Beloved though the game may be by those few souls who played it, Michel Ancel's Beyond Good & Evil never made much of a splash in the marketplace. Still, the adventures of Jade and Pey'J were slated to continue in a sequel announced way back in 2008. In the years since, very little substantive information on the game has surfaced.
Prospects for Beyond Good & Evil 2 appeared to bottom out when Ancel, in an interview with GamesRadar, confirmed that the game wouldn't appear on current consoles. But, things change fast in the world of video games, and now rumors are making the rounds that Beyond Good & Evil 2 will make it out this generation after all.
This particular rumor originates with Xbox World magazine. It's pretty slight as far these things go, just a simple statement that, "some sources are saying we'll see it this generation rather than next," with no description of the sources, and no corroborating evidence. But given that Ancel's fans had pretty well despaired of playing the game anytime remotely soon, a sliver of hope is better than nothing at all.
In a recent interview with Gamasutra, Ancel discussed the work that was underway on Beyond Good & Evil 2, and how that work lead directly to the delightful Rayman: Origins.
"While working on BGE 2, we realized that, technologically speaking, we were making something quite crazy, with cities, planets, and everything we couldn't put into the first BGE."
"But it turned out that we were heading to the same syndrome -- that is to say that, even if current consoles can apparently feature some very good-looking things, with lights, shadows and so on, architecturally speaking, we felt bounded. So I said, 'Let's make a full 2D game instead of half of a 3D game.'"
That full 2D game is the first on the UbiART Framework, which Ancel describes as, "a visual pattern generating-based engine. Artists make some patterns, like samples, and we use them to quickly model levels, as to have a forest, for example."
As anyone who has played Rayman: Origins (and everyone should play it, as pointed out in Game Rant's Rayman: Origins review) can attest, the game is flat-out gorgeous -- easily one of the most graphically impressive games of the year. Could it be that in the course of creating Origins, Ancel and his team at Ubisoft gained enough technical know-how to achieve their lofty ambitions for BG&E 2 on today's hardware? It's one possibility among many, but for now, neither Ubisoft nor Ancel himself have commented on the matter one way or the other.
Meanwhile, those still wondering what all the fuss is about are encouraged to check out Beyond Good & Evil HD, a lovingly polished update of the original game available from XBLA and PSN. That game's producer encouraged fans to "keep the faith" for a sequel, noting that strong sales of the downloadable title could only be a good thing for the prospects of another game.
Ranters, do you think there is anything to this rumor? Do you want to play Beyond Good & Evil 2 on current hardware, or would you rather hold out for the next generation? Let us know in the comments below.
Beyond Good & Evil 2 is possibly in development for Xbox 360 and PS3. You'll know more when we do.
Follow me on Twitter @HakenGaken