Ubisoft Creative Director Michel Ansel took to YouTube on Thursday to finally show the world that, yes, Beyond Good and Evil 2 is more than an unplayable cinema sequence. However, anyone expecting to see gameplay akin to the game’s incredible E3 2017 reveal may be disappointed.
Ansel talked about a 15-minute prototype gameplay demo, describing vague design ambitions while mostly showing off the game’s space systems. This demo played the same foul-mouthed monkey that stole the show in BG&E2the debut trailer. In Ansel’s prototype, we see this monkey pilot two spaceships, and he also floats around alone with a jetpack. Despite an apparently bustling city under our hero, Ansel never flies near it.
As in the original, photography returns to BG&E2, and Ansel showed off a blink-and-you-will-miss-it camera feature. Ansel says that in-game photos can be used to expose atrocities such as “slavery and human trafficking,” and those photos can be shared with NPCs or other players. This was as far as Ansel went in his presentation to explain all the ‘connected-world’ systems we can expect – and he didn’t clarify whether the sequel requires an internet connection.
Ubisoft has been optimistic about connecting all of its games to larger online worlds, and maybe that’s why BG&E2 has such an interstellar scale. Ansel piloted a spaceship at insane speeds over a planet’s surface, then aimed his ship to fly into space – showing a smooth burning atmosphere effect on the ship in question. “You can go anywhere at any time,” Ansel said, explaining that planets and space regions are loaded in “seamless” ways. (Since Ansel got his above-ground spaceship traveling at over 20,000 mph, that seamless promise is sure to be tested.)
“We don’t want empty planets,” Ansel said. “We want planets with landmarks, with places to explore.” He alluded to mountainous areas where “monks” can be found. But then again, Ansel never piloted a spaceship or monkey near such ground-level content, nor did he go into detail about whether BG&E2The planets are procedurally generated, handmade or a mix.
Although the game runs on a development PC, the characters and content appear to have been built with console limitations in mind. Nevertheless, the appearance and scale of the prototype impress at first glance. But the limited scale of this prototype should worry anyone wondering what the hell it’s like? BG&E2 will handle quests, online connectivity or interstellar traversal. It also questions whether the final game will ever really look like this month’s sexy reveal. Still, it’s good to see what Ansel has been working on, and it could be a sign of more development transparency and fan reach during BG&E2‘s development, which is always more welcome than empty promises followed by alarming silence. We’ll keep an eye on it Beyond Good and Evil 2 no matter how long Ansel teases us about it.