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Michel Ancel, the creative director at Ubisoft working on the upcoming Beyond Good and Evil 2, demonstrated 14 minutes worth of in-engine gameplay footage from the upcoming open-space game that takes place from the dusty surface of a planet, all the way up into the very outer rims of space.
It's impressive that the CG tease during this year's stage presentation by Ubisoft at E3 isn't too far off graphically from the in-engine demo that Ancel puts on display above. The video went live over on Ubisoft's YouTube channel, where he covers everything from flight to dogfighting to planetary exploration.
Keep in mind that even though the Voyager may be a next generation engine with the tools and pipeline to allow for CG quality graphics rendering and plant-to-space travel, it doesn't necessitate that the finished product will be 1:1 to what you're seeing in the video above. For one thing, it takes an immense amount of CPU power in order to run what's on display in the video above. Cloud Imperium Games is also working on developing similar tech that's supposed to be released to backers sometime later this summer, with the alpha 3.0 release of Star Citizen, and optimization and performance is a huge factor when it comes to planet-to-space travel due to how taxing the feature can be.
As showcased in the demo above, some of the biggest challenges for developers to overcome is being able to streamline loading in assets and keeping LOD pop-in to a minimum while also affording for high-fidelity assets when players get up close to objects. This is demonstrated when Ancel takes the monkey up close to the giant elephant statue to examine the fine craftsmanship up close.
And speaking of the monkey, he represents one of the myriad types of character designs that players will have at their creative disposal when they create a character in Beyond Good and Evil 2.
Players will start off with nothing but the clothes on their back and a dinky little vehicle used to complete quests. The object is to save up money, buy a better vehicle, unlock a space ship, and eventually journey into deep space in order to take on the story quests.
Ancel reveals that as players unlock new ships to own they can be stored in even larger ships, which he demonstrates by having the fighter vessel emerge from the larger carrier. Players will be able to own small personal craft all the way up to the large carrier craft showcased in the in-engine demo.
We also find out that the lighting system cast over the world is done with global illumination, another highly taxing rendering feature that had to be axed in the Unreal Engine 4 for the PS4 and Xbox One due to how intensive it was on the processors. How Ubisoft will manage to pull off global illumination in the Voyager without tanking the FPS will be a real sight to behold. Right now the in-engine demonstration was running in a testkit environment, so it's not really representative of what the full experience will be like, but it is indicative of what Ubisoft is gunning for when it comes to gameplay mechanics.
There will also be a full-on multiplayer component, along with the ability to snap and share photos. Ancel really wanted to bring the picture taking mechanic back from the original Beyond Good and Evil, and the team is now tying it into the multiplayer, not unlike what was done with Watch Dogs 2.
There's no release date on Beyond Good and Evil 2, but the team have been working on the engine and core mechanics for the past three years.