For the Beyond Good and Evil 2: Space Monkey Report #4 livestream, Gabrielle Shrager (Narrative Director), Emile Morel (Associate Creative Director), and Guillaume Brunier (Senior Producer) joined the community to discuss and share new details about Ubisoft’s highly-anticipated sequel, Beyond Good and Evil 2. The, roughly, hour long livestream focused on the culture they’ve created and ideology of this world. Plus, they revealed customization options, how the community is helping build this game, and how freedom is the core concept behind Beyond Good and Evil 2. Here are our 10 takeaways from the livestream:
1. Story & Culture:
As we know, Beyond Good and Evil 2 is a prequel to the Beyond Good and Evil game that released back in 2003. That point was driven home during the last reveal when we saw Jade, for the first time. In this prequel, Jade is a pirate hunter who is after the pirate captain Dakini and her crew, of whom you’re among. Turns out, Dakini is missing and the first trailer could give us a clue as to where she’s gone. As you may remember from the first trailer at E3 2017, Knox and Shani were involved in a high-speed chase through the alleys of Ganesha City. When they returned to the mothership, they handed what they stole to the mysterious green-eyed pirate who looked upon the Moksha Gateway. That green-eyed pirate was Dakini and thinking here is that she’s left in search of this gateway.
Equally as important to the story is the culture in Beyond Good and Evil 2. In this world, hybrids are looked down upon as second-class citizens, with a great majority of them filling the ranks as slaves for mining companies. They’re sent to the other side of the moon, Soma, to mine Diwalite, a rare and volatile mineral. As they said in the livestream, they send hordes of these hybrids to these mines knowing that almost all of them won’t return and they’ll only receive a small amount of the mineral return. That’s because while one side of Soma is home to Ganesha City and its lush and habitable environment, the other is plagued by meteors constantly falling into the atmosphere from the ring orbiting the gas planet Dyaus. If hybrids don’t meet their quota, they’re forced to live their seemingly short days on the hellacious dark side of the planet.
2. Clones & Customizations
One fascinating part of this story is that clones make up most of the inhabitants, and fuel most of the hybrid slave ranks. That’s because in this galaxy there are very few children. Instead, the world had to be populated with clones, which brings me to the pirate you’ll create. Every gamer will have the opportunity to customize and create their own character. That character will actually be a clone of characters like Shani, Knox, or any other hybrid or species you prefer. This way you make a pirate that’s unique to you.
While it may seem as if the customization will be somewhat limited, based on the model given, you actually have the creative outlet to give your character a different style with tattoos, hairstyles, scars, markings, etc. The customization doesn’t stop there, though. From guns to color to overall shape, any ship that you own can be fully customizable and pilotable from anywhere.
3. Online Co-op
Yes, you read that right. Beyond Good and Evil 2 will allow from online co-oping. In fact, it was one of the main parts of the gameplay demo shown. While the number of players allowed to play together hasn’t been officially released, I believe it’s safe to assume that you’re only going to be able to co-op with one other person. I say that mainly because Beyond Good and Evil 2 isn’t an MMO and the scale of the game is already so massive, it’s just hard to believe servers could maintain tons of massive groups. Then again, they could always surprise. For this demo, though, there were only two people co-oping.
In co-op, you both play as your individual characters, customized and everything. What’s really cool about this is that you aren’t pigeonhold to go the same way or to do the same thing. With how ambitiously big this game is, the developers have allowed parties to go their separate ways and do separate things. For instance, one player decided to explore the city, while the other decided to get into a dogfight. That’s almost unheard of with most co-op games and an absolutely welcome innovation. Oh and Friendly Fire is on and will be the reason many of us die.
4. Do a Barrel Roll!
They showed a dogfight with space fighters over Ganesha City. It was absolutely gorgeous and not disorienting, whatsoever, like other flight simulators. More importantly, though, they did a lot of Barrel Rolls, which does Peppy proud.
Another fascinating addition to Beyond Good and Evil 2 are Augments. These are customizable abilities that can be added to any and all gear. They will actually define your playstyle, as some are better suited for incapacitating, while others are for all-out destruction. Augments are also stackable.
In the demo, we saw a few Augments at work, as the Shani character used a gun with an Augment to freeze enemies, as well as another Augment to slow them down, so long as they were in the dome over the affected area. They made it clear that these were a very small sample size to the otherwise massive catalog of Augments they plan to make available when the game eventually releases.
6. Recruit Crewmembers
One of the main concepts that the developers tried to drive home in this demo was that its imperative to build the best crew possible. They didn’t go into all of the reasons why, but building your crew will be a main part of the game. The cool thing is, you can literally do it anywhere. Just by using your handy Spyglass, which serves as an effective tool for gathering information, gamers can inspect NPCs to see their qualifications and figure out whether they would make for a suitable member of the crew. Recruiting is an element that will happen often and anywhere. You can officially add Talent Evaluator to your resume.
7. Seamless Transitions
Since Ubisoft’s first Space Monkey Report, one of the biggest takeaways was how seamless the scale of Beyond Good and Evil 2 is. In Space Monkey Report #4, that has never been more evident. In the gameplay demo, we went from the caves underneath Ganesha City, to the Upper Levels of the city, to a dogfight above the city, to our mothership in the atmosphere, and even left the planet entirely all without a single load screen. That is absolutely bonkers, mind-blowing, and deserving of all the awards.
8. The Galaxy is Yours
It’s clear by the seamless transitions to the ability to doing whatever you want while co-oping, that Ubisoft plans to give the gamer the freedom of choice. This is your pirate story, you decide how people perceive you. Do you want to rob a store? Go for it. Do you want steal a ride? All yours. Do you want to be a nice pirate and purchase your wares in a socially-approved way? No judgements here, do you boo-boo! The point is, Beyond Good and Evil 2 is all about exploration and choice. Be the pirate you want to be.
9. The Galaxy is the Community’s
At E3 2018, Ubisoft unveiled the community element of Beyond Good and Evil 2 and how the community could infuse their work in the game. That was highlighted in this livestream, as we saw loads of artwork, original songs, and even Geoglyphs made by the community, seamlessly integrated in the game. What’s even cooler is that some of the artwork will be home to treasure or markers for entering a temple. For example, the developers showed a community-created geoglyph of a monkey from space. They encouraged gamers to explore these glyphs and appreciate the work of the community, because you could just be rewarded for it.
10. Solar System Simulation
The last note isn’t much but it’s another amazing innovation by the remarkable Ubisoft team working on Beyond Good and Evil 2. As an aside, the developers noted that there is no Day/Night cycle in Beyond Good and Evil 2. Instead, they developed a solar system simulation. That means the planets are constantly orbiting the sun of this system. So when it’s night time, it’s because that’s where the planet (or moon) is in its rotation. That’s just…wow.
As more news surfaces about Beyond Good and Evil 2, check back to Cinelinx to read our takeaways!