Ubisoft has revealed new characters, spaceships and story details from Beyond Good & Evil 2 in a just-finished livestream.
The discussion was led by Beyond Good & Evil creator and creative director Michel Ancel, alongside senior producer Guillaume Brunier and narrative director Gabrielle Shrager.
Over the hour-long livestream the team showed off a gallery of new animal hybrid character concept art, and then a working in-engine 3D model system which lets the team create animals of various hybrid qualities – a bit tiger, a bit elephant, a bit male, a bit female, a bit large, a bit small, and so forth.
There was also a showcase of spaceships in all shapes and sizes which can be heavily modified.
On the game in general, Ancel confirmed it can be played in single-player, but the team wanted to invite you to play it with friends.
“A part of the story will be the story you tell as you meet and play with friends,” Brunier chipped in, then added there will of course be traditional narrative-lead stories “with a beginning, middle and end, with strong characters, which will emotional”.
Ancel referenced a storyline concerning sweary chimp Knox where you can go to his planet and meet his family. They will look like him, Ancel said, because of the game engine’s ability to create animal hybrid characters which look like others – which share “DNA”.
The engine’s other big focus is for it to support your seamless transition from a small teahouse in a city somewhere “where you can drink a cup of tea to a giant spaceship in space” – as shown in the game’s E3 trailer.
“Since E3 the team almost tripled in size,” Brunier continued. “We received a great reception. We need more and more people to make the thing happen, so the focus right now is for more people to join. And the main focus for people on the team [currently] is to build a real, vibrant city for people to explore.”
That city is the one seen in the game’s E3 trailer.
The livestream concluded with a fan Q&A session. First up, was a question on whether BG&E2 being a prequel had always been the plan. (It had not.)
“The first idea for BG&E was to make three games, a trilogy,” Ancel answered. “But when we started thinking about the next game we thought the [series’] world was so big, so dense it would be a shame to not talk about its origins. Who is Jade? She’s very mysterious. She has a dark side. We want to go deeper into these things.”
Ancel appeared to suggest the series might someday move forwards, past the original BG&E, however: “And will continue going through the episodes, the stories of this world,” he added. “But we wanted to start with a prequel.”
On having an AI character like the original BG&E’s Secundo, Ancel was more definitive. This time around, your crew will help progress the story, rather than chat with a AI helper.
“Secundo was a real character – an AI character – but he existed in the game,” Ancel said. “Here we want [to feature] the crew members, the officers, you will meet on your journey. Like Pey’J and Double H. We don’t want to force an AI – we want players to meet characters. A bit more digital and a bit less physical.”