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.