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Take a long look through the spyglass at Beyond Good And Evil 2 in action

The second largest monkey I've seen, from Beyond Good And Evil 2

I’m starting to think that Beyond Good And Evil 2 might just pull it off. In their latest showcase video and lengthy developer stream, Ubisoft Montpellier give us our broadest, clearest look at their game of fanciful open-world bandes dessinées-styled space piracy. In what’s starting to look a bit like Mass Effect but in a vastly more interesting setting, we get a peek at some early ground combat, space travel, puttering around on a hoverbike and even going for an orbital space-walk. There’s an early look at co-op, crew recruitment systems and plenty of tasty little details. Take a peek below.

While not set across the same baffling scale as Elite: Dangerous, Beyond Good And Evil 2’s six-bodied solar system looks absolutely enormous. A bit of a step up from the close and personal action adventure original. The combat in the new game doesn’t look too much different though, with a blend of basic combo-based melee and ranged attacks. The enemies and the layout of the combat environment shown makes me think of Mass Effect. Scanning the area before engaging to assess the abilities and gear of your enemies and any hostages is all very Metal Gear Solid 5, too.

This is all the kind of wildly mega-scale design that needs the backing of a publisher like Ubisoft (or Star Citizen levels of crowdfunding) to be realised. There aren’t just character creators, but ship editors too, allowing you to bodge together your own personal starfighter, launched from deep within the holds of your flagship. The dogfighting doesn’t look too spectacular right now, but the game is still deep in development, and an enormous amount has changed since our first peek at it in action just seven months ago. For those wanting something a little less scripted, here’s nearly half an hour of walkthrough from Michel Ancel and pals’s development stream.

If the video timestamp doesn’t work, skip to 30 minutes in, but there’s lots of interesting little tidbits before then. There’s talk in the video that as impressive as some things are, like the dense air traffic in the city, they’ve already improved on that in the current development build, so things seem to be moving along nicely there. They mention that some of the stuff featured in the video is from their questionable collaboration with HitRecord, so make of that what you will. I’m just hoping that everyone who got art featured ends up with a nice fat sack of cash.

A lot of the story and character stuff that we consider the heart and soul of Beyond Good And Evil isn’t in the showcase above, but that stuff tends to happen later in development anyway. I’m just glad to see it coming together into something coherent, and slowly beginning to resemble the world shown to us in that thrilling E3 trailer from back in summer. Plus, Ganesha City is the closest thing I’ve seen to The Fifth Element’s sprawling mega-structures in realtime yet – that alone wins this game some points in my book. No word on when this one will be done, but I’m prepared to wait.

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Dominic Tarason

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