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Ubisoft Creative Director Michel Ansel took to YouTube on Thursday to finally show the world that, yes, Beyond Good & Evil 2 is more than an unplayable cinema sequence. However, anybody expecting to see gameplay that resembled the game's incredible E3 2017 reveal may be disappointed.
Ansel spoke over a 15-minute prototype gameplay demo, and he described vague design aspirations while mostly showing off the game's space-travel systems. This demo starred the same foul-mouthed monkey that stole the show in BG&E2's debut trailer. In Ansel's prototype, we see this simian pilot two spaceships, and he also floats around by himself using a jet pack. However, in spite of an apparent bustling city beneath our hero, Ansel never flies anywhere near it.
A split-second moment of the game's hero taking a photo. Your hub spaceship in the prototype. You can pilot it or the smaller, more nimble ship inside. Burning atmosphere as Ansel pilots his ship into outer space. Surveying his surroundings. Let's fly. However, much of the planet is made up of boring-looking mountains. Ansel promises that these will always be "interesting" once the game is finished. In "dev mode," Ansel zooms out to give a view of how big the prototype's planet is.
Like in the original, photography will return to BG&E2, and Ansel showed off a blink-and-you'll-miss-it camera function. Ansel says photos can be used in the game to expose atrocities such as "slavery and human trafficking," and those photos can either be shared with NPCs or other players. This was as far as Ansel went in his presentation to explain any "connected-world" systems that we can expect—and he didn't clarify whether the sequel will require an Internet connection.
Ubisoft has been bullish about connecting all of its games to larger online worlds, and that might be why BG&E2 has such an interstellar scale. Ansel piloted one spaceship at insane speeds above one planet's surface, then aimed his ship to fly into outer space—and showed off a slick burning-atmosphere effect on the ship in question. "At any time, you can go anywhere," Ansel said, explaining that planets and outer-space regions will load in "seamless" fashion. (Considering that Ansel got his over-the-surface spaceship at a speed above 20,000km/h, that seamless promise will certainly be tested.)
"We don't want empty planets," Ansel said. "We want planets with landmarks, with places to explore." He hinted to mountainous regions where "monks" can be found. But, again, Ansel never piloted a spaceship or monkey anywhere near such ground-level content, nor did he go into detail about whether BG&E2's planets will be procedurally generated, hand crafted, or a mix.