For the last few months, we’ve been hearing a lot about Beyond Good and Evil 2. We’ve heard how it takes place in a large, procedurally generated universe. We’ve heard comments about its epic scale and scope, or how the physics go beyond anything else seen in the medium.
But we haven’t seen much actual footage of the title.
Until now. Because just a day ago, Ubisoft finally posted posted the first ever in engine footage of Beyond Good and Evil 2!
So here it is. Here is that first footage showing some of the game’s systems in action:
On a technical level, it’s amazing. The scale of the game is incredible, with you being able to move between planets, countries and cities at the drop of a hat. The spaceships you can fly look excellent, and seem to work exactly as you’d expect them to.
And well, that jetpack looks quite nice too. It’s certainly a fun way to get around, and looks to be another fun mechanic in this generally promising game.
There’s definitely a lot to like here.
However, it also still worries me as an actual game.
Because of how much more ambitious this sequel is. Remember, a large world doesn’t necessarily mean a fun to explore world. It certainly can (and some sandbox games have been truly magical experiences for me and many other players).
But at the same time, it can also be quite dull if nothing is actually there. No Man’s Sky may have had an enormous universe filled with planets to explore, but you couldn’t do anything interesting there. It was basically an endless number of cookie cutter locations built by a computer algorithm.
The original game knew this quite well. It wasn’t the next GTA, it didn’t have a Breath of the Wild scale open world to explore.
Instead, it was just a fun Zelda clone with a photography gimmick and some story about a girl called Jade and her uncle Pey’j as they tried to stop the hidden machinations of a group of aliens on their planet.
It was fairly low key, but it worked well.
This game however, it was far more ambitious. So much so in fact that I worry the creators have fallen prey to massive feature/scope creep and second system effect. That they’ve become so obsessed with making the game of their dreams that they’ve forgotten what really matters for this series.
And that’s what worries me. That the lack of focus on elements people liked about the first game (read, not spaceships and jetpacks and what not) might indicate Ubisoft doesn’t really know why so many people liked it. Or that they’re putting less focus on the intricate designs of the ground based areas to focus on the huge open worlds and physics possibilities.
Still, I’m optimistic none the less. I mean, you can already see some locations that look like they’ve been tweaked by actual designers along the way. Like the city shown in the video with the giant Ganesha type statue covered in glowing lights and markings.
So there is hope there.
But until a new trailer comes out and shows the game as it is at ground level, I’m just going to stay cautiously optimistic about the whole affair.
Let’s hope Beyond Good and Evil 2 turns out to be classic we’ve been waiting decades for!
Beyond Good and Evil 2: E3 2017 First In House Demo
Announced back at E3 2015, Sea of Thieves is a pirate themed open world game developed by Rare, the creators of such franchises as Banjo-Kazooie, Conker and Perfect Dark. It’s an interesting title with some creative mechanics and a heavy focus on teamwork, and it’s one that Microsoft has been quite keen to promote ever since.
With E3 2017 being no exception to the rule. So here’s the trailer for Microsoft’s E3 2017 presentation, if you haven’t seen it already:
As you can tell, it looks really good. The island exploration is fascinating, with the treasure maps and compass leading to a real pirate style treasure hunt feel. The ship mechanics are well done, with the whole crew pitching in to either keep the boat running or fend off foes with the cannon. All in all, it looks exactly like the kind of fascinating game you couldn’t really get in older generations.
Yet that still leaves one key question in the back of my mind. Namely, what is the main goal of this game?
I mean, getting treasure is good and all. And yes, you do run a pirate ship with your crew and sail the seas looking for wrecks to plunder and rivals to send to Davy Jones’ locker.
But what’s the overarching goal behind it?
Is there one?
Is there an actual main story or end state for this game?
Because if not, it seems like it may get a bit dull in the longrun. It’ll end up being like Breath of the Wild would be without Calamity Ganon or the Divine Beast quests. One where shrines are basically the whole thing.
That’s fine for shorter playthroughs. As well as those who like open worlds.
But it’s not so great for those who like a goal to strive for. People who want to really complete the game and mark it off their games played list.
And the new trailer doesn’t clear any of this up. Still, maybe we’ll know a bit more about it nearer its release date. Or maybe it’s just one of those games that doesn’t have a story altogether, and who’s hook is entirely in how fascinating its world is to explore and how many possibility the pirate themed gameplay opens up.
We’ll see at a later date.
When it comes to Kickstarter funded spiritual successors, Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night is a prime example of one done right. The campaign hit all its goals with ease, raking in a massive $5.5 million in the process. The screenshots and trailers made the game look amazing, with its gameplay being everything a Castlevania fan could want from a follow up.
And unlike Mighty No 9 and Yooka-Laylee, there hasn’t been a single controversy dragging the thing down. It’s just been done professionally in general.
Which is only supported even more by this fantastic new trailer released for this year’s E3! Here it is:
As you can tell, it’s everything you could want from such a game. You’ve got some good graphics and catchy music. The gameplay looks as solid as ever (and as close to Castlevania as is legally possible). Really, it just looks as good as you’d expect it to be.
What more can you say?
When Yooka-Laylee was released back in April, it got a… somewhat mixed reception. On the bright side, people generally quite like the characters, the core gameplay and the aesthetics, with reviews usually stating that the game followed Banjo’s lead pretty well in that respect.
On the negative side though… well the complaints were pretty widespread. You had talk about dodgy camera controls, harking back to an issue the genre has had to deal with for decades. There were comments about random gameplay mechanics and elements that didn’t quite work (like mini games, butterfly collectables and minecart sections). Even the minor stuff got criticism here. Like the voice clips many reviewers considered grating.
Fortunately though, it seems Playtonic Games has been listening! That’s because as the article title suggests, they’re patching up many of Yooka-Laylee’s faults with their next update.
For example, the notoriously finicky minecarts and arcade games have received control improvements and design tweaks respectively. Which should improve two notoriously weak elements of the game.
The Rampo boss fight has received improvements too. Again, it’s been a common target of criticism here, with comments about the sliding mechanics and their awkwardness being legion online. So Playtonic have made improvements to it too. Hopefully in a way that makes sliding back down the ramp less of a chore.
Camera changes are included in the patch as well. For example, there are now ‘less scripted cameras’ and door cam changes here. This hopefully means it won’t change angle at a whim. Or say, wildly switch views mid jump like it sometimes does in the existing game.
And for those who disliked the weird speech… well that’s been taken care of too. With both an option for shorter voice sound FX and a speech volume option. No more having to deal with annoying voices here!
Add a few other changes too (like diagrams showing attack controls in the menu and cutscenes being skippable with the Y button), and you’ve got quite a few useful quality of life improvements for the game.
But that still leaves one common question unanswered. Namely:
“What happened to the Nintendo Switch version?”
Rest assured, Playtonic answers that in their post too. Indeed, they’re apparently near the ‘Nintendo Switch specific testing’ stage, with a final release coming shortly after. So assuming it goes well… You shouldn’t be waiting much longer for Yooka-Laylee.
Here’s a picture if you want to see it for yourself:
As you can see, it looks good!
Just like the rest of the game really. It had a rough start, but it seems Playtonic is improving it significantly with the update here. So yeah, Yooka-Laylee is getting better. Let’s hope the updated game turns out to be the fantastic 3D platformer everyone was originally anticipating!
Green and Purple Update (Playtonic Games
When it comes to Sonic Mania, we’ve seen a fair few levels already. There’s been a desert level, based on a scrapped zone in the classic trilogy. A new take on Green Hill Zone, which is basically law for the franchise now. A city level set on skyscrapers called Studiopolis Zone.
Basically, we know about a decent amount of the levels. But now it seems another one has been seen too!
Yes, as the title suggests, footage of a mysterious new Sonic Mania level has been spotted at the Vegas’ Licensing Expo. This was found by a user called BionicBuzz on Twitter, who forwarded it onto BlueParadox to share the news online.
So here’s the latter’s tweet on the subject:
Plus a cleared up version of the pic courtesy of Source Gaming’s Nirbion:
As you can see, it seems to be a sort of… castle type environment. This is unusual for the Sonic series (especially in 2D), and has led to some interesting speculation about what exactly it means. These possibilities for the level include:
- It being a hotel, based on the old fashioned décor and colour scheme
- Or a water palace/temple.
- Perhaps a laboratory of some kind, set in an old building. I mean, Eggman has certainly taken off lots of old structures like this before, hasn’t he?
Heck, I’ve even seen suggestions of it being a greenhouse or floating temple. Either way, it’s a unique zone concept, and one that wouldn’t fit too out of place in a Castlevania game. Like the one likely to be announced to go with the TV show!
But hey, what do you think? Does this mystery level interest you?
Post your thoughts on it here or on social media today!