Beyond Screenshots: BGE2 Gets New Footage

Also of note: the shockingly solid music that accompanies this footage. If the first official trailer uses dubstep instead, I'll never speak to my framed portrait of Michel Ancel again.

When will Beyond Good & Evil 2 come out? In our lifetimes? Shortly after humanity begins leaving its bipedal bootprints on the deepest reaches of space? 2014? (If you’re a character from a piece of 1950s sci-fi literature, “all of the above” is also a possibility.) Series mastermind Michel Ancel has opted to keep it all under lock and key, but the Internet – somewhat fittingly – has embarked on a relentless journey to expose the truth. First, we got an alleged in-engine screenshot, but the rabbit hole runs deeper. Amazingly, Ubisoft has done more than simply create one static, completely non-interactive photo. Now it moves, as though propelled by puppet strings, the invisible hand of fate, or a ghost.

Unsurprisingly, it seems to be very much in the vein of this previously released bit of concept footage – at least, location-wise. Also, brown. It’s a desert-themed sea of the dullest color in gaming’s box of Crayolas. I know, I know, this one’s going for a more realistic angle, but here, let’s play a game: I spy a blue chair, a green sofa, a red painting, a rainbow of books on a tan bookshelf, and white walls. Where am I? Real life.

And yet, for all the insistent talk about needing “more tech,” it looks solid, but not exactly like the kind of thing that’d melt Sony and Microsoft’s microboxes like micromachines in a microwave. Maybe when Ancel said “more tech,” he meant “a little more tech – like an extra battery for my Xbox controller, and then we should be good to go.” Or, more likely: BGE2’s still exceedingly early in development, and it’ll look orders of magnitude better once we finally get to play it – while colonizing a neo-space planet in the cyberyear of 2014. Or perhaps even later.


  1. brkl says:

    There’s nothing here even reminiscent of BG&E.

    • Notter says:

      Exactly my thoughts…
      I remember BG&E as a very cartoony game.. i don’t understand while would they want to go at it in such a different way.

      • Vagrant says:

        Came here to say this. It’s very pretty for realistic textures, but I’m not sure that will keep the charm. Also, looks like earth (and EXTREMELY reminiscent of Indian culture) which is disappointing. I want hover-cars, waterways, and cartoony proportions!

        • DuddBudda says:

          BG&E was great for the characters and the story they told, the cartoon’s gentle beauty was just gravy

          Jade is probably the most womanly woman in any game; so long as she retains that humanity in the ‘I have boobs AND an arse’ milleu I will be buying this day one

        • eclipse mattaru says:

          Seconded. One of the main reasons why I love BG&E is that it was one of those utterly rare games brave enough to not fall for that stupid photorealism crap everyone and their dog goes for in gaming. From an artistic standpoint I already hate this one.

      • skittles says:

        Except that these graphics are still very cartoony… it is just that there is so much incidental detail that it seems realistic. From what I have seen of the actual character models though they are highly stylized… I guess its closest reference would be the recent TinTin movie. I think in motion it will look great, assuming it is ever released.

        • jalf says:

          Yeah, that. And honestly, I think it’d be more fair to say BG&E was stylized than cartoony.

          And this? Doesn’t look either gritty or photorealistic to me.

          • vivlo says:

            Indeed, i love maybe this style even more than the original. It looks like what they intended deep in their heart, but couldn’t initially do cause of lack of money.

      • HexagonalBolts says:

        This is ridiculous. Just because a series has outgrown previous technological and financial constraints does not inherently mean that its content will be inferior.

      • RagingLion says:

        I really like the look of this. Also, I remember reading somewhere that Ancel would have liked to have gone for a more realistic setting with the first game and have gone deeper into the whole war reporter thing but the graphics of the time just didn’t support that and so the concept became a lot more fantasy based. I quite liked BG&E but I’ve more excited by this than the original. Hopefully all the superfluous platforming elements (par for the course when it was made) will be done away with in this game as well.

    • Deathmaster says:

      On one side I do like what I’m seeing here, very slick. On the other hand I’d prefer they would try to create a new franchise with this new lick of paint. Maybe Bollywood action hero?

      Early stage of development, perhaps, too soon to scream stuff like ‘no buy’.

    • 12kill4 says:

      Maybe they should call it ‘On the Genealogy of Morality’…

  2. Ruffian says:

    I can’t wait for the sequel, I loved the first one and all. But I’m having some trouble seeing any sort of real parallel between it and this footage. Not that it doesn’t look nice and all. I guess I’d just be more interested to see some character art rather than an empty landscape.

  3. Craig Stern says:

    Honestly, the look of this appeals to me more than the original’s cartoony stylings did. Or maybe it’s just that I love the idea of an adventure game set in a place modeled after urban India.

    • Stevostin says:

      Agreed. I think it’s pretty amazing actually. Also, I think the character will still remain half cartoonish.

    • RakeShark says:

      The visual look certainly has a mix of alien, comfort, and interesting. However, I do hope the game revolves around something else either than running from SC: Conviction’s talkative goons.

  4. CommanderZx2 says:

    Don’t like it, it does not look like or feel like the universe of the first game at all.

    • Contrafibularity says:

      That’s probably because it looks like OUR universe, or rather planet, instead of the original game’s planet, as well as looking distinctly contemporary (instead of the 23rd century or something).

      So I’m guessing Jade hopped into a time machine and boarded a ship for Earth. Well that or someone decided the art direction needed to look more yellowish and like a Hollywood film with colour grading. Or who knows, it might be New New Delhi, looking suspiciously like New Delhi.

  5. rustybroomhandle says:

    Well, they call it BG&E, I guess it’s BG&E, so yeah ok sure, let’s call it BG&E.

    But I fully expect marines to come pouring out of the doorways any moment yelling “Sniper on the roof! Three-o-clock!!!” followed by much gunfire.

    • Mollusc Infestation says:

      As long as those snipers are humanoid chinchillas, i suppose it’ll be acceptable.

  6. Zaphod Beeblebrox says:

    Posting a link to the song in the video because it’s awesome and no one should be forced to read YouTube comments just to find it: link to I remember rocking out to this in university about 10 years ago and it’s still a dope track today.

    I’m not sure how I feel about a “gritty” BG&E, but I’ll give anything a chance.

    Speaking of gritty, can we please stop complaining unnecessarily about the color palette in games? Leave your man-caves and observe the modern world around you; it is mostly dull brown, grey, green and yellow with isolated/seasonal/geographical pockets of color. The push for photo-realism isn’t going to change, but what can change is encouraging diversity in setting. Let’s try for something we can accomplish instead of beating a dead horse.

    • Kollega says:

      Keyword: “green”. I’m sitting in my room right now, and there’s an entire sea of green i see out the window (because i’m living next to a park, but still). Have you seen Caspian Border in BF3? It’s overflowing with greenery, completely unlike “brown modern shooters”.

      You may have a point in that the world as a whole has only pockets of vibrant color, but a Middle-Eastern desert it is not. And if i had to guess, it’s games set in ruined cities or deserts that everyone’s tired of.

    • jalf says:

      The “modern world around me” has color. I honestly don’t see much brown.

      Of course, it is very likely that we live in different places, and your part of the world may be more brown than mine. But honestly, the “brownest” thing I can think of in the vicinity is the exterior window frames of the building I live in. Yes, they’re dark brown. Everything else? Not so much….

    • theoriginaled says:

      I damn well will and should complain about a realistic color palette in video games where realism is unnecessarily injected. Yes, I can go out side and take in all of the real life my eyes dare to see, that doesn’t mean that fantasy and entertainment should be bounded by the same choices. It should strive for more, to show me something Ive never seen.

  7. kikito says:

    I personally could do with a little less cartoonery, actually – it was the thing I enjoyed the less on the previous one. I applaud the attempt at trying new angles. BGE1 was innovative, and that’s what I’m seeing now.

    I don’t mind the hindi setting, as long as we get to see some sci-fi stuff too.

    The closeup on the dirty WC, I didn’t need.

    • Shadowcat says:

      Big ditto on the last comment. I’ve checked all the lists of things that people would enjoy seeing in a sequel to one of the more charming games around, and I can confirm that “dirty toilet” did not make the cut on any of them.

      • Dizzard says:

        Maybe the dirty toilet has some significance to the plot?


  8. Bhazor says:

    The graphics may have been cartoony but the settings were pretty grim. I’d say it is actually pretty close to the town in the original except utilising modern graphics.

    For me the only thing missing are the anthromorphs and this little video shows no actors at all.

  9. FakeAssName says:

    yeah, no way in hell is this actual game material.

    I say engine promo to show off all that it and the art staff can do, but no way is this actually the game’s environment. then again, this may be indicative of why the game has been in limbo.

    between the options of Ubi wanting this hyper realistic AAA like environment and the designers saying no fookin way or the designers wanting the hyper realistic for a shift in artistic presentation but Ubi saying your out of your mind; I’m not sure what I would put my money on for being the more likely culprit.

  10. eclipse mattaru says:

    A gritty, brown BG&E. Nice. Fucking “photorealism” just claimed another victim.

    Next, Psychonauts sequel stars a brooding and overly muscular adult Raz with a buzz-cut. And maybe a facial scar.

  11. Delicious Narwhal says:

    So we’re in Space India now? Alright, I think I’m okay with that.

  12. somini says:

    I don’t understant those who say this game is realistic. It’s set in India and has toilets…

    And my apologies to all Indian RPSers.

    • frenz0rz says:

      Couldnt help but snigger a bit at that.

    • chackosan says:

      It’d be less sad if that weren’t close to truth. Even in some metropolitan cities, I can walk around for up to half an hour without finding a trash can. Small wonder litter just gets thrown wherever most people feel like it, when there’s not even any cultural imperative towards cleanliness and hygiene. There are a couple of organisations like The Ugly Indian that are trying to make a difference, but in this kind of society, they’ve got an uphill battle.

    • CrN says:

      Apology accepted

  13. Urthman says:

    I loved the first 95% of BG&E, but the final plot twists were so stupid, so cliche, so lame, that I have no interest in a sequel at all.

  14. Steppenwolf says:

    Anyone know who did the music?

    • Arvind says:

      A. R. Rehman was the composer, he’s generally pretty awesome.

    • f1x says:

      The song is this one:

      Its from some bollywood movie, weird but of course it fits this new setting

      btw: I’m no spam bot, just saying because nowadays when you see a link it usually is a freaking spam bot

    • pseudoanon says:

      Apart from the link to the song posted somewhere above, it was also in the beginning of the very good Inside Man.

  15. Rikard Peterson says:

    I see colours in the video. Ok, I’ll agree that there is quite a bit of brown in the indoor scenes, but I’d rather have that than your place with “a blue chair, a green sofa, a red painting, a rainbow of books on a tan bookshelf, and white walls”. It seems to me that their choice of palette (yes, that’s what it is – not simply “realism”) is more interesting and attractive than a random collection of colour would be.

    (Btw, I haven’t been playing those brown shooters everyone’s talking about – that’s not a kind of game I find interesting – which may be part of the reason why I’m not having that reaction.)

  16. gulag says:

    How it looks?! HOW IT LOOKS!? Who gives a thundering monkey flap how it looks!? Make it! Make it well, make it whole, and make it in a fashion that carries us forward as a story and as a community.

    How it looks. Who cares? How does it feel?

    • Fomorian1988 says:

      Ditto. It’s the characters, story and atmosphere I enjoyed – the gorgeous cartoony graphics were definitely a plus, but if it weren’t for all those three elements, it wouldn’t be enough. Also game mechanics – they were great. I’m not overhyped for this sequel (which is easy considering how little material we’ve had to hype ourselves over), but I’m not going to scream “BE-TRAY-AAAAAAL!” every time I see something different.

      I do hope there’ll be a demo, though.

  17. Snuffy the Evil says:

    I really don’t mind the aesthetic (at least, what we’ve seen of it). The character proportions are still fairly cartoony and distinct which is good enough for me.

    On the other hand, those cows are giving me cause for concern. Aren’t cows people in the BG&E universe?

    • Araxiel says:

      And? Instead of demanding your moey back, you can just transform the shopkeeper/mechanic/boss into a tasty burger…just because it’s as smart as you and can talk and walks on two legs and has a family and friends does not make it cannibalism.

  18. Acorino says:

    I do hope that this footage is somewhat old already, it looks rather outdated.
    Anyway, it’s nice to have a look around the environments, but that’s pretty much what we’ve already seen in the previously leaked footage, is it not? Nothing really new here, not even the graphical style.

    • Mxtt says:

      Heh, this footage is actually three years old. :/ There just aren’t anymore annoying “Press A” prompts to distract from the action.

  19. sharkh20 says:

    Man, I remember this song.

    • Reefpirate says:

      Yeah I remember it too… But I have no idea where from. It’s a cool track though! WHAT IS IT, GOD!

      • f1x says:

        Its from a Bollywood movie, type Chaiya Chaiya on youtube and you’ll have it (look for some video with indians dancing on top of a train)

        • BreadBitten says:

          It’s also an extremely played out song if you have happened to live in any South Asian country for the last decade…

          While I LOVE the overall tone of the footage, the colors and textures roughly line up with the first trailer for BGE2, the music sort of ruins the illusion for me. Would’ve felt better if they used a more traditional Indian folk music with sitars, sarangis and tablas instead…

          • vivlo says:

            i’m not agreeing with that. Today’s traditional indian music, or at least traditional popular indian music, meaning the one every Indian knows about, is more related to this than anything you think of more “traditionnal”, and it seems to be more about describing a today’s every indian’s India than the idea of indealised, stuck in the time, forever-traditional India.

        • The Dark One says:

          I recognized it from that Spike Lee movie about robbers going after a Nazi collaborator’s safety deposit box.

  20. Arvind says:

    Not much footage to get excited about, but hey, we could do with another BGE at this point. We also don’t have many games in modern India-type places, so I’m pretty excited about this.

    And as someone who understood what the lyrics meant, they kinda didn’t go with the setting at all (the song is good, just not suited to the visuals).

  21. Reefpirate says:

    Teyah teyah, teyaoww! It doesn’t look like the original game, but I frankly don’t give a damn. That’s what new games are for… New stuff. Besides, maybe this is level 1 where the plot is established before being picked up by an alien spaceship or something.

    Also, outdated or not, I really don’t care. Art and presentation hasn’t had much to do with the number of pixels or polygons for me for a long time. It’s more about art and presentation, and I’m digging the vibe so far.

    • eclipse mattaru says:

      Except that “going for the same gritty brown art style as every game and their mother” hardly qualifies as “new stuff”.

  22. Just Endless says:


    • Jackablade says:

      Zebu. Zeeee-bu.
      It’s like an ox, only it has a hump and a dewlap. Hump, and a dewlap! Hump and dewlap!

      //Lisa Simpson

  23. Adahn says:

    Is there a Slaughterhouse-Five reference in the article? But I thought the novel belonged to 1960s.

  24. bill says:

    That’s a lot of FISH shops.

  25. chackosan says:

    Wow, I would have never foreseen having had to quit a teaser trailer for BG&E2 because of the music. Not a huge fan of Rahman in the first place, but having been bombarded by this particular song several times over the last decade has just made it repellent for me.

  26. PaTr0N says:

    This? BG&E 2 ? No there must be some HUGE mistake.

  27. theloz says:

    It looks like a GameCube game.

  28. Text_Fish says:


  29. Dances to Podcasts says:

    Last time I was in India it was for No One Lives Forever 2. I wouldn’t mind going back. :)

  30. Jackablade says:

    At 44 seconds you can see Jade in the background talking to someone with what might be a leopard head. Definitely not human, anyway.

    • Araxiel says:

      That head looks pretty human to me. But still thanks for pointing this out.

      • Jackablade says:

        Turn the resolution up and look at it full screen. It’s quite flat with pointy ears.