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Jack Gardner
Assassin's Creed Odyssey made a huge splash at E3 2018. It seems to be a natural extension of its predecessor with its creative director even straight up describing it as an RPG, which feels like a big step for the series. It also makes the comparison to The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt make that much more sense. Which... yeah, there's a pretty strong Witcher 3 influence at play in Odyssey (and I don't mean that in a bad way at all).
 
Players take on the role of a lowly mercenary as either Alexios or Kassandra, a descendant of Spartan King Leonidas. Despite being abandoned as a child, Alexios/Kassandra inherit the broken spear of Leonidas which seems to possess some kind of power all its own. This artifact allows players to pull off arrow barrages, sneaky stealth takedowns, and table-turning melee moves. And this power to beat up dudes is conveniently bestowed upon the main character when Greece found itself embroiled in the Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta, a perfect time period for assassin shenanigans. 
 

In short, Assassin's Creed Odyssey looks cool, fun, and good. And it's great that we won't have to wait too long to see if it lives up to its initial impression. Assassin's Creed Odyssey will release on October 5 for Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

Jack Gardner
Elijah Wood's company SpectreVision reminded everyone at E3 that their strange VR project Transference still exists and will be releasing later this year. While we didn't know much about it when it debuted in 2017, this year's showing revealed quite a bit about the game Wood described as a darkly twisted psychological thriller. 
 
Transference will tell the story of the unfortunate Hayes family whose minds have been linked by an experiment conducted by the father, Raymond Hayes. Players will flit between the three consciousnesses to see the perspective of each family member, but it rapidly becomes apparent that the data, their memories, are corrupted - and there's something else stalking through their minds. The darkly unsettling narrative hopes to achieve a disturbing atmosphere at least in part with its blended use of live-action and digital scenes. 
 
 
That's still not a ton of information to go on, but we will certainly learn more when Transference launches this fall for VR devices (PlayStation VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive) and the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sans VR.

Jack Gardner
With the words, "Piracy Is Dead, Long Live Piracy," Justin Farren, the creative director of Skull and Bones, put pirating back into the limelight at E3. The world has changed and piracy in the west has been all but shut down. The east, however, still presents intrepid pirate captains with opportunities. Skull and Bones puts players at the helm of a pirate ship sailing the Indian Ocean, turning it into one wide open hunting ground. Will you be the one who climbs the ranks of the infamous and bloodthirsty to be remembered as one of the most successful pirates of all-time? 
 
The central premise of Skull and Bones seems hard to pin down, aside from all of the pirating of course. Players sail the seas in search of treasure and adventure. By various means, players can uncover clues or tips that hint at locations of interest where treasure might be or the route of a vessel worth plundering.
 
Be warned, however. The seas are also home to other players who are also on the hunt for gold and glory. This, I believe, is the central tension around which Skull and Bones has built its gameplay. When players will encounter one another on the high seas - will they ally to take on bigger missions or will they start a fight to the death for one another's booty?
 
Seeing some gameplay helped to give the game a bit more substance. Players will be able to disguise their ships and essentially enter stealth mode by flying the colors of friendly vessels. This will give the advantage of surprise to wily captains or be necessary to sneak by imposing, land-based fortifications. Each ship can be outfitted with a variety of equipment for aesthetic or functional purposes. Some examples include anti-boarding armor, a variety of cannons, and even a ship-based battering ram. 
 
Attacking weak trading ships will alert nearby warships that will attempt to corner players and sink them to reclaim stolen property. The largest of these will require the assistance of several players to fight off successfully. Different ships have different special abilities, which will make cooperation all the more important if players wish to survive.... it will also make backstabbing after cooperation has ended more appealing to the more mischievous out there.  
 

Skull and Bones will release sometime in 2019.
 
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Marcus Stewart
Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed marked the first time Sonic rivalved Mario in any capacity since the Sega vs Nintendo war of the early 90’s. The 2012 racer seamlessly blended ground, air, and sea racing with fun results, providing a worthy alternative to Mario Kart’s juggernaut. Over five years have passed, and the blue blur wants another shot at dethroning Mario Kart. Enter Team Sonic Racing. Sega’s newest racer manages to stand out by offering something completely different from its rival. 
 
You probably guessed from the title that teamwork is the name of the game this time around, and I’m not talking about multiple riders sharing a vehicle ala Mario Kart: Double Dash. Teams of three separate racers work together on the track to take out the competition and grab the gold trophy. Making sure teammates also finish strong is just as important as focusing on reaching the coveted 1st place. For example, winning the race with Sonic doesn’t mean much if his friends, Knuckles and Tails, finish at 6th and 9th place, respectively. That’s because the cumulative scores of each team member determine the overall group ranking. You may be asking: “How can individual racers cooperate?” I wondered the same thing, and I’m pleasantly surprised with Sumo Digital’s answer. 
 

 
Teamwork maneuvers include transferring power-ups between teammates. Pick up a speed boost, but you’re already in the lead? Give it to a buddy lagging behind. On the flip side, getting that crucial item from a friend when you’re pulling up the rear feels like a godsend. Besides being fun, this system dramatically alters the kart racing mentality. I found myself making moves I normally wouldn’t, such as going out of my way to grab items to help my allies instead of booking for the finish line. Additionally, driving behind teammates and following their paths triggers a slingshot maneuver that rockets you forward. Drifting close to a buddy grants them a similar speed boost.
 
The demo of Team Sonic Racing, for as solid as its mechanics were, certainly had its limitations. Driving felt mostly fine, but gameplay overall had a noticeable lack of polish..The single, basic track available also wasn’t anything to write home about. In fact, I’m having a hard time recalling anything remotely interesting about it. Hopefully the full game features more inventive courses that take full advantage of the teamwork mechanic.
 
 
The demo only featured two playable teams: Sonic/Tails/Knuckles and Shadow/Rouge/E-123 Omega. The roster ditches the Sega crossover aspect in favor of a pure Sonic line-up. Although Sonic has plenty of critters to fill a roster with, I’ll miss the zaniness of racing alongside Shenmue’s Ryo and real-life racer Danica Patrick. This also means putting up with the inane banter of Sonic’s crew, like Shadow’s cheesy attempt at a catchphrase, “Make way for the ultimate lifeform!”. 
 
Team Sonic Racing seems like a neat idea that I hope gets backed by equally interesting courses and a stacked roster. Sonic and pals have an uphill drive ahead of them trying to supplant the superb Mario Kart 8. At the very least, Team Sonic Racing can do what previous entries have always succeeded at: offering an enjoyable spin on the kart racing formula. Look for Team Sonic Racing when it comes to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC later this year. 
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
In The Division 2, life has moved on. Civilians and military forces have begun rebuilding and consolidation power. With that reconstruction comes new life and the spark of hope, as well as new systems of oppression. The sequel to the 2016 online scavenge-craft-n-shoot hopes to offer players a more nuanced narrative about overcoming authoritarianism in a post-apocalyptic future version of Washington DC.
 
The trailer takes viewers through a seemingly thriving community being rebuilt in the middle of Washington DC. The community grows food, pursues music and art, and everyone seems to be contributing to the greater good. However, only a block away scavengers kill a man in the streets while innocents hide in the nearby ruins of society. Nearby, we are shown a large, makeshift graveyard that slowly melts into an execution square hung 'round with tattered American flags. Someone in a position of authority lectures struggling prisoners about breaking the rules before the camera turns away and a gunshot sounds. Amid all of this, a little girl runs through the settlement, seemingly playing. She throws a paper airplane that's glimpsed throughout the trailer. Its flight finally comes to its end at the feet of characters bearing the emblems of The Division. On the paper is written one word: "Help."
 
Though the single player experience was strongly implied to be more robust than in the first game, Ubisoft was careful to make sure everyone knows that they plan to support The Division 2 for years to come. Specifically, finishing the main campaign will unlock the ability to specialize into one of three classes and pick a unique weapon. These roles will come with new abilities that will unlock as players progress through the endgame. 
 
And, oh boy, does Ubisoft plan on paving the road to endgame content. Following The Division 2's release next year, Ubisoft will release three separate content packs to all players for free that will add all manner of new things to the game. On top of that, players who reach the endgame will be able to participate in raids that team up to eight players together to tackle challenging encounters unlike anything else in the game up until that point. 
 
 
The Division 2 releases March 15, 2019 for PlayStaiton 4, Xbox One, and PC. Players who want a head start on the action can register for the beta on The Division website.
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
E3 2018 was a wild ride, to be sure. Last year, we brought you audio and video recaps of each day we spent at the show. This year, we tried to do that, but ran into some technical hurdles that made video impractical and audio tricky. We still recorded our impressions of the show each day, but we couldn't upload them to share with all of you... until now! 
 
Our first episode features Jack Gardner, Naomi Lugo, Marcus Stewart, and Zak Wojnar discussing the initial E3 press conferences and their surprises (or lack thereof). We'll have a few more of these and one final breakdown of the entire show releasing throughout the week. 
 

 
Outro music: Super Castlevania IV 'Tema de Simón' by Mighty Bear 7, Austin DiPietro, Martin Schiller, Stu Kennedy, and Theodore Hogan (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03734)
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
It has been long requested and finally done: The Life Is Strange episode is here! Naomi and Jack dive into all things Life Is Strange, from the theories to the story and how meaningful it can be, warts and all. Dontnod, the creators of Remember Me and the recently released Vampyr, really did well with their sophomore effort - did they do well enough to make a game that transcends greatness to be considered one of the best games of all-time? Play it, listen to the show, and judge for yourself. 
 
Each week we will be tackling a video game, old or new, that at least one of us believes deserves to stand as one of the greatest games of all time. We'll dive into its history, development, and gameplay, while trying to argue for or against the game of the week. Sometimes we will be in harmonious agreement, other times we might be fighting a bitter battle to the very end. However each episode shakes out, we hope that everyone who listens will find the show entertaining and informative.
 

 
Outro music: Undertale 'Glitterbomb' by LongBoxofChocolate and Philippe Delage (http://ocremix.org/remix/OCR03734)
 
You can download or listen to the podcast over on Soundcloud, our hosting site, and iTunes. A YouTube version is available as well, so you can watch what we are talking about while we talk about it!
 
If you want to have your opinion heard on air, share your opinion in the comments, follow the show on Twitter, and participate in the weekly polls: @BestGamesPeriod 
 
New episodes of The Best Games Period will be released every Monday
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Jack Gardner
As usual, Electronic Arts got the jump on everyone this year with a press conference held a full day before any of the other major companies. The presentation itself held very few surprises. As expected, we were shown new footage of Battlefield V in action, given more information about this year's upcoming FIFA title, and were finally given a more in-depth look at Anthem, Bioware's newest sci-fi adventure. Less expected were the handful of joyous indie games that felt like a welcome breath of fresh air and the revival of the Command & Conquer franchise.
 
Battlefield V kicked things off with explosive gameplay taken from the title's multiplayer mode. The emphasis this time seems to be giving players more mobility options with plenty of sliding and angled shots. Battlefield V players will be able to blow massive holes in fortifications and buildings with blasting weapons like rockets or grenades to open new routes. Alternatively, Battlefield V presents piloting tanks straight through structures as a viable strategy. The trailer depicts players being able to move large anti-aircraft guns and canon emplacements around by hitching them to trucks, which hints at a battlefield that might be more in motion than ever before. 
 
 
In a pleasant surprise, Vince Zampella, co-founder of Respawn Entertainment and co-creator of the Call of Duty franchise, took a minute on camera to announce that his company was in the process of creating a new Star Wars game called "Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order." Aside from a few details, not much more is known about the mysterious announcement, not even a teaser or a trailer. 
 
FIFA 19 made its predictable appearance. It will have some minor improvements over the previous entry in the series, notably tweaks to the Active Touch system will give players more control over the ball then ever before. The biggest addition, though, has to be the UEFA Champion's League which will be integrated across the entire game, including the returning story mode.
 
Of course, EA took time in its press conference to talk about its upcoming Origin Access Premier service. Premier will allow players to access upcoming EA games on PC days before they're commercially available to anyone else.
 
Star Wars Battlefront 2 also made an appearance. Flying in the face of predictions that the company would be abandoning support for the multiplayer shooter, EA announced that the Clone Wars would be coming to Battlefront 2 sometime after the Solo movie tie-in content launches. Players will finally be able to play as Obi-Wan Kenobi, General Grevious, and a host of other heroes and villains from the prequel films. 
 
One of the more surprising reveals of the conference was the abrupt reveal that Unravel Two both existed and was currently available. The physics-based platformer supports co-op play with two Yarneys as they journey together sharing the same spark. It looks as adorable, if not more so, than the first game.
 
 
By far the best indie showing of EA's conference was Sea of Solitude. This adventure game combines The Legend of Zelda: The Windwaker with the sensibilities of Hayao Miyazaki to create something special. From Studio Jo-Mei comes the tale of Kay, a young girl in a flooded world of people who have been turned into monsters. It's a symptom of a curse that Kay herself is slowly succumbing to, as well. Players join her on a journey to uncover the cause of the curse and what, if anything, can lift it.   
 
Another surprise came in the form of a resurrection of sorts. Command & Conquer has been an RTS series long dormant, but EA hopes to change that. Unfortunately, they have decided to bring it back as a mobile strategy title that condenses the RTS genre into a short, competitive experience a la Clash Royale. It even has a snazzy trailer with Yuri from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 in it! 
 

 
Anthem delivered the moment for which most people viewing the press conference were waiting. The Iron Man-like suits in action against the backdrop of a mysterious, unfamiliar world unfinished by the gods brought the excitement. It's far outside of Bioware's wheelhouse, but the results of their efforts are undeniably impressive. Bioware aims to straddle the line between a shared online world with a strong narrative component that exists in the single-player hub area that changes with player decisions. 
 
Overall, EA's press conference stood as a middling showing. We didn't see much that was new, but even the familiar games on display had interesting aspects designed to get certain segments of the gaming population excited. There was a bit in there for everyone, sports fans, indie aficionados, twitch shooters, and nerdy nerds. Nothing that was completely mind-blowing, but a pleasantly acceptable series of titles ranging from interesting to dull. You can watch the full press conference below. 
 
 
What did you think? Let us know in the comments. 
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Marcus Stewart
We Happy Few turned a lot of heads when it debuted in 2015. Its intriguing premise of a drug-fueled utopia, combined with the Bioshock-esque presentation and gameplay, gave the impression of narrative-focused shooter on-par with Ken Levine’s work. That excitement turned to disappointment when the game’s multiplayer entered early beta in 2016. Even though developer Compulsion Games promised a single-player component from the beginning, an off-put player base didn’t react kindly to this first offering. They weren’t alone. My own enthusiasm for We Happy Few waned significantly in light of this direction. 
 
Fast-forward months later, and Compulsion has found a publisher in Gearbox Software. The financial backing of a triple-A publisher has allowed the developer to expand the project’s scope–particularly its single-player. After spending an hour with We Happy Few’s revamped story campaign, I can confidently say that it feels like the experience people wanted from the get-go. On a personal note, I fell in love with the project all over again.
To quickly recap the game’s premise, We Happy Few takes place in the retrofuturistic city of Wellington Wells. Set in an alternate 1960’s Britain, citizens live their lives constantly hopped up on a drug called Joy. As the name suggests, the drug basically brainwashes them into a creepy, forced happiness, causing hallucinations and general insanity. Those who don’t take their Joy get labeled as Downers, and become exiled as enemies. 
 
The demo I played picked up immediately after the conclusion of the game’s E3 2016 trailer. Protagonist Arthur Hastings, a newspaper censor, (and one of three available characters) was outed as a Downer and narrowly evaded capture by the authorities. We last saw him enter the sewers where I continued his escape.
 

  
I immediately felt the Bioshock vibes, from the quirky writing (though We Happy Few leans harder into black comedy territory) to the the exaggerated characters. Logs and books filling in the world’s lore littered environments for the player’s reading pleasure. Every piece of furniture, as well as bodies, can be searched for supplies.
 
And search for supplies you should because We Happy Few focuses heavily on crafting and survival. Food, medical supplies, tools, and even clothing must be whipped up using random parts. Additionally, players can discover blueprints to make other items. As someone who enjoys picking up junk to create not-junk, I felt that unexplainable but familiar satisfaction of hoarding everything in sight and got excited for every new blueprint. 
 
Player’s maintain Arthur’s hunger and thirst by devouring food and water. Most of the food I found barely qualified as edible, so I needed to craft food poisoning remedies to keep on hand at all times. Maintaining Arthur’s statuses seemed like a potential burden, but these meters depleted slowly. I also frequently found food (albeit decayed), which left me to enjoy myself without stopping every few minutes to stuff Arthur’s face. 
 

 
The map’s enormous scale stood out as I roamed the scenic British countryside. In fact, my lengthy trek only uncovered a relatively small portion of it. Furthermore, the area I occupied only represented one of around five or six zones players explore. Needless to say, We Happy Few seems poised to offer plenty of game to across its roughly 20 hour campaign.  
 
A huge world needs plenty of side activities. We Happy Few features traditional NPC side-quests as well as extra objectives. I found maps that revealed dig spots where I unearthed buried treasure. Discovering certain ingredients opened up crafting quests which essentially acted as tutorials for assembling a new recipe. It remains to be seen just how much We Happy Few has to offer outside of the critical path, but the diversions I found left me feeling optimistic on that front. 
 
I eventually reached my objective: a dilapidated, poverty-stricken town. Its population appeared to consist of sullen Wellington Wells outcasts. Since they resented their former home, they didn’t take kindly to Arthur’s fancy city garb and proceeded to band together and give chase. I fled into a nearby church. Inside, I met a character recommending I tear up my clothing to appear more downtrodden. Blending into the surroundings is another crucial element of We Happy Few. That  could involve posing as a exile on the outside or maintaining the illusion of Joy-fueled cheerfulness within Wellington Wells. 
 

 
After crafting a crappier version of my outfit, I stepped outside to greet the unruly mob. Upon noticing my new digs, they instantly shrugged and dissipated in a somewhat comedic moment. I could now freely explore the town. Citizen interactions have an Elder Scrolls-like flavor. For example, intruding into homes uninvited or getting caught stealing possessions can cause residents to violently retaliate. 
 
Now that I’ve successfully assimilated myself into the local populace, crossing a bridge to reach the next region became my next goal. I reached the gentleman guarding the bridge gate; however, it turned out a local gang swiped his precious war medals and he wouldn’t let me pass until I recovered them. Furthermore, I also needed to find a necessary power cell. To recover the medals, I had to locate and infiltrate the gang’s stronghold. Despite sneaking through a back opening undetected (one of multiple routes), the gang were prepared for intruders all along and captured me when I rode their elevator. The reason behind their setup: to lure potential competitors to battle to the death in their popular fighting arena. 
 

 
After stripping me of my belongings, the thugs led me into their battlefield. I met my opponent: a former associate of Arthur’s who blamed him for not publishing one of his articles in the newspaper. Arthur explained that the man’s piece blatantly plagiarized Arthur’s own work, but the man still swore revenge in a humorous exchange. I had the option of choosing to use non-lethal or deadly force. I went with the non-fatal pipe wrapped in padding. My adversary swiftly opted for a deadlier weapon, much to Arthur’s chagrin. Despite having this choice, We Happy Few doesn’t feature a morality mechanic. When I asked Compulsion’s Narrative Director Alex Epstein about this, he told me he’d rather players feel the consequences themselves rather than gamify it. Judging by this response, I wouldn't expect any horns to sprout on Arthur's head if you opt for a bloodier approach.
 
Combat resembled the style of BioShock or Dishonored. The right shoulder button initiated attacks while the left shoulder button blocked. Players can also perform a guard-breaking shove. Picking up downed bodies and hurling them at opponents became my favorite offensive move for its silliness. After incapacitating the writer, more enemies entered the fray. I found it easy to drop foes by backing them into a corner and wailing on them, though I had to remain mindful of Arthur’s stamina meter. After finally beating my challengers, the gang allowed me to walk free, but I had no intention of leaving without accomplishing my mission.
 
 
I snuck my way into the underbelly of the hideout. Navigating unseen, I creeped up behind  unsuspecting foes and choked them out. To distract others, I lobbed glass bottles. These mechanics won’t surprise stealth fans, but players can access more abilities by unlocking them in the skill tree. I eventually found the gatekeeper’s medals, along with a power cell and my stolen inventory, and chose to escape without making a ruckus. 
 
After returning the medals to the grateful veteran, I passed through the gate and took a train to the next area. Unfortunately, I had to end things there before I could see what lay ahead. Had I not had to hoof it to another appointment, I’d have gladly kept playing. We Happy Few’s strange world begs to be explored, and I got hooked on gathering as many resources to make Arthur as capable as possible. With a world this large, We Happy Few will live or die based on the number of interesting things to do. Ultimately, I’m relieved to have substantial single-player component to sink my teeth into as the idea of the multiplayer doesn’t excite me in the same way. The wait for We Happy Few won’t last much longer, thankfully. It launches August 10 for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC. 
 
Don't forget to sign up for Extra Life to help sick and injured kids in hospitals around the US and Canada by playing games!

Marcus Stewart
Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft's Netflix-style subscription gaming service, now has a few big titles beefing up its already impressive line-up. Right now, members can access Fallout 4, Tom Clancy's The Division, and The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited. 
 
Furthermore, Halo: The Master Chief Collection will arrive on Game Pass later this year. Microsoft also promised that upcoming projects Forza Horizon 4, Afterparty, Ashen, and Warhammer: Vermintide 2 will be added to the Game Pass library the same day that they launch. 
 
Microsoft also revealed FastStart, a new feature that launches select Game Pass titles twice as fast. The feature will be a part of the upcoming June update for Xbox One. 

Jack Gardner
Trials Rising takes the classic Trials formula and expands the courses around the world. Players should expect revamped and updated courses with plenty of opportunities for sick flips and competition. 

Antti Ilvessuo, creative director of Trials Rising, took the stage dressed as a Trials character in expert comedic fashion to talk a bit more at length about the arcade-y title. "In Trials Rising, we work with our players more than ever," Ilvessuo stated to the gathered press and fans. The statement, typical of E3 hyperbole, seems to be accurate. 
 
Ilvessuo brought out YouTuber Professor FatShady, a prominent figure in the online Trials community, to explain how Trials Rising demonstrates Ubisoft's commitment to its biggest fans. The professor made a name for himself after making videos about Trials for years. That attention put him on Ubisoft's radar, leading them to invite him to work with the development team to create all of the tutorial content for Trials Rising. He's not an isolated case, either. Some twenty community members have been involved in Trials Rising's development over the past two years.
 
 
A close beta will launch for Trials Rising later this fall, which interested fans can register for on the Trials website. Not only that, but the release window was revealed to be February 2019. Trials Rising will release for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC, and Nintendo Switch.

Jack Gardner
There's no getting around it; the biggest reveal of Ubisoft's E3 show had to be Jade as the antagonist of Beyond Good & Evil 2. The flashy trailer takes its time to introduce each member of the lovable space pirate crew, with special attention paid to series staple Pey'j and two new characters. We're given a brief insight into the life of the holistic chief medical officer Uma as she works on crewmen affected by Pey'j's cooking. The camera lingers on an interaction between chief engineer Callum and his loving engine. And then everything blows up. 
 
Gabrielle Shrager, narrative director on Beyond Good & Evil 2, described the game as a space opera. That label might have been hard to see for a game from the early 2000s about an adventurous photographer, but the sequel (which is confusingly a prequel) seems primed to live up to that term. Players take on the role of a space pirate captain in the 24th century that has somehow, probably with some kind of botched heist, earned the ire of the DomZ, the powerful alien race from the first game. 
 
Following the explosive trailer, the world was treated to the first look at Beyond Good & Evil 2 in action. The scenes shown took place largely in or around the ancient city of Ganesha. It offered brief, tantalizing snippets of gameplay showing an expansive world, multiple modes of travel including aircraft and jetpacks, and both aerial and ground combat. It was difficult to get a sense of how the game actually plays, but the general impression given was that the world will be colossal in scope. 
 
The universe of Beyond Good & Evil 2 will be so big, in fact, that Ubisoft has partnered with an open platform called Hit Record to help fill it with art via the Space Monkey Program. Ostensibly, they are doing this because there's more work to be done than can be feasibly done in-house and Hit Record will allow them to meet their perceived needs. The company, run by Joseph Gordon Levitt, will be paying collaborators for their contributions to Beyond Good & Evil 2, though that hasn't stopped some industry watchdogs from crying foul.
 
Critics say that, while the idea of more opensource development for huge projects might be an interesting one, it will ultimately be a way of hiring freelancers to avoid paying for things like employee benefits or committing to contracts. This move has become more common in the game industry over the last few years, putting specialized creators into the unpredictable position of constantly moving from one job to the next with no stability and no guaranteed payment. This is called speculative work or spec work and spawned the hashtag #NoSpec on Twitter where various voices from around the industry gave their thoughts on the subject.  
 
 
While we don't have any hard release date for Beyond Good & Evil 2, we do know that there will be an event later this fall dedicated to the game and its community. BGE Fest will take place in Montpellier, France where we will likely present more details on what kind of creative community they aim to foster around Beyond Good & Evil as well as the game itself.

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