Beyond Good & Evil 2 has been reintroduced at Ubisoft's E3 2017 conference. The re-announcement and accompanying teaser trailer arrived just over nine years after its initial reveal in 2008.
However, those expecting the sequel to the 2003 cult-classic return to the story of photojournalist heroine Jade - depicted in previous teasers and leaked footage - may have been a little surprised by the shift in design and setting shown in the new trailer (embedded below).
Pitched as a prequel, the reveal trailer introduces the game's steampunk setting of System 3 as well as some of its anthropomorphic characters, including a cockney-voiced monkey with a cybernetic arm who swindles a porcine mob boss.
The ensuing chase takes the action through what Ubisoft calls a "profoundly multicultural world" until we end on a large spaceship and the words of a female character that could be the game's main protagonist.
Ubisoft confirmed that the game will feature a "seamless online playground" that can be explored alone or with friends. Beyond Good & Evil 2 is in development by Ubisoft's Montpellier studio, with series creator Michael Ancel directing the project.
Both a release date and platforms are still up in the air, including the rumour that the game will be a Nintendo Switch exclusive. Reports of Nintendo stepping in to assist production began to circulate in March 2016, however the rumour looks a little less likely considering the official PlayStation UK Twitter account tweeted about the announcement during the show.
Later in 2016, Ancel posted several concept art images to his Instagram account that appeared to show anthropomorphic creatures (including an apparent drawing of a piglet Pey'j) and an aesthetic comparable to the original Xbox, PS2 and GameCube-era adventure's design. Ubisoft later confirmed in a Facebook post that a new game in the series was in pre-production.
Prior to the confirmation, Ubisoft's upcoming steampunk adventure had been subject to numerous reports of stalled production and rumours of cancellation. Even with irregular assurances from the French publisher and Ancel, many fans began to speculate that the game had become mere vapourware. We now know otherwise.
The official synopsis reads:
"System 3 has become the center of interstellar trade and colonisation in the Milky Way of the 24th century, thanks to the creation of Hybrid slaves. While private enterprises fight over resources and power, the first colonists weave together the rich and diverse spiritual and cultural heritages of Old Earth to give meaning to their existence. In this new era of piracy, we will rise from lowly pirate to legendary captain at the helm of massive star-faring vessels, adventuring alongside crews of colorful characters to fight for freedom and the right to determine our own fate among the stars!"