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Beyond Good & Evil 2 early gameplay revealed

‘Everything is connected’

Samit Sarkar (he/him) is Polygon’s deputy managing editor. He has more than 15 years of experience covering video games, movies, television, and technology.

Beyond Good & Evil 2’s introduction at E3 2017 promised a galactic experience of extraordinary scale, and in showing some of the first gameplay footage of the game today, its developers provided a brief look at the way that players will be able to travel and fight in space.

The gameplay, which totaled about 45 seconds of footage, came from a very early build of Beyond Good & Evil 2 — a watermark on the clip described it as a “pre-alpha” version of the game. And the developers from Ubisoft Montpellier who debuted the footage on a livestream, including creative director Michel Ancel, repeatedly emphasized that this is very much a work in progress.

You can see a wide variety of spacecraft in the footage, flying high above the ground (although within the atmosphere) on a rocky planet. But the most notable element of the clip is how seamlessly the player can move from interior to exterior environments, à la No Man’s Sky.

Much of the clip focuses on the character Shani, a black woman with a frizzy Afro. She runs along the outside of an airship and then leaps into her own spacecraft, using her jetpack to propel herself through the air. Next, Shani flies toward an airship and bails out above the body of the ship, then crashes to the vessel with a slam move to attack some enemies standing on it. In a later segment of the footage, you can see the monkey Knox at the bridge of his ship, watching as a small vessel attacks a large airship that’s flying by.

“This is not scripted,” Ancel said of that moment. “It’s really systemic — it’s really epic things you can live with your friends.”

The developers mentioned that Beyond Good & Evil 2 will offer battles between massive airships, dogfights between fighter pilots and — in an homage to the original Beyond Good & Evil — melee combat with swords. They also said that this game world, the solar system known as System 3, will be seamless with no loading. Players will create a character and step into the role of a pirate captain, but they’ll have crew members with individual responsibilities like medic and spy. (It’s unclear if these can be human-controlled characters or AI allies.)

Ancel acknowledged that today’s gameplay clip was “really short,” but said that Ubisoft Montpellier is saving a lot more for E3, including a more in-depth discussion of game mechanics. Beyond Good & Evil 2 currently has no confirmed release window or platforms. Interested parties can participate in the development process through what Ubisoft Montpellier refers to as the Space Monkey Program. You can see some more footage in the developer diary below.

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