Oh look at that, Beyond Good and Evil 2 [official site] has been shown off at E3 (sans ampersand), featuring anthropomorphic monkeys, criminal pigs, Hindu and Buddhist temples projecting neon lights, angry space police with silly missiles, steering wheels in the shape of skulls and quite a lot more. It’s an explosive trailer and you should probably see it for yourself so get down there and SORT IT OUT.
Woof. It’s a pity there’s only a cinematic and no in-game footage. Lest we forget, we’ve been offered a cinematic trailer for this very title 9 years ago as well as some brief not-very-real “gameplay” footage. But it looks like the story has radically changed since then. It now takes place in a “profoundly multicultural world” before Jade, the hero from the first game, has been born and follows a group of space pirates in "System 3". Here’s what Ubisoft are saying:
System 3, as it turns out, is a place where limited resources are viciously warred over by various private enterprises. The struggle for survival amid a rich milieu of evolved species and diverse cultures from Old Earth creates an ideal environment for space piracy, as a new generation of captains rise up to carve out a piece of the galaxy for themselves.
As you rise from lowly pirate to legendary captain, you’ll traverse System 3 at light speed to explore freely on your own or with friends. Presenting its solar system as a massive, seamless online environment, Beyond Good and Evil 2 gives players the chance to dive into the foundations of the franchise’s universe while traveling between diverse planets and moons in search of adventure.
So, multiplayer!? I suppose so. But it is still unclear how that will function, or how anything will function for that matter, or how much of the actual game has even been made – where are the moving parts? What do you do? Creator Michel Ancel has asked fans to sign up to a “Space Monkey Program” so they can “help by sharing ideas and feedback” - but feedback on what exactly? A single CGI trailer? Even if the trailer does present a wonderfully created world, at this stage I would have expected at least something more concrete. But others will likely be satisfied by sci-fi explosions and grappling-hook hands.
You can see more about the characters and story on the official site, including some pics of Knox the “Punk-ass hybrid monkey who is always looking for trouble” and Shani, who’s described as “Badass biker and ingenious mechanic of Somalian ancestry”. There’s also some bits on the cityscapes of the game including the huge Ganesha statue complete with holographic headband.
It’s been a long wait for fans of the original, regardless, which was released 14 years ago. And this industry has taught us that we should be naturally cautious about any game that long in the pipes. But let’s just hope Ubisoft doesn’t turn it into an icon-clearing open world, eh? LET’S HOPE.