Beyond Good & Evil 2: Different But Still Familiar

At this year’s E3, long-time fans of Beyond Good and Evil finally got the announcement they’d been waiting for since 2009: concrete proof that Beyond Good and Evil 2 was in development. Ubisoft had previously announced that the game was in development back in October 2016, but talk is cheap when it comes to a project that’s been in development limbo as long as this one. Now that we’ve been given a brand new trailer and details about what the game will be like, fans can finally rest assured that Beyond Good and Evil 2 is actually happening. It’s really real, guys! Its resemblance to the sequel fans were expecting isn’t immediately obvious, but this is still very much the Beyond Good and Evil game we’ve all been waiting for over these many long years. It’s true. All one needs to do to see the it is take a closer look at past glimpses of the project.

(video from YouTube channel: Ubisoft US)

The most immediately noticeable aspect of the game on display in this trailer is the art style. Where the art style of the original Beyond Good and Evil was exaggerated and cartoony, the aesthetic on display here is dirty and realistic. Like all great games though, Beyond Good and Evil wasn’t solely defined by its art style. The identity of the original game was comprised of a combination of several elements, most notably its exaggerated art style, its subtle humor, and its overarching themes of freedom and resistance in the face of overwhelming force. Both of those themes, along with plenty of humor, were on display in this trailer, and even the more realistic art style shouldn’t really come as a surprise. The sequel to Beyond Good and Evil was always going to be a more realistic-looking game. Just look at the original concept trailer from 2008.

(video from YouTube channel: Machinima)

This trailer was first taste of Beyond Good and Evil 2 that fans got, and even then the visual difference was stark. Just like the most recent trailer, this one depicted a much more realistic (and dirty) world populated by decidedly less cartoony characters. It was still obviously a Beyond Good and Evil game despite the drastic difference in appearance though. Pey’j, the pig, was still very obviously Pey’j and his little fly-inhaling game reassured fans that the comedy they enjoyed in the first game wasn’t going anywhere. This was a preview that promised players all the charm of the first game along with extra helpings of detail and realism. All that was missing was some hint as to what the gameplay would be like. That question would be answered in due time though.

(video from YouTube channel: kami)

The above footage was originally leaked in May of 2009. It was originally thought to be a hoax, but was later confirmed to be real by Michel Ancel, the director of Beyond Good and Evil. Just like the 2008 and now the 2017 E3 trailer, the footage on display here depicts a much more gritty and realistic world than that of the first game. What’s more, just like the 2017 trailer, it shows a more action oriented game. Jade isn’t creeping around some secret facility and snapping photos here. No, instead she’s engaged in a desperate bid to evade the authorities of this city. There’s no hint of humor in this trailer, but it does imply that Jade and co. are still fighting the good fight against the otherwise irresistible might of a corrupt authority. Combined with what was seen in the 2008 trailer, this video painted a picture of a more action focused and realistic game that still retained the charm and central themes of its predecessor. The slow pace might be missed, but it would still be Beyond Good and Evil.

The game shown at E3 is still very much a Beyond Good and Evil game. If we can indeed use this trailer to infer what the actual game will be like, then it’s going to have everything fans were in show in the past trailers. Just like the project glimpsed in those old concept trailers, the current Beyond Good and Evil 2 will retain the charm and humor of the first game. It’ll be a bit more action-oriented and, since players will be playing as space pirates, will definitely retain those themes of freedom and resistance. Jade and Pey’j are MIA, but everything else that made Beyond Good and Evil what it was here. This really is the sequel the fans have been waiting to see confirmed! Now it’s just a matter of waiting until it is finally released.

Did you have a chance to play the original Beyond Good and Evil? What are your thoughts on Beyond Good and Evil 2?

Lede image from the official Beyond Good and Evil 2 E3 2017 trailer.