The original Black & White was criticised for lacking structure and direction and for fumbling one of its key features: the gigantic AI-controlled monster that worked as your corporeal representative in the game world. For this sequel though all these problems have been solved and the creature is now far more intelligent and able to work a lot more autonomously, although you will still be able to train him in specific tasks such as leading an army or constructing buildings.
The rather aimless structure of the first game has also been drastically improved upon, with a proper campaign mode with specific objectives. One area the original game never disappointed inn was the graphics, but Black & White 2 looks even more amazing than before, with hundreds of humans on screen at a time and amazing attention to detail such as your creatures fur becoming matted and damp in the rain. One of the most ambitious strategy games ever created, for fans of the genre this is manna from heaven. --David Jenkins
Will you be an evil or benevolent deity? From the creative mind of god game developer Peter Molyneux comes Black & White 2, the sequel to the critically acclaimed hit Black & White. In this strategy game, you reprise your role as a powerful deity in search of a following and return to the once idyllic world of Eden, where the discovery of weaponry and warfare has tainted the beautiful landscape. With the help of your gigantic Creature that you raise from infancy, you must earn the respect and worship of the natives. How you choose to do that, whether through nurturing them or terrorizing them, is up to you.
The player will have many choices to make in Black & White 2. Once you and your creature have convinced the people that you are a god, you then have to decide if you are going to care for your believers, building them huge cities that are beautiful and safe, or if are you going to rule the land causing death and destruction by leading vast armies into battle.
As players enter this warring world they will have the option to make tribes coexist peacefully, encouraging villages and towns to grow into metropolises, or prompting them to inflict their will upon others by creating and commanding large armies that seek to dominate and conquer.
You have a Creature to do your bidding and train as you will, and you may rule over your people as you wish. This evolved Creature can help you nurture their communities grow into huge, towering cities. Or you may use death, suffering, and fear. The Creature has been massively advanced since the original Black & White, and now has a vital role as a military leader and command unit. He can learn strategies, lead armies into battle, and is the ultimate battlefield weapon himself, armed with many powerful new attacking and shielding Miracles.
The epic world of Black & White is yours for the asking. But remember-if you want peace, prepare for war.
Let's start with the best part: the graphics. Black and White 2 is certainly pretty, with impressive landscapes that you can view both up close (complete with grass that you can brush aside with your godly hand) and from a long, long way away. The creatures are all unique and quite loveable in their own way (I'm particularly fond of the cow), and will take on a more good or evil appearance depending on how you raise them. The various sparkles, miracle effects, buildings and such also look rather nice; in particular, the volcano miracle is certainly a joy to behold. On the whole, you really can't fault the game's looks.
So what went wrong? The biggest and easiest thing to point out is the distinct lack of play options. There is the single player campaign... and that's it. No multiplayer, no skirmish mode against AI gods, no sandbox mode and, just to rub salt into the wound, there isn't even a difficulty option for the campaign -- so, once you've beaten it (and it is incredibly easy to beat), there really isn't anything else to do. Six months after release and there's still no sign of any modding tools, which might have helped increase the longevity slightly. Not great value for money.
Black and White 2 makes a big deal out of letting you play as good or evil: "Be a god of war or a god of peace." The problem is that neither approach is particularly satisfying. When taking the "peace" approach, you build up your town in order to "impress" the nearby neutral villages. Sadly, this approach feels like a poor-man's version of SimCity.... Read more ›
The creature is still one of the main attractions to the game, but while we've gained the ability to tell what he's thinking at any point in the game (which prevents him picking up bad habits we didn't notice), we've lost any notion of creativity and surprise from the creature.
The largest flaw in the game in my opinion is the various AI. The enemies you face seem to be almost entirely scripted - they throw troops at you in the same, mindless way every time - if you then build a wall or something similar to prevent one of these scripted attacks, they just give up! You can then happily build up your city and basically ignore the enemy until you wish to attack, or win by influence (you can win a land by building a larger city).
Further, the troops your create and your creature seem entirely unable to navigate effectively - if there's a closed gate house in the way - they'll be unable to pass (which means you have to run around opening and closing doors for them) - and the number of times my creature got stuck in between some buildings had me tearing my hair out: "You're four times the size of the house, step over it!!". And at some point you'll watch your creature be killed by some archers while he stands there thinking about what to do with them while you scream "Throw a fireball!" and throw your mouse across the room.
All in all, the deficits in the AI and the monotonously scripted lands make this a disappointment.... Read more ›
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