Beyond Good and Evil 2: everything we know so far

Beyond Good and Evil 2 key art
(Image credit: Ubisoft)
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We’ve been waiting a long time for Beyond Good and Evil 2, Ubisoft's anticipated sequel to the action-adventure classic that originally released in 2003. After many delays, Ubisoft finally announced at E3 2017 that a prequel was in the works: Beyond Good and Evil 2. Unfortunately, we'll likely be waiting a lot longer before it arrives.

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 its widely believed to be in development hell, 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. 

Beyond Good and Evil 2: cut to the chase

  • What is it? An open-universe sci-fi action RPG
  • What can I play it on? TBC (likely PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC)
  • When can I play it? TBC. It's unlikely to be any time soon

What is Beyond Good and Evil?

Ubisoft's action-adventure Beyond Good and Evil first 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.

The sequel, Beyond Good and Evil 2, was first announced all the way back in 2008 and, in the years since, we've seen various teases and confirmations of Beyond Good and Evil 2's continued development. 

According to Ubsioft, the team has been working on the game intently since Rayman Legends shipped in 2013, but earlier work on the game was halted due to technical limitations. 

Beyond Good and Evil 2: release date and platforms

Beyond Good and Evil 2 - monkey, alive but half skeletal

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Beyond Good and Evil 2 doesn't have a confirmed release date or platforms just yet, though we'd expect to see it on PS5Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and PC.

In October 2020, after the departure of director Michel Ancel from the industry, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot said during a company’s earnings call (via VGC) 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.”

In a later investor call, in July 2021 (via GamesRadar (opens in new tab)), Ubisoft's chief financial officer, Frederick Duguet, wouldn't be drawn into providing a release window. However, he did provide this statement: "We are progressing well with Beyond Good and Evil 2, but it's too early to tell you more at this stage." As such, a release date is currently anyone's guess. 

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 gameplay

Beyond Good and Evil 2

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

So far, we've got a good idea of what Beyond Good and Evil 2 will bring, though given how long it's been since our last real look, keep in mind this is all subject to change. At E3 2018, we attended a behind-closed-doors demo of the game, learning that it'll be a prequel with a younger Jade being the antagonist. You can play co-operatively in the open game world, and players don't need to remain near each other.

You'll be able to create your very own space pirate and explore the universe in your very own spaceship. 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. 

Later on, a developer livestream 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. 

While he's since left the project, Michel Ancel confirmed the game will be playable online, which falls in line with Ubisoft's live service shift to secure long-term player engagement from its games. It's unclear 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 lets players go through the whole game with a friend. We hope it's the latter.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 beta

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, well, we're now nearing the end of 2022. As such, it seems unlikely that the beta will be live and playable for a while yet.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 news and rumors

Beyond Good and Evil 2 screenshot

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

Beyond Good and Evil 2 is now the most-delayed game ever

We're not sure Ubisoft or the team will be pleased with this distinction. But, as noted by noted by GamesIndustry editor Brendan Sinclair on Twitter (opens in new tab), Beyond Good & Evil 2 has overtaken Duke Nukem Forever (which eventually released in 2011) as the most delayed game still in production before launch. 

While Beyond Good & Evil 2 was re-revealed back in 2017, it's worth remembering that production actually started in 2008.

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Beyond Good and Evil 2 has a new lead writer

If you were worried that Ubisoft has cancelled Beyond Good and Evil 2, fear not. While it'll evidently be some time away, we've just learned that Ubisoft has hired a new lead writer for the project. Announced via a Tweet, Sarah Arellano confirmed she will be joining the project, having previously worked as a narrative designer for Blizzard on World of Warcraft, alongside Volition with Saints Row.

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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.”

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:

Joseph Gordon-Levitt
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.

Quadruple A 

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) 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. 

Beyond Good and Evil 2 spaceship art

Image credit: Ubisoft (Image credit: Ubisoft)

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. 

Extensive exploration
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 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: what we'd like to see

Beyond Good and Evil 2 concept art

(Image credit: Ubisoft)

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.

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