Be­yond Good And Evil 2

An­cel’s space-far­ing sand­box is all set to be an ab­so­lute Knox-out

XBox: The Official Magazine (US) - - PREVIEW - David Meik­le­ham Pub­lisheR Ubisoft De­vel­oper bisoft Mont­pel­lier For­mat Xbox One ETA tbc

Michel An­cel has been busy. If you think the French game di­rec­tor has been sit­ting on his hands th­ese past 14 years since Jade’s snap-happy sci-fi ad­ven­ture hit the orig­i­nal Xbox, you’re dead wrong. Oh sure, he got briefly dis­tracted mak­ing an ‘al­right… ish’ tie-in about a size­able go­rilla—the ex­haust­ingly ti­tled Peter Jack­son’sKingKong:TheOf­fi­cial GameOfTheMovie. Yet de­spite the detours, a mas­sive amount of work has clearly gone into this hugely an­tic­i­pated se­quel. Case in point: BeyondGoodAndEvil 2 lit­er­ally has its own so­lar sys­tem. An­cel re­cently hopped on YouTube to give a walk­through of the E3 game­play demo, and the first of Ubisoft’s ‘Space Mon­key Pro­gram’ episodes (yes, that’s re­ally what they’re called) lifts the lid on BGAE2’ s quite in­cred­i­ble scale. This is a sprawl­ing sand­box where you can per­form ac­tions both in­ti­mate and epic. Be it whizzing about in a jet­pack with a grungy mon­key, or blast­ing off into the vast­ness of space in a 1300ft moth­er­ship, BGAE2 is happy to tackle tiny or tremen­dous feats. See, An­cel and co re­ally have been busy.

Let’s go back to that mon­key, though. Fly­ing above the sprawl­ing city of Gane­sha looks all sorts of simian sexy. You can tell just by

“Fly­ing above the sprawl­ing city of Gane­sha looks all sorts of simian sexy”

look­ing at the ex­pres­sive, weighty an­i­ma­tions there’s a real sup­ple­ness and sub­tlety to the hov­er­ing con­trols. Knox’s jet­pack will aid your ex­plo­ration no end, and in the demo An­cel makes the ape land on a 700-me­tre-tall statue of Ganesh, which you can ap­par­ently ex­plore the inside of. Stand­ing atop the mighty Hindu god also gives the di­rec­tor a chance to pan the cam­era around to highlight some stun­ning vis­tas, as the mighty ele­phant de­ity casts long, lonely shad­ows over the ur­ban ex­panse be­low.

Ship shape

Once Knox has fin­ished ad­mir­ing the ver­tigo-in­duc­ing views, it’s time to hop back into the moth­er­ship, which cutely, can hold smaller ships you ac­quire through­out the game. (An­cel com­pares this me­chanic to stack­ing Rus­sian dolls.) Even though it’s the length of sev­eral foot­ball fields, this colos­sal craft is no slouch—it can reach speeds of up to 20,000km/h. And be­fore he jets off into Gane­sha’s outer at­mos­phere, An­cel pulls off a se­ries of ef­fort­less rolling ma­noeu­vres and loop-the-loops. The de­signer also de­scribes the moth­er­ship as a dog­fighter, an as­ser­tion its mul­ti­tude of mounted tur­rets back up.

“We want in­ter­ac­tiv­ity to be the heart of the whole ex­pe­ri­ence,” says An­cel. “Not just with char­ac­ters, not just with space­ships, but also with a huge planet.” It’s that last part which re­ally em­pha­sizes the in­sane scale of

BGAE2. You can blast into the outer at­mos­phere at any time, the sprawl­ing cities be­low soon re­duced to scut­tling ant hills. More im­pres­sively, the tran­si­tion into space is han­dled in­stan­ta­neously, with barely a hint of a load­ing screen. In­deed, in­ter­ga­lac­tic ex­plo­ration looks so seam­less, you could al­most be fooled into think­ing you’re play­ing EVEOn­line… with added chat­ter­ing chimps.

As An­cel stated ear­lier, Ubisoft Mont­pel­lier wants to make ev­ery part of this spec­tac­u­lar sci-fi ride truly in­ter­ac­tive. He even says plan­ets can be de­formed in real-time if they’re hit by mas­sive as­teroids. How’s that for am­bi­tion? The wait has been ag­o­nis­ing, but BGAE2 is reach­ing for the stars, and we can’t wait to strap our­selves in for the space-far­ing fun.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.