In a world where we can actually play Duke Nukem Forever and The Last Guardian, we will soon be able to play the Beyond Good & Evil follow-up nearly a decade in the making. It’s safe to say “soon,” right? Ubisoft just ended their E3 press conference with a trailer for it.
The sequel was announced in May of 2008 and in 2016 the series’ lead creator said the game was in pre-production. And now? It’s a prequel set before the birth of the original game’s protagonist, Jade. And it’s also a seamless online world.
“Welcome to System 3,” said Gabrielle Shrager, narrative director at Ubisoft Montpellier, where the game is being made. “Our story takes place before the birth of Jade in a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural human society in a distant solar system. It is a time when corporations create hybrids in their labs and enslave them to colonize the stars in order to compete for power and cosmic resources. With our crew of crazy and unforgettable characters, we fight in the name of freedom and the right to determine our own fate among the stars. And we will helm massive star-faring vessels through territories as spectacular as they are dangerous.”
On stage, an emotional Ancel thanked fans for their patience.
He said that the team has worked for three years on the technology that enables “seamless online playground” where players can travel across space to discover cities. In a supplemental video, Ancel explained that the seamleessness means you can go from the interior of a building on the ground of a planet out into space.
“As a player you can have very, very big spaceship,” Ancel said in a video Ubisoft posted shortly after the conference. “You can use it as a garage for your other spaceships. You also have a crew.”
Ancel declined to go into story details, but the trailer’s YouTube description offered some context (emphasis added by Kotaku):
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 game supports solo and co-op play. Ancel suggested in the video that multiple players can ride one vehicle, something the cinematic trailer depicts.
The original 2003 Beyond Good & Evil is a renowned third-person action adventure featuring a hero named Jade who teams up with a pig-man named Pey’j to revolt against a villain named DomZ who has taken over the land of Hillys. The game was colorful, spirited and enhanced with a great photography system that challenged players to snap photos of the game’s amazing creatures while also fighting bad guys.
Oddly, as part of today’s announcement, Ancel invited players to join a “Space Monkey” program via the game’s Twitter feed to “participate in the making of this great adventure.” In a post about that program, the developers say “We want you by our side at the earliest stages of development and throughout production to take part in the adventure!”
So, maybe not “soon.”
Ubisoft provided no release date nor platforms.