An interview with composer Cristophe Héral and Michael Ancel at the Toulouse Game Show in November 2011 made it onto YouTube in April and subsequently onto famous gaming forum NeoGAF on Friday. Forum member Corto provided an English translation of the French game makers’ comments, illuminating details on the long-awaited sequel to Ancel’s 2003 science fiction adventure Beyond Good and Evil. The game is still in development but it’s still far from release, according to Ancel.
When will the game come out? “We won’t make promises that we can’t keep. We are in an active creation stage and at the moment we are only focusing on the game and making it the best that we can,” said Ancel, “I can say that it’s a very ambitious game and we need some tech to achieve that ambition. We focus on the game. We create it first, then we’ll see what can run it.”
Beyond Good and Evil 2 was originally announced via a CG trailer at a Ubisoft event in 2008, five years after the first game’s release on Xbox, PlayStation 2, and Gamecube. Since then, the only other whiff of the game came in the form of a leaked video of target gameplay featuring protagonist Jade frantically running through a dense city and apartment building, vaulting over obstacles parkour style. Ancel says that despite similarities to EA’s free-running game Mirror’s Edge, Beyond Good and Evil 2 came to this style on its own. That teaser also hints at the dynamic camera work that the sequel will feature. “We had this concept even before Mirror’s Edge launched. Prince of Persia and Assassin’s Creed are closer to what we have in mind with the control of the character in a third person perspective. We use a very dynamic camera that shakes a lot during the action to add life to the camera giving the impression of an action news cover team following Jade.”
The Internet has done a profoundly strange thing to storytelling. Time was, a novel, a movie, a comic, or cartoon, any little piece of narrative that slipped from a creator’s mind to the public, would disappear with the passage of time. There’s only so much space on shelves, so that issue of Brother Power the Geek and flicks like Tron fade into memory and their stories become the province of archivists. The Internet meanwhile preserves all these stories, all of this information, and makes it equally accessibly. Stories aren’t bound by time any more, so sequels can pop up years after the original and still resonate. The first chapter is just a Google search away. This is why it won’t be a problem that Ubisoft and Michael Ancel’s Beyond Good and Evil 2 will come out more than a decade after the original on hardware that possibly doesn’t even exist yet.