Back at E3 in July, we got more news on the long-rumoured Beyond Good & Evil 2. While a new trailer showcasing that the first game's protagonist Jade would be present got many fans excited, what generally had less positive energy behind it was Joseph Gordon Levitt coming out to talk about HitRecord.
For those unaware of HitRecord, it's a company that crowdsources fan-created works for inclusion in larger media properties. In this specific instance, the company is encouraging fans to create art and music which will be used to populate the world of Beyond Good & Evil 2 – with some small amount of financial compensation in return. Much of the concern at E3 was that by filling this large open world with works not created in house, there might be a lack of consistency. We now have our first chance to see how right or wrong those fears were.
During Ubisoft's third Space Monkey Report, at around 15 minutes in, HitRecord staff pop up in the livestream to discuss their work on the game, pointing out that around 11,000 contributions have been submitted by the community. While not made terribly clear in the livestream, this is 11,000 contributions submitted, not 11,000 contributions that have made it into the final game.
A little later, around 21 minutes into the livestream, we get our first listen to '40 Lashes', followed by 'Cheeky Little Monkey' – two tracks that have been confirmed to be in the final game. While both tracks are talked over during the livestream, you can hear them more clearly if you dig around on the HitRecord Website.
40 Lashes is a slightly modernised pirate sea shanty, mixing a pirate crew layered vocal, a swaying feel, and modern instruments to give very much a feel of fictional pirates dropped into a more modern setting. Cheeky Little Monkey, on the other hand, has a much more lap drum lead beat, with a mix of hip hop and more melodic vocal lines playing with unusual vocal timings, feeling very much in tune with modern music trends. While both tracks are fairly distinct from each other, they do feel like they fit well within the setting as shown for the game.
Additionally during the livestream, we got a few other bits of news, including that cosplay guides have been released for a few characters from the game, currently including Shani, Callum, Knox, and Uma. The guides can be found here.
We also got a little more detail about the game itself. Any vehicle in Beyond Good and Evil 2 can be stolen, and stored back on your pirate crew's ship for later use. Additionally, it was confirmed that while you can make your character look like Peyj, Shani, or many of the other named characters shown off in trailers for the game, you will not actually be playing as them – you'll meet them during the story regardless. Characters like Double H from the original game are apparently planned for inclusion in some manner, but what that would constitute has not been decided yet.
Lastly, the livestream confirmed that BGEFest, a physical event celebrating Beyond Good & Evil which was slated for this autumn, has been delayed into 2019. When the event does happen, it will feature a playable demo for the game, including a number of fan-created assets.
And that's pretty much it. We got a lot of smaller updates, but our first real look at how some of these fan creations are going to fit into the game, and some interesting snippets about the game itself. The next Space Monkey Report livestream will take place on 10th December 2018, and will feature gameplay demo footage including HitRecord assets.