Beyond Good and Evil 2 release date rumours and news: Jade and Joseph Gordon-Levitt make an appearance at E3

Players of Beyond Good and Evil 2 will face a ferocious, younger version of the first game’s heroine Jade. That, at least, is what the latest trailer for the sci-fi adventure suggests, which also revealed that the pigman Pey’j will factor into the story – apparently as your ship’s cook.

As well as the cinematic trailer, Ubisoft showed a brief clip of pre-alpha gameplay footage, centred on the futuristic city we glimpsed during last year’s presentation. The developers also revealed that Beyond Good and Evil 2 will be partnering with the actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt, whose company HitRECord will help to crowdsource different aspects of the game, from radio ads to poster designs.

In a tweet after the showcase, Gordon-Levitt made it clear that artists would be paid for their work, although the actual amounts creators will be given for their work isn’t entirely clear.

Crowdsourcing material for the game’s ambitious scope is an interesting prospect, and if it’s successful it could introduce a new model for how expansive virtual worlds are put together. Given that Beyond Good and Evil 2 still seems to be at an early stage of development, opening the doors to audience-created material could help give the game the breadth and colour that its trailers suggest.    

Beyond Good and Evil 2: Everything we know so far

Beyond Good and Evil 2

is not the sequel to Friedrich Nietzsche’s landmark work of philosophy. If that’s what you’re looking for, I’m sorry. Nietzsche died in 1900. He’s not writing another book. Get over it.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 is a prequel to a cult French game made in 2003, about an investigative reporter-slash-martial artist in a land of spaceships and talking pigs. Made by Rayman creator Michel Ancel, the first game was memorable for its story and photography-heavy gameplay. A follow-up has been slated for years, and was officially announced during E3 2017 – not a sequel, but a galaxy-straddling prequel.

It looks ambitious; hopefully it will be great. Here’s the lowdown.

Beyond Good and Evil 2 release date

Ubisoft hasn’t yet given any details about a release date for Beyond Good and Evil 2. Seeing as the game has languished for several years in development hell, it’s hard to tell exactly how much more time its creators will need before putting a pin in their work. We’d say it’s likely to be a couple of years still before release.

That timeframe also leads to the question of which platforms the game will appear on. Creator Michel Ancel told Kotaku that Beyond Good and Evil 2 would run on multiple platforms. Whether or not that means PS4 and Xbox One or the next generation of consoles (perhaps the PS5) ultimately depends on how much more development time it needs. [gallery:1]

What is Beyond Good and Evil 2?

The first Beyond Good and Evil told the story of Jade, a photojournalist who finds herself at the centre of a resistance movement against human-trafficking aliens. The second game will take place a few generations before the events of the original Beyond Good and Evil, with the player instead inhabiting a custom-made character in a universe shared by other players.

Does that make it a massively multiplayer online game (MMO)? Sort of, but not in the sense of World of Warcraft. Taking to The Verge, Ancel has said that Beyond Good and Evil 2 will very much have a crafted single-player experience, but this will work alongside systemic events that will be generated depending on where you go, what you do and which other players you interact with.

Doing both of those things is very ambitious – in many ways the holy grail of balancing procedural generation with authored storytelling – but if the team pull it off, Beyond Good and Evil 2 could be something very special indeed.

What have we seen of Beyond Good and Evil 2 so far?

Ancel & co.’s ambitions are definitely grand, but the developers are keen to impress that Beyond Good and Evil 2 is still very much in the early stages of production. So far, only a few glimpses of the game have been given.

The E3 2017 trailer showed that Ubisoft is doubling down on the anthropomorphic animals that characterised the first game, with apes and pigs hanging around humans. The creators are pulling liberally from Chinese mythology and folklore here, particularly the 16th-century novel Journey to the West and its tale of the monkey king. Aside from the impressive visuals, there aren’t many story details to go on – with the suggestion being players will be cast as some type of space pirate/treasure hunter.

Michel Ancel followed up E3 2017 by posting a video of him playing an early demo build of Beyond Good and Evil 2. Emphasising that the assets shown are placeholders, the clip still gives a basic idea of how players will be able to navigate the game’s vast galaxy.

Two items, in particular, to draw from the video: the orbit system and the scale of the world. First, Ancel changes the game’s time from day to night. Pretty unimpressive, non? Not when he reveals that the light change isn’t simply from a shifting skybox, but actually comes from the planet’s orbit around a virtual sun. The whole of Beyond Good and Evil 2 will take place in a universe that actually changes time, with moons, planets and stars all working together like cogs in a giant machine.

Second, Ancel flies his chimpanzee character towards an enormous statue, and it’s not until he lands on its surface that the sheer size of the thing becomes clear. This gulf in scale between the player and their world is something the game’s creators want to play with in Beyond Good and Evil 2 – making the player feel dwarfed in the world, coupled with the idea that they can explore nearly every inch of it.


Put those two things together and the ambition of Beyond Good and Evil 2 is dizzying, not to mention that there needs to be a cohesive story tying together this enormous playground. Games such as No Man’s Sky have shown the risk of creating broad but shallow universes, so Ubisoft will need to be careful not to spread the game too thinly.

It’s early days so far, but Beyond Good and Evil 2 is not lacking in ambition. We’d rather a cohesive game on one planet, rather than a shoddy mess spread across a galaxy, but here’s hoping Ancel knows the importance of a well-written story – regardless of how many generative elements you have to bulk it out.

Beyond Good and Evil 2: Coming to Nintendo Switch?

A survey put out by the creators of Beyond Good and Evil 2 suggests the upcoming open-world adventure could be getting a release on Nintendo Switch.

Those that signed up for Ubisoft’s Beyond Good and Evil 2 Space Monkey Program recently received to request to fill out a survey about the game. The sequel to the cult classic Beyond Good and Evil is still in early development with no release date on the horizon, but its creators are already requesting passionate players’ input in helping shape the game.

Amongst the survey’s questions – about what kind of features players might enjoy most when Beyond Good and Evil 2 is eventually released – is a question about potential platforms.


When players originally registered for Beyond Good and Evil 2’s Space Monkey Program, they were asked to choose what platform they would like to play on, giving a selection of either the PC, PlayStation 4 or Xbox One. Most took this to mean that the game would not be coming to the Nintendo Switch. However, the survey suggests that this might not be a correct assumption. The very first option on the list is, indeed, the Nintendo Switch.

This is no guarantee that the game will come to Nintendo’s console, but it does suggest Beyond Good and Evil 2’s creators are toying with the idea.

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