Opinion: Be excited about Beyond Good & Evil 2 because of what we don’t know, not because of what we’ve seen

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News items, reports, rumours and speculation about the existence and development of Beyond Good & Evil 2 have been running rampant for years now.

Even after the game was formally confirmed with a teaser trailer in May of 2008, we had to wait another two years before the project’s director, Michel Ancel, thought it necessary to mention it again and assuage fans that it was still in development.

Beyond Good & Evil Screenshot 1

The game industry luminary recently saw it fit to talk about Beyond Good & Evil 2 again, giving us all an extra dose of hope that we would see the fruits of his team’s labour before we all make our way off into the great beyond.

In an interview Michel Ancel said that Beyond Good & Evil 2 is in “an active creation stage” and his team is “only focusing on the game and making it the best game that we can.”

There have been other reasons to remain optimistic about the game, however, with the leak of a supposed target render video showcasing the nimble moves of protagonist Jade as she effortlessly weaved her way through a busy city, jumping through windows and leaping across gaps in an effort to escape an unseen pursuer.

That same video re-appeared recently in the form of a higher quality version, which you can watch below:

Beyond Good & Evil 2 – Trailer 2009 HD

But is this video that impressive anymore? Consider that we live in a post-Uncharted world where these kinds of action sequences and in-game stunts have been seen and experienced before, and the action seen in this video (that dropped jaws two years ago) has a lot of catching up to do.

A supposed in-game screenshot from Beyond Good & Evil 2 was also recently leaked – check it out:

Beyond Good & Evil 2 Screenshot

Once again, consider the advances made in graphics technology in recent years, with tour de force games like Uncharted 3, Crysis 2 and RAGE, and even this detailed image looks a little pale.

Why am I being so dismissive of these tiny glimpses at Beyond Good & Evil 2? Snippets of media that hardly give us any indication of what the final game will look and play like?

It’s because I’m very excited about the possibilities of Beyond Good & Evil 2 based on what I don’t know, and not on what I’ve seen so far. Extrapolate Uncharted 2 and Uncharted 3’s set-pieces by mere margins and the action in the target video is doable. Let Crytek and id Software’s art teams sneer at the screenshot.

Uncharted 3 Gamescom 2011 Screenshot 5

An incredible action set-piece in Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception

I want to know what Michel Ancel has cooking in his brain. I want to know about the stories and characters we’ll experience and discover. I want to know about the beautiful, alien world we’ll be exploring. The minute-to-minute actions and interactions we can expect. The unbounded creativity that’s possible when Ancel and his team is given free reign to design and dream.

I’m excited about what I don’t know about Beyond Good & Evil 2. What I’ve seen is unimpressive.

There’s more reason to get excited about the unknown as there is a distinct possibility that Beyond Good & Evil 2 will release on next-generation game consoles. Ancel said in a recent interview:

“I can say that it’s a very ambitious game and we need some tech to achieve that ambition.”

Some additional morsels of information were also offered in that interview, as Ancel claimed:

“We had this concept even before Mirror’s Edge launched. And we have a different approach to the first person perspective that Mirror’s Edge has. 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. Maybe that could be similar to Mirror’s Edge but the game itself is very different.”

It’s exciting to hear a developer’s thoughts on an upcoming game, even if those thoughts are discarded along the way.

When it comes to games that haven’t yet been released, and games that we don’t know about, it’s my opinion that it’s better to expect the best, rather than anticipate the worst.

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