If you were playing games back in the early 2000s, chances are you spent some time with Ubisoft's Beyond Good & Evil, a cult classic that followed the adventures of investigative reporter Jade, who became part of a resistance movement to unravel a conspiracy on her planet. If it sounds far out, that's because it totally is. It's also a critically-acclaimed darling that folks still praise today 16 years later, despite its commercial failure upon its debut. People have been clamoring for a sequel for some time, and it's finally on its way.
Fans can't wait to get their hands on Beyond Good & Evil 2, which was first announced during E3 2017. But it's not the direct continuation of the first game, featuring Jade and her sidekick Pey'j. It's actually a prequel, despite its misleading name. The original Beyond Good & Evil was originally planned to be a trilogy, which unfortunately didn't pan out. Things got a little confusing regarding this new entry, to say the least.
But with Beyond Good & Evil 2 moving at a reasonable pace toward completion, it's time to look at what newcomers and everyone else interested in the game need to know before sitting down and tackling it. It's going to be a doozy.
If you're fresh off of Beyond Good & Evil 2 and looking for what happens to Jade and friends, you may be disappointed. All we've seen so far of the game has featured characters such as a talking chimpanzee and a pig named Zhou Yuzhu. Zhou is offered some sort of statue in exchange for a CD, and the chimp has swindled Zhou after the reveal that the statue is chocolate. We also meet a human named Shani as well as a pilot named Dakini, who reveals that the CD actually contains the location of a planet the group needs to get to. It's not exactly illuminating, but it's clear that this crew is totally different than what players may be expected.
Set in System 3 in the 24th century, Beyond Good and Evil 2 follows a strange cluster of planets where human-animal creatures have been turned into slaves, a system that extends beyond that race as well. It's set in a multicultural world where private enterprises are dueling over resources and power and the people below them without riches suffer. This isn't anything new — just look at Cyberpunk 2077. But despite its updated setting and expanded cast of characters, the prequel will likely still feature familiar faces and concepts explored in the first game.
It's been rumored that the game could even be something of a partial reboot, filling in some of the blanks behind Jade's history as well as her pig sidekick Pey'j, then continuing the story after revisiting important facets from the original game's various settings. There's certainly going to be plenty of space for it if that's the case. Ubisoft has stated that Beyond Good & Evil 2 is going to be massive, "bigger" than the previous title.
The company has also described it as a "vast and seamless online playground." If that's the case, and if Ubisoft's Michel Ancel is correct in that the game's planets and universe won't be procedurally-generated, there's going to be a wild amount of places to explore, with people to meet and new stories to unravel. It's going to be so much bigger than what we knew about Jade and Pey'j.
And what of Jade? We're still not sure how much of (or how little) we'll see of her going forward, but one thing's for sure: We're going to be searching every single nook and cranny for one of gaming's best female protagonists, and we can't wait to find her.