In an interview with IGN, Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillmot and managing director Xavier Poix explained why it took so long for Beyond Good and Evil 2 to receive an official announcement, saying that it was because creative director Michel Ancel was working with the team on a brand new engine called Voyager.
The Voyager engine is identical to the ground-to-space technology that Hello Games used for No Man’s Sky. Guillmot told IGN that it was all about building something ambitious, saying…
“Michel is really creating a new engine for that game, and his ambition is just, you know, it’s just high. I would say very high. So we think we are going to be able to create something that will be outstanding.”
“If we were to make Beyond Good & Evil 2 at some point we needed something very, very big,”
By “very, very big” he means literally being able to go from the ground up into space. The game features planetary exploration and space exploration. Much like Planet Nomads, Star Citizen or No Man’s Sky, it’s possible to travel from the streets of the city up into the very depths of space.
Poix further explained…
“For years and years we thought about it, but … the game had to be enormous. It had to be in space, it had to be with planets, it had to be. So we created this technology called Voyager that’s enabled us at least to get this feeling of traveling in space, going from one planet to another, to go from your ship to a bigger ship, to go out of your ship and be a normal person. That’s the technology we’ve been working on for three years.”
We actually get to see a little bit of how the game plays in a behind-the-scenes video, which featured snippets of a game character flying around in the city featured in the CG that played during Ubisoft’s E3 conference.
We also learn more about the story, characters, the player’s role in the universe and how the technology is coming together for Beyond Good and Evil 2 with a behind-the-scenes video that you can check out below.
The game centers around the theme of pirates because, according to Ancel, pirates will accept anyone into their crew.
The overarching plot revolves around a mega-corporation who has been creating hybrid humans and animals in vats and using them for dangerous missions and in hostile environments where humans typically don’t survive. These mutated abominations aren’t allowed in the upper echelons of the civil society, attempting to mimic minorities in America before the Civil Rights movement back in the 1960s.
You start off as a nobody pirate with the equivalent of a futuristic tuktuk. Your goal is to scavenge and scrounge and level-up your pirate until you become a space legend. Along the way you’ll meet a variety of characters that Ubisoft claims are diverse and multicultural, as depicted in the image above.
Ubisoft hasn’t ironed out a release date or announced all the platforms just yet, but rumors from places like Go Nintendo have pointed to possible releases on the Xbox One, PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch.
If you’re into games about diversity, multiculturalism, social justice, and class oppression, you’ll probably enjoy Beyond Good and Evil 2.