puzzles.

    There were environment and technology-related puzzles in the original game, where you had to stop and think at least for a moment before continuing, there seems to be an absence of even the barest chance to stop and think in the sequel.

    - Photography.

    The photography missions made Beyond Good & Evil great, and it also gave the designers an excuse to have the game buzzing with life, even in the most dead looking factory, there was life everywhere, and one had to seek it out and snap pictures of it!

    There doesn’t seem to be the inclination to seek out anything in the sequel.

    Not everyone is as obsessed with combat and stealth aspects alone, you know? I will give you the racing though, you did mention that and I wouldn’t have expected you to. Still, that was more of a bonus minigame than an aspect of the main game.

    But yes, that was a pretty easy question to answer. One can always tell if a game’s been dumbed down if the “stop and think/look” moments have been removed, there were loads of those in Beyond Good & Evil, and that’s how we had time to truly enjoy the beautiful environments. Those moments are gone from the sequel, hence dumbing down.

    Fair enough?

  23. LewieP says:

    @Wulf
    I dunno, to me, BG&E had really varied gameplay. The video here could just be like the glorious rooftop chase from the first, then you fly away and do a bunch of puzzles and slow paced exploration.

  24. LionsPhil says:

    I can’t believe that people are now bickering over the dumbing down of a cancelled game of which the only revealed footage was one teaser trailer and one unknown presumably-target-render action sequence.

    I am reminded of Cracked: “As gamers, playing games is our second-most favorite hobby. Our most favorite is, of course, complaining about games.”

  25. Tyrone Slothrop says:

    To be honest, Beyond Good & Evil was a game that really intrigued me and had commanded a level of respect before even trying it that was shattered by the experience of actually playing it.

    The game struck me as a second-rate Zelda: The Wind Waker in execution and the feeling of the gameplay. It was enjoyable but all the puzzles and the gameplay are lifted without positive change from the aforementioned series. It certainly had terrific potential; an interesting art design that was unfortunately hobbled by technical limitations, conceptually the open-world was promising but never fulfilled the potential. The plot could have been infinitely better with the caress of subtlety given the pertinent if ham-handedly presented issues.

    It all felt like a tremendous beginning, like a proof-of-concept for greater things. For instance, the first time I piloted my hovercraft into the waterfront city, I was amazed at the traffic and architecture… why can’t I really explore any of it? I was hoping that this game would fulfil the potential of the original but I feel that the first game receives undue and disproportionate praise, though understandable if one hasn’t experienced a 3D Legend of Zelda title.

  26. Wulf says:

    Oh and CMaster, if you think that keycards were the only puzzles then I have to think that you didn’t complete the game nearly half as much as I did. There were a huge number of really fun points in the game where one had to ask oneself “how do I get there?”

    These were places you didn’t have to go, but you could go to to discover things, and they were part of the puzzley and highly explorable locales. This is something the game shared with other console games in recent years like Zelda, little secrets that you didn’t have to seek out, but you could if you wanted to. And they made the game that little extra bit special.

    There was so much hidden stuff in Beyond Good & Evil, and I can’t see any part of that seeking-out-the-lost in the sequel. It was something normally only found in Ratchet & Clank games, but I thought that Beyond Good & Evil actually did it much, much better.

  27. Joe says:

    Hear that?

    That was the sound of me screaming in agony and then deciding to go on a rampage through Ubisoft offices. STUPID FRENCH BASTARDS!

  28. toni says:

    bge1 wasn’t a brilliant game per se. it was the sum of its parts, it had soul and it captured my imagination. one of the few games my parents sat down and actually watched me playing it so they can see where it is going. this game had charm. I was really down when they kidnapped my pig friend peij. well, let’s be happy that they don’t taint the good memory of the game with some lackluster sideproject.

  29. Wulf says:

    @LewieP

    My brain might be on the fritz but… what rooftop chase from the first? It sounds like you’re talking about the start of the game, and at the start of Beyond Good & Evil you fight some aliens which have kidnapped Jade’s adopted kids and were now using them as power-cells, and then you help Pey’j repair his hoverboat.

    Are you sure you’re thinking of Beyond Good & Evil? Or at least, that you’re not confusing a later part of the game with an earlier part? Since I really don’t know what part of the original you’re talking about. Could you elaborate more?

    @LionsPhil

    Because the developers said they were going to dumb down the game, that they felt that the original Beyond Good & Evil was too complicated and hardcore for the couch potato of today.

    Yes, they really did say that. I’ll find the interview for you if you’d like.

  30. CMaster says:

    @LewieP – it is hilarious how noone who commented on your boycott seemed to get the joke.

    @Wulf – how on earth do you know all that? (for the record, I really enjoyed all the elements of BG&E you mentioned, save maybe the environment puzzles which normally only required solving once, but reappeared many times throughout the game). As far as I could tell, details about the game were few and far between. We had a 60 second video to go on.

    @Tyrone. I agree that the plot in BG&E was pretty weak and certainly failed to live up to the gradiose title. The characters, voice acting and dialog was all pretty good though.

  31. Frank says:

    Booooooo

  32. Wulf says:

    @toni

    Heh, I think I actually cried when I thought Pey’j was dead. That upset me no end.

    …and now I’m idly wondering if that bit got the good Mr. Walker, too.

  33. Wulf says:

    @CMaster

    I’ll stress the point: because the dev’s told us so.

    I’ve been following BG&E 2 since the very first screenshot was leaked.

  34. CMaster says:

    @Wulf – there are two Alpha Sections bases within the pedestrian district that involve a stealth section at first, then an action-packed chase sequence after you make off with the Pearls. The second (I think) of which, requiring the star key (I think) led up onto the rooftops, finishing off with a rescue by double H and is considered by many players to be one of the best scenes of the game.

  35. CMaster says:

    @Wulf again – linky? I hadn’t particulary hunted down info.

  36. Vandelay says:

    I’m with Tyrone Slothrop in being completely underwhelmed by the original BG&E. It looked great and the world was original and fresh, but the gameplay was just incredibly bland. Each encounter with an enemy boiled down to waiting for them to turn their back on you, shoot their jet pack and then charge in to finish them off. Having no weapons to defend yourself with against them and completely relying on stealth would have been far more interesting.

    The open world elements, as Tyrone also said, was very undeveloped. The town only seemed to have a few place to explore, with the odd secret mission lurking about the place, such as the races or the secret caves. If that had of just been the first of many towns then it would have been understandable, but it appeared to be the only place outside of the main missions.

    I was wondering where this unappreciated gem that everyone had been talking about had gone and it still sits on my hard drive only half finished and I can’t be bothered going back to it.

  37. LewieP says:

    @Wulf
    This bit:

  38. Wulf says:

    Anyway, I’ll leave my thoughts at that. Beyond Good & Evil was an incredibly beautiful game and one which I think has dulled in the minds of those who haven’t replayed it recently.

    Going by the gameplay video and what the developers told us about dumbing it down and removing the more complex elements for today’s videogaming couch potato, I lost my interest in the idea of a sequel.

    Look at the Prince of Persia reboot and the sequels that follow Sands of Time, this is how Ubisoft likes to remove complicated elements to make games more accessible for people who had too hard of a time with having to think.

    I would’ve found a sequel to BG&E 2 interesting but I’m more glad that the original won’t be tarnished by that sequel.

    I can’t hang around this thread all day, but yeah… this might not be the catastrophe it seems to be, at least, not to me. BG&E 2 remains the untarnished, glittering gem it always was. Thank goodness.

  39. AbyssUK says:

    RPS hivemind spring into action! What can we do…

    Start a crazy of buying BG&E and posting the box to Ubisofts headquarters? Post enmass photo graphs of various animals hidden in stupid to reach places to ubisoft? cry into our milk? send death threats to Uwe Boll?

    We are at a loss hivemind.. please help us you are our only hope.

  40. Subject 706 says:

    “removing the more complex elements for today’s videogaming couch potato”

    This shit irks me really bad these days. How come publishers seem to have such difficulties grasping the concept of market segments?

    Would the retarded gamer segment, sorry, “nex-gen sophisticated gamer segment” appreciate even a dumbed down BG&E? Probably not. Then why not develop and market it to the niche that does? And not throw a giant FPS-budget on it?

  41. Tei says:

    (continue from a yesterday comment)
    … and Ubisoft will become PizzaHat, and EA will start selling Pizza.

  42. Larington says:

    Yeah, the action sequence we’ve seen in that BGE2 video could just be the sequel games equivalent of this rooftop chase sequence: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy7DrxuW7rA

  43. Tyrone Slothrop says:

    @CMaster

    Actually, I thought the dialogue to be quite dismal, I cannot remember the precise line, but upon killing the last or penultimate DOMZ-solider/commander on the moon I distinctly remember during his death; I thought he could have said anything and it would have been better than what appeared in the final game. Does he say something that shows him to believe his own propaganda? Does he something that humanises or makes him sympathetic? Does he betray any depth? No, he revels in how evil he is via gravely voice and cliché, something about demons carrying him to hell.

    It had the potential to be a great game just like Assassin’s Creed had to potential to be a game.

  44. somnolentsurfer says:

    Wow. That’s dissapointing. I downloaded BG&E off Steam ages ago, but only finally got round to finishing it on Sunday night. It’s taken up residence in my mental “favourite games of all time” list, alongside TLJ/Dreamfall, Ico and Grim Fandango. I loved the look of the videos we’d seen. Boo.

  45. Optional says:

    @Vandelay: “Having no weapons to defend yourself with against them and completely relying on stealth would have been far more interesting.”

    You can sneak your way past most sections if you so desire, you just need the will not to use a weapon. The option of stealth over ass-kickery is one of the game’s strong points; forced stealthing is- without exception- shite.

  46. Dinger says:

    Look, there’s one absolutely awesome part of BG&E: Christophe Héral’s soundtrack. The rest is okay.

    The whole thing was build in the tacit belief that video games are for kids.

  47. James O'Hare says:

    This is a very sad day for games :( I was desperately looking forward to this.

  48. qx says:

    Couldn’t care less about a sequel to a mediocre game like BG&E.

  49. RagingLion says:

    Sad to hear this. What had been suggested about the nature of BG&E thus far had me really interested in a way few games achieve with me.