We’ve been waiting a long time for the sequel to Beyond Good and Evil, the action-adventure classic that originally released in 2003. And, after many delays, Ubisoft finally announced at E3 2017 that a prequel was in the works: Beyond Good and Evil 2.
While the prospect of a new Beyond Good and Evil has seemed shaky for almost a decade, Ubisoft’s cinematic trailer at E3 2018 suggests it will definitely be worth the wait.
However, beyond the announcement, we haven’t heard much in the way of solid details about Beyond Good and Evil 2. How will it differ from the original? What will be the same? How will online multiplayer work? When will we actually get to play it? Those are a lot of questions and we didn't get any answers at E3 2021, so it could be a while before we find out more.
In the meantime, we’ve gathered up all the news, rumors and confirmed details surrounding Beyond Good and Evil 2 below for your perusal.
Cut to the chase
- What is it? An open-universe sci-fi action RPG
- What can I play it on? Nothing's official, but likely PS5, Xbox Series X, and PC
- When can I play it? It's not likely to be any time soon
Beyond Good and Evil 2 release date
It's been a long time since Beyond Good and Evil 2 was announced but a release date still hasn't been announced. During a 2020 investor call (via IGN (opens in new tab)), Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot confirmed that the publisher would be releasing "five new AAA games in 2020-21” but confirmed in a follow-up Q&A that Beyond Good and Evil 2 would not be one of them so there could still be a while to wait yet.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 trailers
Ubisoft released a cinematic trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2 which details the game's setup and debuted long-awaited characters, like Jade and Pace.
You can check it out below:
A cinematic trailer breakdown explores what was shown during E3 2018 in great detail. Check it out below:
Ubisoft announced Beyond Good and Evil 2 at E3 2017 with an announcement trailer. You can watch it below:
Beyond Good and Evil 2 news and rumors
Unfortunately, Beyond Good and Evil 2 didn't make an appearance at Ubisoft's Ubisoft Forward showcase at E3 2021. So it could be a while before we hear more on the long-awaited sequel.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 remains something of a mystery but in October 2020, after the departure of Michel Ancel from the industry, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said during the company’s earnings call (via VGC (opens in new tab)) that the game is “progressing well” adding that “The world is really a fantastic world …So, there’s a lot of progress in that team and the game is coming along very well.”
Getting the Netflix treatment
It may not be about Beyond Good and Evil 2, but the Beyond Good and Evil brand overall is getting the Netflix treatment. In August 2020 it was announced that Netflix is working on a film adaption of the game which is reported (via The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab)) to be directed by Detective Pikachu and Goosebumps director Rob Letterman. Described as a hybrid live-action/animated feature, the film was still in early development at the time of its announcement.
Michel Ancel leaves the gaming industry but expect new game footage in 2021
Beyond Good and Evil creator Michel Ancel has announced on his Instagram (opens in new tab) that he’s leaving the gaming industry after 30 years to work in an animal sanctuary. Ancel had been heading up work on Beyond Good and Evil 2 but told fans not to worry as for “many months now the teams are autonomous and the projects are going super well. Beautiful things to be seen soon.”
Ubisoft followed Ancel’s announcement up with a statement of its own (opens in new tab), noting that Ancel “hasn’t been directly involved in work on BG&E2 for some time now,” and that the team behind Beyond Good and Evil 2 is “hard at work building on top of the solid creative foundation he helped shape.”
The update goes on to say that an “important internal milestone” has recently been passed, “delivering a build that proves our Space Pirate Fantasy and offers hours of gameplay and an incredible level of freedom in a seamless online sandbox, building upon the promise of our tech demos shown at E3.”
The development team is, apparently, expanding and the hope is to show the game in action “sometime next year, once we pass our next internal production milestones.”
You’ve head of AAA but what about AAAA? Well, that’s potentially what Beyond Good and Evil 2 is being classified as by Ubisoft. According to a Twitter user (via Wccftech (opens in new tab)) a number of developers have started referring to games like Beyond Good and Evil 2 and Skull and Bones as AAAA projects on their LinkedIn profiles. The reference in the profiles to next-gen does also let us know that the game will likely (as suspected) be a PS5 and Xbox Series X release.
June 2019 update
Though Beyond Good and Evil 2 made no appearance at E3 2019, there was still a livestream in June from the development team. In this stream the team dished out some new gameplay details and some concept art.
It was explained that in the game everyone in System 3 is a clone while hybrids are made by crossing the DNA of humans and animals. Some of these hybrids are used as slaves in the mining and collection of a valuable and dangerous mineral called Diwalite.
You, the player, will be a space pirate and you'll be able to choose whether you are a human or a hybrid. You'll also be able to rescue these slave hybrids and recruit them to your crew. Overall, though, the game will give you plenty of freedom to craft your own story. You can watch the stream for yourself below:
The reveal at E3 2018 also clued us into a collaboration with Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Hit Record company to produce user-generated content that will make it into the final game.
People around the world will be able to contribute all sorts of content with hopes of it making it into the final product.
E3 2018 brought us some more news on Beyond Good and Evil 2 and we attended a behind closed doors demo of the game.
We now know that the game will be a prequel to the original, with a younger Jade taking up the role of antagonist. Players will be able to play co-operatively in the open game world, and they don't even have to remain near each other at all.
You'll be able to create your very own space pirate and explore the universe in your very own space ship. From what we've seen of the game so far the game world is astonishingly large and utterly seamless and you can move from city streets, to sky, to space to outer space without any loading screens at all. From the off you'll have a melee weapon, a gun, a shield and a jetpack. Weapons can be modified with interesting augments.
A key item in the game will be a cool spyglass which players can use to assess situations before going into them. Hovering over an enemy will tell you more about them, what augments they're using and their abilities. It certainly makes planning an attack a lot more smooth. You can also use it to scan buildings and assess what they do and whether there might be any use in setting your eyes on them for a robbery.
The developer live stream
A developer livestream (opens in new tab) for Beyond Good and Evil 2 showcased some gameplay footage that showed how melee staff combat and ship maneuvering would work. Outside of this, it also confirmed that players would be using their very own custom characters and the story will have new information on Beyond Good and Evil's Jade, DomZ and the origin of the human-animal hybrids.
Michel Ancel has said the game will be playable online, which falls in line with Ubisoft's shift towards securing long-term player engagement from its games. At the moment it's still not clear how online play will actually work – it could be a separate mode with individual matches or it could work more like Far Cry 5 which allows players to go through the entirety of the main game with a friend. We hope it's the latter.
Own more than one ship
Players will be able to own multiple ships, increasing their scale and crew size as they go. Once a player has a larger ship they'll even be able to store their smaller one-man dogfighting vessels inside it.
Furthermore, the environments will be somewhat destructible, allowing parts of buildings to be demolished but not entire large structures, apparently. Real-time meteor showers will be able to impact entire portions of planets which could potentially trigger missions and story events.
Furthermore, exploration will apparently be a big theme, and you will be able to fly from a planet into space seamlessly without loading times—much like in No Man's Sky. There will also be spaceships of varying sizes, including vast ones that can hold smaller ones within.
Ancel also talks a bit about the world in which these characters exist, with the social structure seemingly keeping these hybrid creatures down, along with the vile threat of slavery. He suggests that the crew you see in the Gada ship, comprised of varying hybrids and humans of different origins, showcases the diverse message that the game hopes to convey despite the ugliness in the world. It's "exactly the heart of Beyond Good and Evil 2," he explains.
A Jade connection
As for the green-eyed captain at the end, Ancel admits that there is some connection to Jade from the first game, but refuses to spoil the game with any specifics. Likewise, there's an earlier reference to her Uncle Pey'j that Ancel also acknowledges, and he says the teases hint at "how deep the world can be." Similarly, the trailer is apparently loaded with Easter egg references. Apparently (opens in new tab)Jade will not directly feature in the game as it's set a generation before her birth.
Unfortunately, there's no word on a release target or even the platforms that we'll be playing on, and given that Beyond Good and Evil 2 was only confirmed to be in pre-production as of last autumn, it may still be a long way away. We might be lucky to see it in 2018, but don't be surprised at all if the game doesn't ship until 2019 or 2020.
A brand new game engine
Ubisoft has revealed the Beyond Good and Evil 2 is being worked on using a brand new game engine called Voyager. To capture Michel Ancel's vision for the game and create a world as large as this game's one will be, a brand new game engine was completely necessary and the tech for it has been in development for the past 3 years.
Check out a video detailing the new engine below:
Beyond Good and Evil 2: Franchise history
As of now, only one game has been released in this series: the original Beyond Good and Evil, which hit PlayStation 2, Xbox, GameCube, and PC back in 2003.
Photojournalist Jade's quest to investigate and uncover an alien conspiracy leads to a grand and diverse adventure spanning stealth navigation, melee combat, puzzle solving, photography, and even racing. Slick art direction, entertaining action, and compelling characters and story threads made Beyond Good and Evil a fan favorite, even if the game wasn't a sales success.
Luckily, it became a true cult classic over time, and Ubisoft revived the original game with an HD edition for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in 2011. It's also backwards compatible with the Xbox One, so at least you can play it on one of the current consoles.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 was first announced all the way back in 2008 with a very odd teaser trailer, which sets the tone for a version of the game we may never experience. It shows Jade and Pey'j on the side of the road with a broken hover car, as Pey'j snorts and digests passing flies. Quite a change from what we eventually saw at E3 2017!
In 2009, meanwhile, a leaked video—which looks like target gameplay footage—shows an acrobatic Jade winding her way through a busy city as she climbs, runs, takes out guards, and eventually grabs hold of a helicopter and escapes. However, later that summer, Ubisoft confirmed that the game would not yet begin full production.
In the years since, we've seen various teases and confirmations of its continued development, with Ubisoft acknowledging work on it in 2014 and 2016.
And then, late in 2016, Ancel affirmed that they were full steam ahead in pre-production, which Ubisoft also confirmed.
According to Ancel, the team has been working on the game intently since Rayman Legends shipped in 2013, and that earlier work on the game had been halted due to technical limitations back then.
Beyond Good and Evil 2: What we'd like to see
Well, we'd like to see the actual game most of all. The trailer is rich and inviting, and clearly shows a lot of work and attention being paid to Beyond Good and Evil 2's game world. It can send our imaginations wandering into so many different directions, which is the problem: how will this vision coalesce into a cohesive game? We just don't know.
Ancel's trailer breakdown video offers some hints, with the promise of a huge, vertical world, cooperative online play of some sort, and the ability to jet off into space without worrying about loading screens or other frustrating breaks in the action. It sounds massively ambitious, but that's very much in line with Ubisoft's modern approach: the company does vast open worlds now, and nearly all of its AAA properties follow some version of that mold.
Our hope is that Beyond Good and Evil's spirit doesn't get lost in the vastness of that open concept, and that the game retains its individuality despite opening up and bringing in some level of multiplayer action. Based on the trailer, we are definitely encouraged about the tone and distinctiveness of the game, although besides the whole matter of how the actual game looks and plays, there are still questions about when we'll get to play it and on which devices.
Hopefully we don't have to wait too long to get some concrete answers. On the other hand, it has been many years since the first game released, and nine years since this sequel was revealed, so it's clear that Ubisoft is happy to take its time to get this right. Let's hope the long wait truly pays off.
Beyond Good and Evil 2: Will there be a beta?
There will! Ubisoft confirmed during E3 2018 that Beyond Good and Evil 2 will have a beta. However, Michel Ancel did say that Ubisoft was aiming for a playable beta by the end of 2019 and now that we're well into 2020 it seems unlikely that the beta will be live and playable for a while yet.