In every medium – from books to film to photography to video games – there are underappreciated classics. Sometimes they’re flawed jewels, and sometimes they’re simply a victim of timing.
“Beyond Good & Evil” is a case of the latter.
When the third-person action-adventure game debuted in 2003, it was critically-acclaimed and commercially unsuccessful. Loyal, vocal fans asked the game’s maker, Ubisoft, for a sequel. For years, that sequel has been discussed but never made official.
On Monday, it was reintroduced in a surprise announcement.
Rather than a direct sequel, “Beyond Good & Evil 2” is a prequel set in a “stunning new solar system.”
Here’s the full description of the game’s plot, care of Ubisoft:
“System 3 has become the center of interstellar trade and colonization in the Milky Way of the 24th century, thanks to the creation of Hybrid slaves. While private enterprises fight over resources and power, the first colonists weave together the rich and diverse spiritual and cultural heritages of Old Earth to give meaning to their existence. In this new era of piracy, we will rise from lowly pirate to legendary captain at the helm of massive star-faring vessels, adventuring alongside crews of colorful characters to fight for freedom and the right to determine our own fate among the stars!”
The trailer debuted during a Ubisoft press briefing in Los Angeles, just ahead of the annual E3 video game conference. None of the footage in the trailer appears to be in-game, nor is it clear what state of development the game is in. It was re-introduced by Michel Ancel, the game’s creative director and the man responsible for the original game.
Fans have been anticipating more news on “Beyond Good & Evil 2” for years; Ubisoft has previously shown concept trailers for a sequel that featured characters from the first game. In the image below, for instance, Pey’j is seen in the forefront while a character who looks like Jade sits in the background.
Outside of those trailers, Ubisoft has remained relatively quiet when asked about the sequel – the common refrain is something along the lines of, “It isn’t canceled, but we have nothing to say right now other than that.”
By contrast, the new trailer debuted on Monday looks remarkably different from the art style previously on display. And news that it’s a prequel is a change from how the game was previously discussed.
It’s unclear what consoles this game is for, or when it’s planned for release. It’s being developed by Ubisoft Montpelier, in France, and the first trailer looks absolutely outrageous. Beware that there’s some NSFW language in there.
Here it is: