14 years is an eternity in gaming, and Beyond Good and Evil‘s sequel/prequel is a rare tale of development hell that managed to turn itself around. Ancel explained to Engadget that the gaming technology of the time, around 2006, simply wasn’t capable enough to replicate the team’s vision for the game series: a space opera that encompassed not only multiple cities but multiple planets and online play that could involve your friends.
But it’s 2017: No Man’s Sky, the GTA series and Mass Effect have shown what’s possible now. Scale is a word that came up several times during the presentation. The planet “System 3” is at the center of both the trailer and a brief in-game engine preview Ubisoft showed us. The BGE2 team has made a proprietary new in-game engine: it exists, it works, and we got to see multiple spaceships and Knox the monkey move around within it.
Ancel tapped away at a keyboard and zoomed out from the city to reveal even more cities across the world. He zoomed out further to show the dark side of the planet ravaged by asteroids, then even further to the planets and stars surrounding it. He then tinkered with it even further, adjusting the angles of light on key character Knox. He then took control of a spaceship and blasted away from a giant Ganesh statue at hyperspeed, touring System 3 and showcasing the speed at which the game scales. It’s not perfect, but it’s fast and smooth. No more “light-speed jump” loading screens? That’s the dream.