Chances are you’ve never played Beyond Good & Evil. Don’t feel bad, based on its sales figures you weren’t alone in ignoring the game, which is unfortunate because it was one of the better games of the PS2/Xbox/Gamecube era. Published by Ubisoft and developed by Rayman creator Michel Ancel, the game combined the solid design of Nintendo’s Zelda games with the interesting world and well-developed characters of the best adventure games. The result was a game that was super-endearing despite some flaws. An HD version is available for download on PSN and Xbox Live and I highly suggest you give it a try.
Most diehard BG&E fans assumed the game was doomed to never have a follow up after it underperformed at retail, but in 2008 Ubisoft surprised us all when they unveiled a teaser trailer for Beyond Good & Evil 2. Hooray! Happy ending, right? Well no, seems the trailer was just a declaration that Michel Ancel would really kinda maybe like to make a sequel if, you know, he could find a hole in his schedule sometime, gather up enough people and get Ubisoft to give him some money. So far that hasn’t happened. Instead Ancel has spent the last year or two developing Rayman: Origins.
So, is Ancel dedicating himself fully to the Rayman franchise now? Is BG&E2 dead? Not according to Ubisoft VP of marketing Tony Key — in fact according to him, the fates of the two series are closely linked…
“Ultimately, Rayman is [Ancel 's] original creation, and if all the people that love Beyond Good & Evil understand he is more than a one trick pony… and that if Rayman: Origins does well, it gives him more leeway for other opportunities because he has to build up his studio. Just like how Beyond Good & Evil had a whimsical style but included gameplay for adults, Rayman: Origins will appeal to more than just younger gamers.”
In other words — “We’re gonna let Ancel do his ‘creative’, ‘colorful’, ‘fun’ thing with a relatively inexpensive 2D platformer. If that sells okay maybe we’ll give him the money to make another Beyond Good & Evil. Maybe. If we haven’t spent it all making some Tom Clancy something-or-other.”
The game’s got a 91 on Metacritic. You’ve got nothing to lose. Do it.