It’s been nine years since Ubisoft first announced a sequel to its 2003 cult hit Beyond Good And Evil. For most of that time, the game never existed outside a teaser trailer, some leaked footage, and Ubisoft’s constant reassurance that it’s still going to happen someday. Things appeared to be moving along last year when Michel Ancel, the original game’s director, shared some concept art and said the sequel was going into pre-production, which all but confirmed this was completely different project from the bits and pieces we’d seen all those years ago. Well, today at Ubisoft’s E3 showcase, it finally happened. Ubisoft premiered a cinematic trailer for the game and announced Beyond Good And Evil 2 is in development. It’s not exactly what fans might have been expecting, though.
After the weirdly obscenity-filled trailer—ending with a human character who looks a heck of a lot Jade, the star of the first game—a teary-eyed Ancel and the game’s narrative director, Gabrielle Shrager, came on stage and said Beyond Good & Evil 2 is a prequel set “before the birth of Jade in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural human society in a distant solar system.” This is a world where corporations create animal-human hybrids, forcing them to colonize planets and fight for resources. You’ll be playing as one of the piratical freedom fighters seen in the trailer, part of a space-faring crew of “crazy and unforgettable characters” who are fighting for hybrid rights.
In a lengthy breakdown of the trailer, Ancel made it clear that the development team is really invested in using the game’s prequel status to explore and expand on the mythology of the world they created with the first Beyond Good And Evil. But it’s going to be a very different sort of game. Ancel described it as a “seamless online playground” where you’ll zoom from planet to planet, exploring either alone or with friends. He described the trailer’s getaway scene as being inspired by something you might actually do in the game: riding on a vehicle with another player and blowing stuff up. You’ll also have a mothership out in space that houses all your other vehicles.
Ubisoft is asking fans to sign up for something called the Space Monkey Program to provide feedback on the game’s development. The website describes it as “our way of inviting passionate members of the community to be the first to play, to share ideas and inspirations, and to crash test all of the creative and gameplay elements that make up our game world: as early and as often as possible.” Unfortunately for anyone looking to sign up, the website has been experiencing difficulties ever since the news broke.