For over 20 years, Michel Ancel’s contribution to the video game industry has been praised by the gaming community around the world. It results from an unusual philosophy he implements into the game development processes – his games are not only unique but also free of any limits. It is none other than Michel Ancel, who created the Rayman game series (with its first installment released in 1996) and the 2003’s Beyond Good & Evil. The latter became an iconic game, and it was not until 8 years after its original release that Ubisoft published a remastered edition – Beyond Good & Evil HD. Because the remastered game has been a huge success, Ubisoft gave a green light for the creation of the sequel. Beyond Good & Evil 2 was developed over a dozen or so years – the developers explain they have been waiting for the moment, when their game concept becomes fully conceivable with the available technology. Finally, the game has been released on PC / Windows, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Beyond Good & Evil 2 is a prequel to a 2003’s iconic game developed by a Michel Ancel’s team. The game has some references to the first installment in the series, e.g. some characters are ancestors of the characters from Beyond Good & Evil.
The story is set in the 22nd century – 200 years before Jade begins her fight with aggressive aliens who attacked the planet of Hyllis. Empires from Earth, like China and India, are fueled by the desire to colonize the space, thus they began the production of human-animal hybrids – they were to become slaves able to work in the most difficult conditions. This allowed humans to inhabit new planets; however, due to the cultural diversity, the colonies began to exhibit influences from all over the world, while the social-economic changes have led to the creation of entirely new religions.
One of the discovered exoplanetary systems is System 3, which quickly became the center of the intergalactic trade and the most wretched hive of piracy and illegal business. This is also where the players come in and assume the role of a character they create themselves (before starting the game, one can select his character’s sex and general appearance). The main protagonist begins his journey right at the bottom of the social ladder – as the story progresses, the protagonist climbs this ladder by acquiring new allies and becoming more and more recognizable throughout System 3. In relatively short time, our character gets to board a giant spaceship – from this time forth, his base.
Beyond Good & Evil 2 is an extremely ambitious piece of art. The game offers an extensive open world, which comprises diverse planets and moons along with all the applicable laws of physics; for example, whenever one gets to admire a sunset, it is a result of the movements of actual celestial bodies implemented into the game. The planets’ surfaces hum with life, while all the metropolises, towns, settlements, and many other locations hide secrets worth discovering. All this is possible thanks to the procedural generation technology utilized by developers.
The gameplay’s core is the aspect of exploration, both afoot and onboard numerous vehicles (ground, air, and space vehicles). The aforementioned spaceships allow players to take a trip to the planet’s orbit, but also to travel between different celestial bodies. Interestingly enough, our space voyages are not interrupted by any loading screens. The game is fueled by both story and side missions. All the objectives leave players some leeway when it comes to the methods of execution, due to the non-linear and diverse nature of the missions. Developers wanted players to “write their own recipes for a good time”.
The PS4, PC and XONE release of Beyond Good & Evil 2 features high-quality 3D visuals with character models and futuristic locations polished to the smallest detail. Another aspect bound to satisfy the players is the soundtracks, which combines various musical genres.
Beyond Good & Evil 2 has been created in cooperation with the gaming community – through the so-called Space Monkey Program, players could submit their ideas on the in-game content.