When it comes to games that we assumed would be a big part of E3 2019, Beyond Good & Evil 2 seemed like an easy prediction. The ambitious space exploration title had trailers at the last two E3 Ubisoft conferences, with gameplay shown off since last E3, and with next generation consoles on the horizon it seemed like it would likely be ready for the limelight this year.
Last week, we got the news that instead of appearing at E3, the game would be getting a livestream of its own a few days ahead of gaming's biggest week. This was a pretty big sign that the livestream wasn't going to be a huge news blowout for the game, but I didn't expect a livestream so close to E3 to feel quite so devoid of actual information.
After watching the full livestream, I can summarise everything we saw pretty quickly. Ubisoft has a lot of studios around the world working on this game, and is about to add new staff from Ubisoft Paris. They have a fancy new office they are going to work out of. Lots of fans have tweeted them excitedly about the game. Fans are still collaborating on in game assets via HitRecord. We got to see old gameplay footage, but this time it had some of those HitRecord assets painted on walls.
Beyond that, we saw a bunch of concept art telling a story about the world of the game. We got further confirmation that the game's plot heavily revolves around cloning people, the creation of the series well known human/animal hybrid species, and the use of hybrids and clones as disposable slaves to do dangerous risky work. It seems like a big part of the plot is going to be about the rebellion and liberation of these hybrids and clones from the government that's using them for free risky labour and treating them as lower-class citizens. This also further adds to the theory that the versions of original game protagonists Jade and Peyj we have seen in this game's promotional material are likely not the same versions of the characters we know, but likely clones that share their appearance but not their lived experiences.
Apparently, the game will focus heavily on collecting M-Disks to learn information about the world. It sounds a lot like the game's story is being divvied up into lore packets you have to go and find out in the world.
The development team on livestream multiple times heavily implied that the best way to get a beta invite to actually try out the game is to sign up to the Space Monkey Programme mailing list. They did not give any further information on when the beta, last stated to release late in 2019, would be arriving. They also did not give any additional information on BGEFest, their planned Beyond Good & Evil convention happening at some point in the future.
Lastly, we saw some nude 3D character models of the new Mammago garage staff, and confirmation there will be lots of garages around the game.
Even as a super huge fan of the original game, this livestream felt really empty and lacking in tangible new information. It felt like they were having to really stretch for content to fill time, and it was a bit of a disappointment overall. Still seeing largely concept art years after this game was first revealed is a bit of a shame.