Over the past few years at E3, I have been unimpressed by Ubisoft unlike many others. A barrage of shooters, repetitive Assassin’s Creed titles, and dull open world games have been centerstage for them at E3. The Ubisoft I remember is when Rayman was popular and the creator also made a little title called Beyond Good & Evil. After the spectacular and classic 3D platformer – that is better than Super Mario 64 in my opinion – Rayman 2: The Great Escape, Michel Ancel moved on to Beyond Good & Evil. It is the tale of a reporter who goes undercover to find the secrets of an alien organization in her world. Within it is a cast of interesting characters, the beautiful landscapes of Hillys, and fun puzzles, a captivating narrative, and a semi-open world that is far more fascinating than the games that Ubisoft have released recently.
As you can tell, I’m salty over Ubisoft’s lack of creativity within their recent releases such as The Division, Assassin’s Creed (except for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Syndicate as I haven’t played that one yet), and the Far Cry series; they all have bland characters, generic side missions, and a world that I do not care about in the slightest. None even scratch the surface that Rayman and Beyond Good & Evil presented back in the day. And despite this, they still reveal Tom Clancy and generic third person open world games (Watch Dogs) as their one last thing announcement. This year, I am hoping that Beyond Good & Evil 2 will steal the spotlight from these generic titles, and I want to see the zany side of the company come back to life in the AAA space.
The development behind Beyond Good & Evil 2 has had a storied history. In Ubidays 2008, Ubisoft presented a trailer for the game, showing Pey’J and Jade stuck in a desert. It was just a teaser and did not present any gameplay from the title. As development progressed, footage was leaked. The game looked like it had more of an action focus with a parkour Mirror’s Edge like system attached to it. From this concept trailer, the game looked stunning and portrayed a run-down desert city, perhaps one they were trying to reach during the Ubidays trailer.
And then silence…
For many years, we haven’t seen or heard anything from the project. Many believed it was cancelled, but Michel Ancel reaffirmed multiple times that it is still in development . About two years ago, the creator showed concept art from the game during a Rayman Legends live stream, shocking the development staff. Ancel, in another livestream, also referenced the “Beyond Good & Evil 2 Secret Room” 4 months ago. Despite working on a new project called WiLD with his own co-founded studio Ancel most recently told Tim Schafer from Double Fine during their Devs Play series that the game is still going forward. He later said, “Yeah, but it’s difficult because we do the same kind of game two times, so we always want to do something different.”
A report was also recently published by Destructoid on Beyond Good & Evil 2 as an NX exclusive. They allegedly received insider knowledge from Alexander Maier who received “a lengthy document” via Geno, a past accurate leaker. This alleged document says that the game will be a 2017 exclusive for Nintendo’s next console, thanks to them funding the project. A second source, according to Destructoid, backed it up. Perhaps we’ll see Beyond Good & Evil 2 during a Nintendo Direct at E3 or maybe at a press conference. Let’s hope!
As a fan of the game and it being my second favorite game behind Kingdom Hearts, I hope we get a reveal trailer at the end of Ubisoft’s E3 conference this year. As the Ubidays trailer featured a different landscape to Hillys, I can speculate that there will be space travel. The first game also included minor space travel with the Beluga. In my desired trailer, I would love to see story beats and gameplay, not CG. If it’s CG, nobody would believe it’s a real project. The best route would be a 5-10 minute gameplay demo to showcase why Beyond Good & Evil should be a successful franchise at one of the biggest gaming events of the year.
Beyond Good & Evil 2 has not been confirmed to make an appearance at E3 this year. We’ll keep you updated.