Head still spinning from the Beyond Good & Evil 2 re-reveal (opens in new tab) at Ubisoft’s E3 2017 press conference? Mine too. But it’s time to dive back in. Ubisoft has posted a detailed trailer runthrough featuring commentary from series director Michel Ancel where he expands on both the story and play implications of the new direction for the series. Whether you’re a a fresh-faced newcomer or an old fan who still has the Mammago Garage song stuck in their head, you’ll probably find something to get excited about.
Watch the full video below and scroll on for the highlights.
The relationship between pigs and monkeys
“They’re talking about master and slave,” Ancel explains, referring to the conversation between monkey man Knox and pig guy Zhou Yuzhu. “That’s exactly the idea. Even between hybrids that are a mix of animal and humans, it is a way to establish there is a social system in this world.”
Later, Ancel reveals a little more about the story of hybrids in this distant, corporate-controlled solar system: “This kind of scar is very important, because hybrids have been created for dangerous tasks that no human wanted to do. They can also be used as fighters, hybrids fighting against each other. There’s a lot of slavery. So it’s another way to reinforce the depth of the world and all this history that the characters are carrying on their body.”
That idol has something to do with Pey’j
Did you catch Zhou Yuzhu uttering a familiar name when he first saw that not-actually-gold idol? That’s a tease of the new religious themes that Beyond Good & Evil 2 will explore. Just because the hybrid species were made by man doesn’t mean they don’t have their own sense of spirituality.
“There is a direct connection,” Ancel says. “What we wanted to do here is really clearly have him saying ‘Pey’ji’, which is kind of divinity for this kind of hybrid. It’s a way to add depth or just to show how deep the world can be. And even those hybrids created by humans, they have their own religion. Because Beyond Good & Evil 2 is a prequel to Beyond Good & Evil 1, we want to add a lot of detail to what the world is – those names, Pey’j. Is it a common name, a divinity name? Sometimes, in some religions, you give the name of a divinity to a boy or a girl. So all these details are here to make people more understand the world of Beyond Good & Evil.”
The grappling glove and jetpack are in the game
“It’s really important because it’s gameplay ingredients we have in the game. That’s the kind of dynamic move you can do in the game, and how you can extract yourself from very dangerous situations, and then jump and use the verticality of the city.”
Crewmates like Shani can be controlled by other players online
“That’s Shani, she’s the crewmate of Knox. They are used to doing this kind of thing together,” Ancel says, setting up the new concept of co-operative play for Beyond Good & Evil 2. You’ll get to stage impressive heists of your own with friends online: “It’s really something that is very important for our game, that you can play online. The vehicles are made so that you have different places on the vehicle and different roles. And I really like this dynamic when you’re playing with someone.”
“Every member of the team has a role, and here we we wanted to showcase the fact that they are very different because some are animals, some are humans,” Ancel adds a bit later on. “That’s the big message behind the trailer, whatever is your skin color, your origin, if you’re a hybrid, whatever you are, you are part of the same team. You will share the adventure, and that’s a very important message for us. That’s exactly the heart of Beyond Good & Evil.
When you live on a spaceship, home is everywhere
“[You won’t explore] just planets but also space because the technology that we have allows us to go seamlessly between ground, interiors, and space. There’s no transition, no loading, nothing like that.”
“In Beyond Good & Evil 2 you have space ships of different sizes. As a player you can have a very, very big spaceship, and you can use it as a garage with your other spaceships. And you also have a crew. The other thing here that is very important is that it’s very cozy. It looks like the interior of your house.”
Your ship will talk to you
“We wanted to connect to Beyond Good & Evil 1 where you have what we call the Mdisk. Even if it’s a futuristic world, you still have objects that contain data. And here the data is inside of what we call the big AI of the spaceship, so here this skull is in fact the character that represents.
“Like in Beyond Good & Evil 1 [Jade has] a bag and there is a guy in the bag, kind of a computer, speaking with her,” Ancel says, referring to Jade’s holographic helper Secundo. “That’s exactly the same idea. But now it’s the spaceship that is able to speak, though here it’s not speaking.”
Why does that map have a dead guy in it?
“That’s what good maps should be. It’s attracting you, you want to travel to this direction, but it’s gonna be dangerous. Others did it before, spaceships were destroyed. And if you look in the background there’s even a planet that is going to be destroyed by this magnetic field that is very powerful. I don’t want to say too much about that now, I don’t want to spoil anything about the game.”
Who is that with the jade green eyes?
“Again, that’s a connection with Beyond Good & Evil 1, the jade color,” Ancel teases. “But again, we don’t want to spoil the story. We don’t want to do shortcuts about that. But there are connections, clearly.” According to the Ubisoft presentation, this character’s name is Dakini. She seems to be the head of this motley gang of thieves and explorers. But that’s all we know about her so far.