Skip to main content

Long read: The beauty and drama of video games and their clouds

"It's a little bit hard to work out without knowing the altitude of that dragon..."

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 reveals awe-inspiring in-engine demo

Michel Ancel's space odyssey takes us from simians to the stars.

Last week Beyond Good & Evil 2 director and series creator Michel Ancel told quite the tale of his upcoming game. He spoke of procedurally-generated star systems, simulated sunsets, and spaceships of various builds blazing through the cosmos. Now, we can actually see what he's talking about as Ubisoft revealed the first in-engine footage of Beyond Good & Evil 2.

Presented by Ancel from a behind closed doors E3 presentation last week, we see the customisable playable character - in this case the monkey man from the CGI trailer - fly around with his jetpack as Ancel demonstrates this prequel's sense of scale.

Pizza delivering, photojournalism, crime fighting... is Beyond Good & Evil 2 secretly a Spider-Man game?Watch on YouTube

There will be ships of all sizes ranging from one-man dogfighting vessels to the aerospace equivalent of an aircraft carrier. In these larger ships, there will be all sorts of activity that could be of interest.

"You can get inside, you can sell your pizza, and then instead of getting out of the ship you can decide to explore the ship," Ancel explained. "And you might discover that there is some slavery, some human trafficking and things like that."

That got dark quick! But the good news is you can take pictures of such atrocities and report them to the proper authorities back in the city. After all, photography was one of the cornerstones of the original Beyond Good & Evil where you fought oppression through investigative photojournalism.

The most impressive aspect of this demo is its scale. Taking a page from No Man's Sky, you'll be able to seamlessly transition from the smaller scale of the streets to the awe-inspiring openness of outer space. Ancel said that Beyond Good & Evil 2's engine will even take into account astronomical physics, with planets turning in real-time and changes in the atmosphere affecting the force of your ship.

Perhaps the biggest trick Beyond Good & Evil 2 hopes to pull off is having meteors crash into planets in real-time, affecting the landscape on a massive scale. We see a demo of this, from far back in space, where dust clouds spread across a barren landscape. Imagining how that will look from the ground is certainly exciting, though Ubisoft is saving that for another time.

Beyond Good & Evil 2 will put players in the role of a small-time scamp, making ends meet by running such errands as delivering pizzas, and you'll eventually rise the ranks to become a legendary adventurer.Watch on YouTube

Beyond Good & Evil 2 won't be out for ages and no platforms have officially been announced. In the meantime, you can sign up for the Space Monkey Program fan forum and offer Ancel and company feedback on how you feel about this prequel.