Last week, Beyond Good & Evil 2 creator Michel Ancel told fans to expect a playable beta of the game towards the end of 2019. It was disappointing news, perhaps, for those eager to explore the kind of worlds glimpsed in last year's flashy E3 debut trailer. But it was also news which should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone following the game's still-early progress.
Selling video games to people who like video games should not be hard. Often, though, it seems like the hardest thing in the world - especially at E3, where even the greats can stumble on stage. Over the last few years, it seems to have been getting harder and harder, too. Each summer, EA struggles bravely to simulate convincing human behaviour as it trots viewers through the mega-brands. Bethesda scowls through the smoke and gunfire as it conjures Nazis and radioactive horrors. Microsoft opts for T-shirts and leather jackets, and looks less like a new Top Gear presenting team, which would be bad enough, and more like a series of rookie commanders-in-chief, lecturing the troops on the deck of a battleship. And it never really feels like it's anybody's fault. It just feels like glossy conferences are a deeply imperfect means for exploring the joys of this particular industry. They're good at expressing the idea that games are a serious business, that they are expensive undertakings put together by serious professionals, but they're less good at acknowledging that games are fun, that they're amongst the most human of human artefacts, even if underneath it all they're made of light and maths.
Held at gunpoint and shoved into the boot of his own car, programmer Francesco Cavallari was forced to consider his options.
Thank goodness, yes it is. There's a horrible tension when you return to a game that's entered legend. What if it was hype? What if things have moved on so far that it creaks and you feel silly trying to play it? Worst of all, what if you've been desperately hoping for an oft-suggested sequel, getting excited at the prospect of its existence, and then you discover the original wasn't what you remembered? Thank goodness, Beyond Good & Evil is still every bit as wonderful.
We've had indie and esoterica, sports and music, MMOs and RPGs, and fighting and strategy, which just leaves the glamour girls of action, adventure, shooters and racing to strut their stuff.