“Beyond Good & Evil 2” direction is interesting/worrying


#1

If you are part of Space Monkey Program, then you most likely received invitation to take a survey. Among other question they asked this one:

Thinking of the reasons that would make BGE2 appealing to you, how important is each of the following aspects?

  • A multiplayer/connected approach that allow interaction with other players (Coop, PvE…)

  • A huge and varied open world on several planets

  • Strong RPG elements (crew and character building, skill trees, loot…)

  • A “game-as-a-service” approach (frequent post-launch content updates) targeting long-term playability

  • Action-packed gameplay (chases, space battles, combat…)

  • A well-developed story and characters

  • A PvP mode to compete against other players

Optimist in me says “yay, big living world, a lot of content, co-op!”

Pessimist in me says “that wasn’t what original game was about!”

Technically they can marry the two. Nothing says you can’t have evolving online world with diverse interesting characters and a great story. But I’m afraid that something would give. Even then it can be a good game, of course, but very different one.


#2

To be honest, I think the reveal that it was looking at being some sort of larger multiplayer multi-planet type thing killed everyone’s vibe, including mine, at E3.

I’d much rather have a tight story experience in a few locations. Not just because the original was like that, but I generally don’t like games that try going large and stretching themselves thin, and I feel like it’s risking a lot to try and do so.

It continues to hurt me that this mentions loot, several planets and a game-as-a-service model. I loved the flavor of that trailer, but I straight up won’t get it if that’s the game.


#3

I suspect this is a AAA Ubisoft games. Just as BG&E was an Ubisoft game of the era (when Prince of Persia was the new tentpole release) then we should expect ongoing updates, connected experiences, and everything else in a big Ubisoft game.

Hopefully they’ll make something with the spirit of the first game and some meaty developments into what modern adventure games are doing and the stories they’re telling. But also I expect it’ll come with the rest of what Ubisoft typically build around their games (and aim to monetise, via annual expansions like The Crew, or even more explicit “season” language about rolling updates and live teams).


#4

Is name a problem? If that would be new game from Ubi called, say, “Space Monkey Program”, would we be less anxious about it?

What gives me… well, not a hope, but pause before I commit to “fuck that noise” is that evolving is a good thing. I don’t want a new, but very same-y BG&E game. I already have that game. I would rather them risk it, really.


#5

I want to play as that monkey, and I want to be friends with that lady, and I want a story arc for that monkey and I want it to be 10-12 hours and have a 2-step/grime/DnB soundtrack and that’s all I want

Also where do I take this survey @onsamyj


#6

They send me an email, because I registered at bgegame.com.


#7

The fact that Ancel is still attached lets me still feel optimistic about the game as a whole, but yeah, the thing they’re talking about making now doesn’t seem like it should be called BG&E2, even if it is in the same universe.


#8

Michel Ancel is interesting guy. I would really like some in-depth look at his overall work and personality. He doesn’t strike me as this very politically driven creator, who dying to tell stories about government, conspiracies, resistance, feminism, etc. And yet we have BG&E.

I should rewatch video that Double Fine did with him, but if I remember correctly, they talked mostly about gameplay. Which is an interesting point: if you make main character female, she would do everything herself, with some help from supporting characters, because that what player would like to do.

Edit. OK, I clearly misremembered it. He talked about a lot of stuff: about 9/11, and how that led to “we need to go to war” propaganda; about trying to tell a story, and how that was important and unusual, but difficult to sell; about talking to women on the team about Jade, etc. So, maybe he is that guy, just a quite version :­)

I believe that he would honestly try to make a great game. And I almost trust Ubi to let him.


#9

BGE was one of the few games that set up a second chapter I wanted to see. And now that they’re finally making a sequel it’s actually a prequel. I think they missed that so much of what made BGE great was the characters and story and now that they’ve decided to go back in time instead of finishing the story they set up in BGE.

This could still be a great game, but it’s not the BGE 2 that I wanted and I’m really not getting my hopes up for this being a great followup to BGE. I’d have been much cooler with this if they had branded it as a BGE spinoff. This move makes it feel like a shallow name recognition grab by the corporate side of Ubisoft instead of actually continuing the series by following through with the narrative established in the first game.


#10

I’ve not gotten around to Beyond Good & Evil 2 (for my sins), but hopefully this survey guides them more towards a tighter single-player experience (or a fun co-op one) rather than some sprawling totally weird thing. With that said, I get incredibly frustrated when I see ‘“game-as-a-service” approach’ tagged onto games that have the potential to be strong and solid single-player experiences (@2Mello’s “10-12 hours” sounds about right to me).

Playing Final Fantasy XV at launch and seeing it get showered with a bunch of seasonal updates that rotated out just seems hopelessly misguided to me. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I find that kinda thing really offputting regardless of the context. If I need to put a game away for six months, coming back in to find that I missed two really cool events is never a great feeling. I can understand it for multiplayer games like Overwatch with cosmetic items, but resources going into games-as-a-servicing RPGs? Why? (I mean, money, but…)


#11

What really made the first BG+E special to me was the tone. A somewhat quirky and whimsical world combined with a story that attempted to address real issues in a mature and heartfelt way. It was fairly simple, but that worked in its favor.

I’m generally fine with sequels making well-considered changes to set themselves apart from their predecessors, but I was pretty taken aback by what appeared to be an attempt at a less authentic, edgier direction. I’m still going to hold off judgment until we see the complete picture. They may have just designed the trailer to attract the eyes of the audience that never touched the first one, even if they intend to keep much of the original game’s charm.


#13

Reinvention is a risky, but worthy endeavor in my opinion. Best case scenario, we gonna get “Doom” (2016), worst case – “Shadowrun” (2007).

Well, Ubi seems to be doing singleplayer/cooperative/competitive hybrid, so, basically, MMO and, I don’t know, but I liked what they did with TESO in the end (not a Ubi game, but example of a SP → MMO transition). “Watch_Dogs 2” in space maybe not a bad template either. I know people tend to hate collectathon nature of Ubi games, but give me good gemeplay, story and characters, and I would spend dozens of hours collecting everything that’s not nailed down. I like just being in their worlds.

So, in the end, I hope that they would take core of BG&E, and expand it into big open multiplayer world. Because, it feels like, that it is a compromise that they have to do to make that game at all.


#14

This is absolutely going to be the next FFXV, and I say that as someone who very much enjoyed parts of FFXV and very much did not enjoy others. I agree that a tightly focused, smaller (and crucially, shorter) game would be preferable, but the unfortunate fact is that this likely would never have been greenlit outside of a Kickstarter campaign, and even then the rights would be an issue.

It does make me a little sad considering how badly I wish FFXV’s development had focused 300% more on narrative/combat and far less on open-world/GAAS, but it is what it is and I hope the game turns out well (or at least interesting) nonetheless.


#15

I’m personally willing to be a bit open-minded about the direction of BGE2. Is it the game I wanted or asked for? Not really. But then again, there are lots of games I’ve played that I didn’t ask for or think I wanted, and they turned out great! It’s a new direction for the series, for sure, but we also have to keep in mind that the original game came out in 2003; games and the gaming environment was completely different then as compared to now. Perhaps Ancel wanted to create BGE similarly to what BGE2 is turning out to be, but he simply lacked the hardware at the time and settled.

This is all speculative nonsense of course; BGE2 could turn out to be terrible with all these changes! We won’t know until we have the finished product in our hands, but I have faith in Ancel and the rest of the Ubi team. My only wish is that the story wasn’t a prequel but a sequel. I need to know what happens to Jade!


#16

I understand why fans of the original see this game as being necessarily in service of them. It’s being referred to as Beyond Good & Evil 2, after all. However, I think it’s unrealistic to think that BG&E2 is meant to target people who played the first one. It was a commercial failure, and it’s been more than 10 years since it came out. The fact that BG&E2 wasn’t released years ago speaks to Ubisoft’s disinterest in releasing a direct sequel to such an unsuccessful game. The reason this game exists at all is because it is probably exactly not that. Additionally, there is now an entire generation of players who’ve never even heard of the original game, let alone played it. Every year, the relevant target audience for a sequel to BG&E gets smaller proportionate to players worldwide.

One of the biggest reasons BG&E was well-received by its small player base was its universe, and the characters who populated it. If they can take those tonal elements and make a modern game that exists in service of today’s trends and player base, then I’m very stoked about that. Having said that, I think it’s important to not measure this game against the original, or against what a sequel to the original “ought” to be. It will be a disservice to this game, and any (frankly unreasonable) expectations will only hamper any enjoyment that can be gleaned from it by creating, and subsequently crossing off, a mental list of things this game probably won’t even try to do.

Ultimately, I hope they keep doing what they’re doing, but that they strip the “2” from the title in order to discourage any direct comparisons.


#17

While I mostly agree with you, I need to point out, that it wasn’t that big of a failure and it’s not that obscure. It’s definition of a cult classic. Almost every publication, every podcats, every whatever has one or two people who remember that game fondly. There is a HD version, and PC version is still pretty good. So, if you think about it, they have this free advertising from diehard fans. But, yes, they still need to sell it to not-fans, too.

Also, I tweaked title of this thread, so we can continue to discuss it as far as we want.


#18

Ubisoft also gave the first game away for free last year as part of their month-long holiday promotion.


#19

I think the idea that Ubisoft is trying to push something else is moot considering that Ancel is helming it. It’s pretty clear that he’s trying to push a universe, an atmosphere more than the basic Zeldaesque beats that crystallized the original game.

I trust Michel Ancel, I don’t want to be that guy who is too nostalgic, I really want to see how the game is going to go forward from its roots.


#20

Outside of the fact that, actually yes, the game was a commercial failure, as stated by Ubisoft, Ancel himself, publications, objective analysis, and so on, I think you are vastly overestimating the amount of people who play rereleases of old games as their first experience with that game. Selling it to existing fans of the franchise would not be enough. They need to exclusively sell this game to newcomers. If fans of the brand come along for the ride, great, but there simply aren’t enough of them to warrant a big-budget sequel, or like I said, we would have seen one a decade ago, when BG&E was relevant.

I thought BG&E was pretty good, and I’m super excited for this upcoming game, but I think it’s basically delusional to think BG&E2 could sell on brand recognition and loyalty alone.


#21

Alain Corre: Progressively, people have learned about it and it is considered one of the best games ever done. We released it recently on the Xbox Live in HD and it did extremely well, but it’s too late.