Yesterday, Ubisoft held the fourth of its Space Monkey Report livestreams, an hour-long livestream dedicated to Beyond Good & Evil 2's ongoing development. While most of these development livestreams have seen fairly small viewer numbers due to the granular nature of their updates, last night's drew a slightly larger crowd due to the fact it was going to reveal the first lengthy look at gameplay from an alpha demo build of the game.
While the gameplay section of the stream ended up taking at most 25 minutes or so of the full hour time, we've gone through an hour of livestream and found all the information you might want to know.
While minimal context was given, we were told that all the characters you meet in the game are clones, made to fulfil certain roles within the universe of the game. We're currently unsure what that means for known characters like Peyj and Jade, and whether or not they are actually the characters as we know them in the original game.
You'll apparently be able to play Beyond Good & Evil 2 in drop in, drop out co-op, with both players being able to go as far apart from each other within the world as they want. Only two player co-op was shown, but larger group numbers were not explicitly ruled out.
All players will, as a default set of equipment, wield a sword, a gun, and have a jetpack. You can use a spyglass to get a better look at distant objects, but also to scan them and find out more information about them. You can collect augments for your character or weapons, and it seems like collecting and choosing which augments to equip is going to be a major part of the game's focus. It also seems like the combat is going to be a lot more like Mass Effect than the original Beyond Good and Evil, with more of a focus on hovering off the ground and shooting enemies with techno weapons.
Seemingly, you can choose to rob a bank, or steal anything you see from anywhere, which is a pretty big departure from the first game's themes of trying to stop an evil space government via photojournalism.
You'll be able to steal any vehicle you find, and any vehicle in your possession can be customised with modules and new parts in order to get a ship you like the look of. It was suggested that these customisations would also affect the abilities of your ship. We saw the player get into an aerial dog fight with a police ship for flying too close to a monument, and the police fired back. Up until this point in the gameplay, everything we had seen transitioned seamlessly without notable loading screens, but it's unclear how representative that is of the final game.
In this demo, every part of the planet was apparently continuing to be simulated even when the player left orbit and went into space. We saw an example of looking down at traffic in the city from space.
And that was pretty much it for the livestream. We had some chat about teams working on the game, but at this point we stopped seeing or learning anything new about the game or this demo build itself. What was shown off, if accurate to the final game, was admittedly technically impressive, but not really in keeping with the tone of the first game. It appears to be an ambitious open world action game with polished combat mechanics, but it's tough at this stage to tell how much of what we have seen is smoke and mirrors, or how the current scope of the game will cope when extrapolated to a finished universe of content.