THE E3ODUS [E3 2019 Preview]: Beyond Good & Evil 2.

“Shepherd” Daniel Sorensen
@danielsoerensen

BEYOND GOOD & EVIL 2 (Ubisoft Montpellier – X1/PS4/PC – ???) – E3 is right around the corner, which means Ubisoft will show the world what they’ve been working on. So, expect new info, teasers and footage from Assassin’s Creed, Far Cry, Watch Dogs, Ghost Recon etc. But more refreshingly, we are going to see more of a less established game franchise from Ubisoft; we’re going to feast our eyes on what is probably the most ambitious project Ubisoft has ever worked on, the long-awaited prequel to 2003’s Beyond Good & Evil — originally released on PS2/Xbox/Gamecube.

The game was critically acclaimed, despite iffy camera control and combat that didn’t always quite hit it out of the park. But its wonderful story with funny characters and an imaginative sci-fi setting was done with so much attention and love. There was nothing quite like it at the time…

The Beyond Good And Evil 2 cinematic trailer was shown at E3 2017 and instantly grabbed my attention. The E3 2018 cinematic trailer took it further and blew my mind away. It looked fantastic! The humor is back, bigger and cheekier than ever. And the animations are top notch, giving certain movie studios a run for their money. Swearing tattooed pigs and monkeys in space, take my money now.

But what about gameplay? What has changed since the PS2 era?
A whole effing lot. There’s a dramatic change in technology for starters. BGE2 is taking open world to the galactic scale. We’re talking full planets and space travel in 12000+ mph! The prequel is expanding massively on the action adventure/exploration roots and Ubisoft is creating a seamless experience between vehicular– and on foot exploration and combat. And maybe the best part? You don’t have to experience the glory all by yourself. BGE2 has created an online option so friends can join up at any point and get in on the space pirate action, or just simply hang out in the massive mothership parked in space that acts like the home base.

Players will be able to customize and upgrade their characters and rides with augmentations, giving new abilities and designs to character, weapons and vehicles. This should keep the gameplay fresh and interesting. It also seems like Ubisoft has listened to the criticism from the first game, addressing issues with combat and a camera control more intended to kill you than the baddies themselves.

Ubisoft announced in 2018 that they would launch something called Space Monkey Program for BGE2, which is a collaboration between the developers and the community where participants will create artwork and music that will be assets used in the game. A clever and inclusive way to get help with decorating the massive universe they’re creating while getting the players directly involved. Other developers/publishers should take notes as they will discover talent that will benefit the video game industry.

If you haven’t played the first game yet, no worries as it a prequel as I’ve mentioned before. But if your backlog of games isn’t holding you hostage, Ubisoft did release a HD version that is playable on Xbox One/Xbox 360/PS3. There’s still time to enjoy the cult classic before we’ll have our sweaty palms on BGE2. While there’s no launch date yet, it will most likely arrive around/after the launch of the next generation consoles. Hopefully we’ll learn more this upcoming Monday, at E3 in sunny Los Angeles.

-Daniel Sørensen

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