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‘Beyond Good and Evil 2’ now takes place before the events of the original, a scene-setting appeal to new and old players alike. — Screen capture via YouTube/Ubisoft US‘Beyond Good and Evil 2’ now takes place before the events of the original, a scene-setting appeal to new and old players alike. — Screen capture via YouTube/Ubisoft USSAN FRANCISCO, June 16 ­— Ambitious and long-awaited sci-fi adventure Beyond Good and Evil 2 will encourage players to explore planets’ surface and outer space, encourage players to tackle the same story beats in different ways, and allow for online multiplayer. 

It’s been nearly 15 years since Beyond Good and Evil, and almost ten years since the first trailer for Beyond Good and Evil 2.

But the extravagant version of sci-fi adventure Beyond Good and Evil 2 seen at the 2017 Electronic Entertainment Expo is substantially different from its previous incarnation (official 2008 trailer, unofficial 2009 gameplay clip.)

No longer a direct sequel, Beyond Good and Evil 2 now takes place before the events of the original, a scene-setting appeal to new and old players alike.

Shown at the end of Ubisoft’s June 12 showcase presentation, a lavish CGI trailer laid out the concept behind BG&E2, a futuristic world in which animal-human hybrids have become part of the general population.

Designer Michel Ancel, narrative designer Gabrielle Shrager, and producer Guillaume Brunier then showed a rougher prototype to members of the press — ”Don’t pay attention to the graphics... It’s very placeholder,” Ancel told Kotaku — and conversations from those hands-off displays are making their way into the public sphere.

Players can create their own hero or heroine, Ancel told Ubisoft’s own blog, and it was the CGI trailer’s monkey-man who was the controllable character in the demo.

If there was one common thread to the demonstrations, another was a planet-to-space zoom-out feature designed to show how technology was making this project possible at last — it’s also contained within the Behind the Scenes video at the 3m43s mark.

Sunrises and sunsets were also a feature, thanks to a simulated solar system that tracks the movement and placement of planets and stars.

“Now we can say for sure that we will make this game, we’ll finish it,” he told The Verge, a prediction that can be pieced together with other quotes about the development timeline.

The plan is to start making playable prototypes available to the game’s community by the end of 2017, “if not then next year,” he told Kotaku, with a more polished version presented at E3 2018.

Speculatively, that would make a late 2018 launch possible but, for a task of this scale, perhaps more likely is a 2019 release.

As for which platforms it will arrive on, pre-show rumours had pegged BGE2 as a Nintendo Switch exclusive.

But the Ubisoft Switch deal announced at E3 2017 was for Mario + Rabbids: Kingdom Battle, with Ancel clarifying on Instagram that there is “no Switch exclusive as far as I know” while an official website listing of PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC as the game’s testing platforms was later removed (per Eurogamer.)

That doesn’t mean BG&E2 doesn’t or won’t have temporary or permanent exclusivity arrangements, nor at the same time that it will launch on Switch as has long been expected. — AFP-Relaxnews

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