Beyond Good and Evil is about as ‘cult classic’ as gaming gets. The PS2 and Xbox original was beloved by fans and critics when it launched in 2003, but this affection wasn't reflected in sales. The long-awaited sequel was announced with a brief teaser trailer in 2008 before immediately fading into obscurity, joining the likes of Half Life 3 and, until recently, The Last Guardian.
But there have been signs of life in the series of late, with developers all but confirming the existence of a sequel. The question is, what is it? TrustedReviews has put together everything we know to date as well as a wishlist of what we'd like to see from Beyond Good and Evil 2.
What is Beyond Good and Evil 2?
Acting as a potential prequel and/or sequel to the original, Beyond Good and Evil 2 is incredibly light on details at the moment, with only a few pieces of alluring concept art posted on Ubisoft designer Michel Ancel’s instagram to get our hopes up.
Beyond Good and Evil release date – when is it coming out?
Michel Ancel has confirmed Beyond Good and Evil 2 has entered pre-production at Ubisoft, so we won’t be seeing it for a couple of years at the earliest.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 will be exclusive to Nintendo Switch for 12 months, according to a recent report by Laura Dale of Let's Play Video Games. Physical and digital versions of the title are planned, which is currently known as Codename Odyssey internally at Ubisoft.
It's possible we could catch a glimpse of the project at the Nintendo Switch reveal event on January 13.
Beyond Good Evil 2 – 5 things we’d like to see
Deeper story and characters
Jade and her quirky range of allies from the original Beyond Good and Evil were fantastic for the time, even more so when you consider how short and compact the original was. We’d love for the sequel to take a deeper look at the established universe, providing beloved characters with distinct backstories. The addition of voice-acting and dynamic player choice would be great, showing how your actions impact the world as you progress.
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If Beyond Good and Evil 2 ends up being a prequel starring Pey’j, Jay’s adoptive uncle, or even her real father, it could paint a clearer picture of how the world we explored in the original came into being, whilst expanding our horizons with new planets, characters and story elements.
Ambitious open world
Beyond Good and Evil primarily took place on the planet of Hylis, rarely exploring the ambitious sci-fi universe that surrounded it. Granted, the single city in the first game felt sprawling and packed with activities, but simply wouldn’t cut the mustard in a modern context when games like Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim and The Witcher 3 boast entire continents to explore.
Michel Ancel has expressed interest in having multiple planets in Beyond Good and Evil 2, each of them being fully-featured and navigable by the player. Imagine a slew of unique locales populated by strange alien races and hostile creatures, all posing their own challenges. These could also be littered with optional side quests and locations to discover, giving you incentive to abandon the beaten path.
Improved movement and combat
You might have heard of a little Ubisoft franchise by the name of Assassin’s Creed, which has some of the most intuitive movement controls in the open-world genre. Imagine darting across the rooftops and alleys of an alien metropolis, translating the historical flair of Ezio and Altair into the realm of science fiction.
Jade’s movement felt fast, fluid and natural back in 2003, but is certainly dated nowadays. Giving her abilities a well deserved overhaul would do wonders for the open-world design of Beyond Good and Evil 2, giving you plenty of gameplay avenues when it comes to combat and exploration.
Combat in Beyond Good and Evil was pretty basic. Restricted to just a single button with Jade using nothing but her staff to dispatch an endless stream of alien nasties. The next game could improve so much in the combat department, bringing a range of moves and abilities to our protagonist that truly reflect their years of experience in the field.
Beyond Good and Evil 2 could also introduce a vast amount of enemy types across the different planets and cities you traverse, giving us a better idea of the species that inhabit that weird little universe. Dispatching them in different and constantly fluctuating ways should lend the player a slate of play styles to choose from, much like Ubisoft’s other open-world games.
Improved character customization
Beyond Good and Evil had its fair share of upgradable components, letting you power up Jade’s health and trusty hovercraft with the right items. By today’s standards, this is incredibly limited, and wouldn’t stand up to the plate in 2016. Ubisoft has the opportunity to craft a truly unique customization system with Beyond Good and Evil 2, putting you in the shoes of a badass space photojournalist.
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Just imagine all the things you could enhance and personalise. Jade’s camera, staff and outfit are begging to be kitted out with new skills and aesthetics. The possibilities are quite staggering, and that’s without having mentioned her hovercraft or potential spaceship. Your gear could even have different stat bonuses and variants, changing how you approach combat and navigate certain environments.
Innovative player choice
Jade could influence the world of Hylis using her Iris Network Reports in the first game, convincing the masses into siding with her and forming a passionate rebellion. This was an interesting mechanic, ushering in a generation of player choice that can still be felt today. Beyond Good and Evil 2 could revitalise this in some fascinating ways, letting you choose how and why you want to influence the world around you.
Jade’s position as a budding photojournalist is one that allows the narrative to take liberties that other games would outright avoid. She could stir up a revolution from nothing with just a camera and her wits, cementing her place in the game’s world as a genuinely monumental figure. If Beyond Good and Evil 2 does away with Jade altogether, we’d love to see another character pick up a similar torch.
Are you a fan of the original Beyond Good and Evil? Excited for the sequel? Let us know in the comments.