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Review: Black and White 2

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the deus-ex-me dept.

PC Games (Games) 165

Peter Molyneux's Black and White was universally hailed as an innovative switch-up in gaming prior to its launch, and frustrated critics referred to it as a toy once they'd had a chance to see the depth of the title's gameplay. The design of the sequel, Black and White 2, seems to be a deliberate response to the denouncements leveled at the original game. The result is a more traditional, less open-ended RTS with some identity issues. Despite that, being a god still has as much appeal as it did back in the days of Populous. Read on for my impressions of Molyneux's marriage of Nintendogs and Age of Empire: Black and White 2.

  • Title: Black and White 2
  • Developer: Lionhead Studios
  • Publisher: EA
  • System: PC
  • Reviewer: Zonk
  • Score: 7/10
While most Real-Time Strategy titles put you in the role of a commander or general, the Black and White series invites you to tap into your inner Marduk and play god. As the deity of the Greeks in an archipelago of war-torn islands, you are tasked with the safety of your people as they're besieged by competing cultures. The Aztecs, the Norse and the Japanese all take part in what appears to be a concerted effort to wipe Greek culture from the face of the planet. As in the original, the pure prayers of your people summon you from the nothingness of the spaces between space. Since this is a Molyneux game, your recently summoned self is a blank slate. Your godly presence's moral compass is up for you to decide. Within your sphere of influence your power is fairly absolute, and you can crush the life out of your citizenry just as easily as you can ensure their survival. This sort of temptation is the basis for much of the gameplay in Black and White 2.

As your people's almighty, you are tasked with propping up and expanding the influence of their civilization. Gameplay to accomplish this is an interesting blend of the open-ended structure of the previous title and more traditional RTS elements. Your presence within the mortal world is personified by a great hand, which you can use to manipulate the physical realm. Using the hand, you can harvest grain from a field or turn trees into lumber. You can dictate roles to your citizens, instructing them to act as fieldworkers or breeders as you see fit. Via interface elements, you can indicate where you'd like to place structures within your civilization's sphere of influence. Structure placement is very intuitive, and every building has some effect on the well-being of your people. The goal is to be as impressive as possible by placing structures on high points, ensuring that the citizenry is happy, and designing the city with certain elements in mind. Simple rules like placing homes a little ways apart to ensure privacy add a layer of strategy to what might otherwise be a mindless mechanical process.

In this fashion you can take on the role of caretaker, and usher your people into a new golden age. Impressive cities attract people from other villages, and if you manage to impress the citizenry of the entire island you are successful by default. The only problem is that if you're dedicated to using this tactic to defeat the game, it may take you longer than some television seasons to work through the title. In a word, the 'good' gameplay is boring. While it's fun to get your civilization up and running, once you've run through all the building types you'll spend hours and hours breeding more citizens, building more homes, seeding new fields, rinsing and repeating.

Besides playing caretaker to your people, you have a pet to look after as well. The Creature was one of the most entertaining aspects of the first Black and White, but training it was often a source of headaches. The attempt at a realistic AI meant that it was hard to determine what exactly your critter felt about any given activity. Thankfully, the sequel has made the Creature's AI more transparent in the interests of playability. If your Creature (be it Cow, Lion, or Wolf) intends to do something, it vocalizes the intent via a large and obvious thought bubble. "I'm going to poop on those trees" might be something you see hovering over your critter's head. At that point you have two options. If you want him to fertilize the trees (not a bad idea), you would click in with your hand and rub his tummy. If you wanted to discourage him from doing that, you'd smack him back and forth across the chops. When you start modifying your Creature's feelings in this manner, a meter will appear above his head. "I'll always poop on trees" is at one end, and "I'll never poop on trees" is at the other. Like the interface elements included to ease city construction, the meter allows you more direct control by stepping back from the free-form nature of the previous title. The Creature is generally more helpful as well, running to and fro to assist your citizenry with their tasks and defending your walls from encroaching invaders.

On that note, placing nursing homes in your cities will make people happier but won't let you kill the enemy any more effectively. (Though the idea of crack trained granny ninjas is appealing.) Armories are the structures that allow you to build military units, platoons of swordsmen and archers. These platoons are your offense and defense, and along with your Creature are your only means of waging war against your enemies. By placing a flag from an armory, you call your citizens to arms and form a platoon. Platoons can vary in size from 10 men to more than 50. The number of able-bodied men available in that particular city dictates the maximum size of the platoon. Once you've formed your platoon, they start consuming a lot more food. They consume even more food when on the march, meaning that quickly your idyllic city will start craving grain.

This is where your evil side can quickly gain hold, as it's tempting to turn your cities into nothing more than food producing slave factories. Waging war at all is regarded as an evil act by the game, meaning that if you enjoy the combat elements of the game you'll gain at least some evility. Raising some platoons to take vacated towns is generally taken in stride by your enemy forces, but converting settled villages by converting their altar is not. Unfortunately. reactions to your military conquests are really the only response you'll get from the enemy AI. Battles are tumultuous and dramatic, with hundreds of individuals involved in final and climactic confrontations. The slow trickle of attacks you'll face, though, means that you can safely reserve your forces with no fear of a campaign unless you start one.

Besides the city-building and war-making, you'll also be presented with mini-quests or challenges. They're somewhat variable in amusement. On the upside, one of them features you acting in the role of catcher as projectiles are tossed your way. The switchup is that they're placental rockets, newborn lambs being shot from a very pregnant ewe. Less entertainingly is the task that has you tossing casks of beer from island to island. It's an easy to hit or miss task, and the last throw requires you to make your toss with a bad angle and no perspective on your target. Good or bad, they're welcome diversions from maintaining your city or moving your efforts forward against the enemy. Successful completion of the task nets you godly currency as well, allowing you to purchase new elements for your city.

Besides graveyards and better lodging, you can purchase some impressively godly things. Miracles allow you (or your Creature) to cast spells of healing, destruction, or plenty as you see fit. Epic Miracles can also be purchased, each with a dramatic effect on the environment. In a single deific moment you can raise a volcano beneath your enemies, shake their cities to rubble with earthquakes, or convert their people with the power of a Siren. These elements are beautiful looking icing on the cake, and are moments that can remind you of the level of power you're capable of wielding.

Above and beyond the gameplay, Black and White 2 is a stunning game with a unique soundscape. The production values of the Lionhead game are top notch, with an incredible amount of detail in every moment. While the hype for this game didn't include being able to zoom in to observe a worm in an apple, the freedom the game gives you to zoom in and out makes for some breathtaking views. Pulling back to observe the entire island you're currently on is as easy as pushing in to monitor a single citizen. The audio environment is just as lush, with warcries from clashing armies and crashing underbrush from deforestation adding highlights to gameplay elements. The musical cues are few and far between, but just like the original game are beautifully orchestrated.

Despite some gameplay frustrations, Black and White 2 is a solid experience. The design has stepped back from the free-form environment of the original, and I think the decisions made to allow for greater awareness and control were wise ones. While I wish it were possible to play as a 'good' god without going stark raving mad, in exploring the various moral decisions it seemed as though the mixed tactic of improving your city while raising armies was the most enjoyable way to go. If you enjoyed the first Black and White title you're definitely going to want to come back to the series, as the freedom and morality play aspects of the game have been woven successfully throughout the sequel. If, on the other hand, you didn't like the original you still may want to give this title a shot. The more approachable interface elements have removed much of the ambiguity of the first title. Black and White 2 is a game first and foremost, and nothing like a toy.

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TMI (4, Funny)

mblase (200735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873097)

If your Creature (be it Cow, Lion, or Wolf) intends to do something, it vocalizes the intent via a large and obvious thought bubble. "I'm going to poop on those trees" might be something you see hovering over your critter's head.

Please, please PLEASE tell me that there's no option for online, ah, "interaction" between different Creatures.

Some of the things that a god thinks should remain mysterious.

Re:TMI (2, Funny)

wpmegee (325603) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873291)

Multiplayer seems to be more of a deathmatch than anything else... You mean you wouldn't like to be a giant god-like creature breeder?

Check out the gamespot review for some more multiplayer info
http://www.gamespot.com/pc/strategy/blackwhite/rev iew.html?page=2 [gamespot.com]

Re:TMI (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873302)

This is just more crap-fest from Zonk that should be in the LAME GAMER section. Hey Zonk, why don't you pull you balls out of your little brother's mouth and stop fingering his virgin asshole. It's a little creepy.

Re:TMI (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873348)

Black sucks.

White is the superior race.

I'd be happy with solid gameplay if I could save (3, Insightful)

indros13 (531405) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873102)

Despite some gameplay frustrations, Black and White 2 is a solid experience. Let's try a parallel: "Despite some graphic design frustrations, Adobe Photoshop is a solid experience." Excuse me? If gameplay is a problem, then this game is not ready to go gold, especially given the frustrations over the first version. Additionally, Zonk describes being a "good" god as completely boring and the AI as predictably dumb in war. For a game the promised open-ended choices, it's pretty sad to see that it's one sided in practice. I'd call that a major flaw more than a "gameplay frustration." Personally, I enjoyed the original immensely and found the gameplay just fine, so hopefully Zonk just has a different perspective. My problem with Black & White 1 was the bug that crashed the game every time you tried to save. I didn't have the time or patience to try to play through Black and White "savage."

Re:I'd be happy with solid gameplay if I could sav (1)

easttuth (870185) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873198)

Having played BW2 through from beginning to end, I can say that it is a very fun game. I encountered a few bugs, none of which were gamebreaking. It was a little disappointing in the later levels to have little flexibility as far as strategy is concerned, but the humor of being able to create 50 story high apartment skyscrapers that loom over your temples and fields more than makes up for it. Oh, and the fact that my cow insisted on "pooping on those defenses" and henceforth damaging my city walls with projectile stools. Definitely worth the purchase price, IMO. Multiplayer will make it a no-brainer, if it happens.

Re:I'd be happy with solid gameplay if I could sav (2, Informative)

ElGameR (815688) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873224)

The 1.1 patch fixed that, among other problems. Although, if you could save in 1.0, your saved games wont work in 1.1.

Re:I'd be happy with solid gameplay if I could sav (2, Informative)

Carnage Pants (801975) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873239)

Despite some gameplay frustrations, Black and White 2 is a solid experience. Let's try a parallel: "Despite some graphic design frustrations, Adobe Photoshop is a solid experience."
I'd say any game is going to have gameplay frustrations. Gameplay bugs might be better suited to what you're saying. If I keep dying in a FPS because I suck, that's a gameplay frustration. Certainly not a reason for halting the printing of the game.

Thanks, Pete! (-1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873109)

I just want to thank Peter Molyneux for all the work he's done on these games. Black and White was truly a fantastic game, but more importantly it was innovative, perhaps to the point of being revolutionary. The gaming industry needs more geniuses like him.

More of the same - wrong same (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873120)

Screw B&W - I want Populous and Syndicate back!

Re:More of the same - wrong same (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873292)

Syndicate: Now that was cool. Nothing like flame throwing civies and watching them run away and scream in terror until they burn into a puddle of ash.

Re:More of the same - wrong same (1, Insightful)

Mondoz (672060) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873482)

I loved enslaving people and running around with the entire town in tow before engaging the enemy stronghold.

Having 4 cyborgs in trench coats whipping out huge chain-guns to mow down the bad (good?) guys whilst surrounded by their army of zombified cyber-slaves was too much fun.

I would say we need another one of those games, but they'd probably just 3D the heck of it, and you'd end up with a first person shooter.

Been playing it for quite a while... (4, Interesting)

Lordfly (590616) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873121)

...and I love it. I've managed to beat it once already, now I'm going through it again.

This game really makes you feel "Godlike" than the last one; Your hand feels real, as it has a physical effect on things around. You can pick up almost anything, too... I dunno, it's hard to describe. The miracles are pretty sweet, too (The Siren, one of the later ones, is beautiful to watch).

Your alignment seems less important this time around. There aren't as many morality quests, as the ones you do get are fairly cut and dry.

Building a city is tons of fun, as is doing the war stuff... watching a 40 foot cow kick a platoon of the enemy down a cliff never gets old :)

All in all I'm quite impressed with this Lionhead game, for once. I'd recommend it if you have a few hours a night to kill.

Re:Been playing it for quite a while... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873214)

. . . I'm curioius, the one complaint I've heard about the game is the RTS element of it being not up to the same standard as the general city building.

What are your opinions on this?

Zonk used old, inaccurate screenshots (3, Interesting)

bonch (38532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873274)

Zonk didn't bother to take real screenshots for this review. The shots you see are older ones released to press during development. For instance, the evil cow doesn't even look like that anymore. So I hope someone doesn't think that's a really cool-looking cow and get disappointed that the actual game doesn't look like that.

It should be noted that Lionhead intends to release modding tools to allow people to make their own creatures and skins. I miss my evil, scarred Rhino from the first game, and the little chicken from the Creature Isle expansion pack.

The only thing I don't like about the gameplay is that's it's tons easier. You either:

1.) Build and build and build stuff in your city until you win the map.
2.) Take over all the other cities and win that way.

There's not a lot of deep strategy involved in either case. When doing #1, you should avoid duplicate buildings and put decorations to increase impressiveness...and that's about it. For #2, make lots of breeders and homes to house them, and build an armory. Send your creature (with lightning miracle) and the armies, and you're done.

Re:Been playing it for quite a while... (3, Insightful)

Angostura (703910) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873652)

The main problem I had with the B+W 1 gameplay was the sheer amount of graft I seemed to have to do to keep my civilisation running. No matter how much I tried to train my population (or animal) to look after themselves, I seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time watering crops, placing individual huts etc...

Is that any better in version 2? I'd like the criters to get on with their lives more like Sim City

Re:Been playing it for quite a while... (4, Interesting)

bleckywelcky (518520) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874398)

It would be cool if you could train scientists and engineers, and have them manage and research such projects. They would work on their own developments. And then they could gradually grow to not believing in you. At that point you would have to decide if their really cool developments are worth keeping. Imagine if they developed something to produce 100% more grain. But everyone they shared their idea with lost some belief in you. Then you would have to decice whether to kill them off to prevent the loss of your believers, or try to keep the invention while ramping up your "recruitment" program. I haven't played BW1 or BW2, so maybe this does exist, I dunno. Sounds like a great idea to me though.

Get Rid of the shite Tamagotchi (-1, Troll)

goatpunch (668594) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873153)

Who are they trying to appeal to? Do most people really want to bring up a 'Creature' by rubbing it's tummy etc.?

Re:Get Rid of the shite Tamagotchi (2, Insightful)

Dehumanizer (31435) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873527)

Sorry, but your comment makes as much sense as saying that Gran Turismo should get rid of "that boring driving stuff". If you don't like the genre, fine, but...

Re:Get Rid of the shite Tamagotchi (1)

goatpunch (668594) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873628)

No, a closer analogy would be like if you drove around with a puppy in the car in Gran Turismo, and you had to pull over to the curb occasionally so it could pop out for a crap.

Yes... but can you save? (4, Interesting)

Gaewyn L Knight (16566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873161)

I hope upon hope though that they have fixed the game save issues they had with Black & White. Several computers I tried it on you never could save at all and the computer it would save on would often corrupt the save game after 3-4 worlds.

Black & White 1 rocked... but fighting crud like that made it get old fast.

Here's hoping Black & White 2 fixed all that.

Re:Yes... but can you save? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873208)

Can you tell us more about the systems you ran into problems with? Were they all running a common version of Windows, for example? I cannot say that I have ever run into such problems while playing that particular game. It has always been rock-solid, unlike most EA games, for instance.

Re:Yes... but can you save? (1)

Gaewyn L Knight (16566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873344)

Used it on Windows 95/98SE machines... oddly enough it was my 10FPS laptop that it would play on. I had 2 desktops it would play the intro and then freeze because it went to save immediately. Then had 2 I could play the first 5 minutes and then it would lock up in the autosave. Never saw any correlation between OS and working/non-working but....

The released a patch to "fix" it but it didn't... I have a newer release they put out in the 10$ game category and it seems to be better on most machines but I still lost the save game on one.

This is why I am VERY much hoping that Black & White 2 purged that nonsense.

Re:Yes... but can you save? (1)

ElGameR (815688) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873383)

The saving problem was fixed in the 1.1 patch, among other things. The only problem is you cannot use 1.0 saves with the 1.1 patch.

Re:Yes... but can you save? (1)

Gaewyn L Knight (16566) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873535)

1.1 fixed most of the machines I we played on... we still had 2 machines that would get you to the 3 or 4th world and destroy the save game.

Ohh well... hopefully we don't see a repeat :P

Does it work with Wine? (3, Interesting)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873169)

Does this game play well with Wine, or any of the Wine derivatives, on a fairly modern Linux system?

Re:Does it work with Wine? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873243)

Stop being lame and get a Windows machine if you want to game.

Re:Does it work with Wine? (2, Informative)

dclydew (14163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873250)

I could never get B&W 1 to run under Wine, even with Cadega. It would install, start and then explode in a shower of jerky graphics and fail.

According to the onlie info I found, this was pretty much the typical experience. I'll have to try it under the new wine code release and see if it finally works.

Re:Does it work with Wine? (1)

Scoth (879800) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873373)

I got B&W 1 running very nicely in Cedega - right up until you have to evacuate the first island. At that point it crashed hard. Even the various updates didn't fix that, and after running through the tutorial a few times too many I got fed up with it. Haven't played it since, actually, since my save games kept getting corrupted even in Windows. Incredible game, but even with the later patches I was never able to get very far in it. Might have to pick it up again and see if my current system runs it any better.

Scott

Re:Does it work with Wine? (2, Informative)

Zeussy (868062) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873443)

i found it hard enough to get B&W 1 to run correctly in WinXP. Until i cracked it... Then it worked fine. Copy protection just seemed to lockup on my XP install. Never know, give it a try under cedega, might help.

Re:Does it work with Wine? (2, Funny)

thomas.galvin (551471) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874293)

I could never get B&W 1 to run under Wine, even with Cadega. It would install, start and then explode in a shower of jerky graphics and fail.

So you're saying that Cedega emmulated the Windows experience perfectly?

Multiplayer (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873178)

Does anyone happen to know if they will be adding multiplayer to B&W2 in a future patch?

I found many parts of B&W2 rather annoying, mainly because the enemy AI is terrible. They will sit outside your city with armies, never taking the offense and attacking you when you aren't ready.

Multiplayer would at least allow me to enjoy this game more.

Re:Multiplayer (1)

ball-lightning (594495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873432)

No multiplayer? Gaahh! They just lost a sale. I just spent 5 hours last night playing B&W against someone. The game was dismally unpopular for multiplayer, because the games take hours upon hours to finish. I was hoping they had fixed multiplayer in B&W2, but I guess not.

Mac version coming soon! (4, Informative)

gseidman (97) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873180)

Yes, a Mac version is in the works (being ported by Feral Interactive [feralinteractive.com] ). Of course, there is no stated release date on the press release [lionhead.com] , but what can you expect?

Quality of their other ports? (1)

CyricZ (887944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873232)

What has been the quality of their previous ports of games to Mac OS X? Indeed, when Loki was porting games to Linux the quality was always top-notch. Often the games would perform far better under Linux than under Windows, on exactly the same hardware.

Re:Quality of their other ports? (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873674)

Well, the original version of B&W worked beautifully on the Mac; on this 800Mhz G4 iMac with 512MB RAM it was pretty smooth.

The Creature (5, Informative)

TGK (262438) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873189)

I've been playing with Black and White for a while now and, while the game is impressive, there are some worthwhile complaints.

First, all replayability (if that's a word) is derived from going through the same storyline each time. You can change your behavior or your creature's, but ultimately there is no multiplayer capability and no "skirmish" capability as most of us are used to it in RTS games.

Second, the game, much like the first, as a tendency to want to overeducate the user. Skipping the tutorial section is optional, but you're still bombareded with tutorial style quests throughout the first two lands. Moreover, many of these quests are tied to Tribute, a strategic asset in the game. Skipping the quests, obnoxious as they are, hurts you in your godly persuits.

Third, your citizens desires aren't terribly clear. There are certain desires, such as a want for grain, ore, houses, etc which are obvious. Other times, your citizens want more free time, or more sleep. No where in the games documentation do we find out how to give citizens more sleep... and while things for people to do DURING their free time abound, there's little in the way of methods to create it.

At the same time, B&W has other excelent characteristics. The creature is less personable than in the previous version, but is also more intelligent. He helps now more than he hinders. I for one spent most of my time in B&W1 trying to get my creature not to destroy everything.

Overall the world as presented is spectacular. While it's easy to be distracted by the constraints placed on what is supposed to be a God game, the fact of the matter is that a great deal of freedom exists in the B&W engine. If you can get past the tutorials and deal with the fact that you can't just toss a fireball into an enemy city on a whim, the game is a lot of fun.

I'd highly recomend it. On a side note, I'd also highly recomend making sure your PC exceeds the system reqs quite substantially. By all accounts, the estimations of Lion's Head as to what runs their software are off kilter.

Re:The Creature (2, Informative)

HarvardAce (771954) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873303)

Other times, your citizens want more free time, or more sleep. No where in the games documentation do we find out how to give citizens more sleep... and while things for people to do DURING their free time abound, there's little in the way of methods to create it.

I was confused at first too, until I got to the tutorial about changing time. When you attempt to change the time (by clicking the action button on the sky), you'll see a clock. In the afternoon time, at about 3 or 4 o'clock, you'll see an icon (I forget what it looks like) that I believe matches the statue on the town center when they want free time. Set the time of day to that time, and the people will have free time. The same is true for sleep -- if they want to sleep, just set the time to be night-time. Unfortunately, it seems as if the day doesn't go fast enough, and the citizens want sleep and free time before it would normally come, so you'll find yourself accelerating time to free time and sleep time often.

Also...one more thing of note -- any disciples you create will continue to work during the "free time" part of the day, so if the citizens are still complaining about free time, you may want to decrease the number of disciples you have (or replace old disciples with new ones).

It would of course be nice if the manual actually told you all this stuff, and the tutorial doesn't talk about free time at all, with the exception of the one liner about disciples not using free time (which is very easy to miss).

Re:The Creature (1)

Jerdie (516662) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873329)

The desire for sleep and free time comes from the citizens being over worked.
Once your town reaches a certain point of efficiency, the people don't have to work as hard, and thus complain less. I find them complaining about it more in the beginning then any other time.
You can let the people sleep or have leisure time when they complain by changing the time of the day on the sun dial in the sky to sleep or leisure time. You'll see icons for these times on the sun dial, I don't recall right now what they were.

It took me a while to figure this out to.

I just realized that I never figured out what happens if I keep it night for a long time, I wonder if they will sleep forever...

Oh, and one of my favorite things in B&W 2 is that the citizens are so much more intelligent. I make so few diciples then I used to, cause the people do what is needed.

Re:The Creature (1)

Wonko42 (29194) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873338)

You can give your citizens more sleep by left-clicking in the sky and manipulating the time of day. A nifty feature, but the only way to learn about it is to click on one of the various tutorial scrolls on the second (or was it third?) island.

Re:The Creature (1)

mconeone (765767) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873356)

I thought you had to change it to nighttime to make the people sleep. Not 100% sure tho.

Re:The Creature (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873408)

You can adjust the time of day by clicking the sky.

I loved my old creature! (2, Funny)

lilmouse (310335) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873450)

I loved my old creature! I had an Ape. I did have some trouble with him at the beginning, but once I taught him that he could eat grain, it wasn't so bad. He did get hungry a lot, though... So I'd come over, give him some grain, rub his belly 'till he ate it, make him happy. We'd play with the beachballs (he did have a tendency to eat them, though), I'd leash him to a friendly village so he could help out (and raid their stores) - it was a good life.

It took me about a month before I realized that I'd trained him to be fat, lazy, and complain a lot (you're complaining? Here, have some food, and I'll rub your belly). At least he was affectionate - he'd pay attention to my hand when it was around. No doubt waiting for the next handout! I never gave him anything heavy to carry so he wasn't that impressive in combat, either... I was so pleased when I realized that I'd done! (Not pleased with the result, mind you - pleased that it could be done at all!) I'd spoiled a creature!!

Just wait 'till I have a kid!

--LWM

Re:I loved my old creature! (5, Funny)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874142)

I never really spent any time with my creature. I managed to teach him not to eat villagers, and even taught him how to grow forests (he'd go, grab a tree, stick it some place, and then cast Miracle Water on it until he had a forest).

However, whenever I had my back turned, and he was with my villagers, the party would start. He'd start picking up villagers and putting them back down, flagging them as Breeders. I'd be over some place, dealing with crops or grabbing trees to build buildings, and he'd be over by the town, making breeders.

So when I finally came back to my town, I'd discover that all my villagers were now engaged in a giant orgy of kissing, centered around my creature, who would occasionally dance.

So I tried to teach him to stop making breeders. I slapped him for picking up a villager. In return, he decided to eat them. (Again.) Trying to discourage that behavior, I succeeded in making him afraid to poop.

It was around then I decided I was through with Black and White. And, unfortunately for Lionhead, the primary reason why I'm not getting B&W II.

Re:The Creature (1)

UMEngin (895769) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873668)

As per the Lionhead forums, multiplayer capabilites will be released as a patch.

Re:The Creature (1)

LLuthor (909583) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874217)

The consenus on the Lionhead forums seems to be that multiplayer and skirmish modes will be released as a pay-for expansion pack rather than a free patch.

This is quite disturbind that LH could release an in-complete game and charge for features that should have been present in the first place (at least single-player skirmish).

Re:The Creature (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874542)

Does the game throw any nasty surprises at you, like how the first title *took the creature away* from me just as I had gotten it acting somewhat useful? I spend hours on this damn creature, advance to the next level, and suddenly it's gone and they expect you to spend hours and hours conquering towns just to get the creature back. Screw that, it's easier to turn off the game and play something else.

*ahem* But it was a serious question, as that was my major reason for hating the first game. Does it throw any nasty curveballs like that at you?

Civilization IV is out today (2, Insightful)

bonch (38532) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873206)

I submitted a story this morning that Civilization IV was out today, including a summary of the big changes, as well as a link to the 94% IGN review and the Wikipedia entry that described all the major changes made to the game.

It was rejected so that Zonk could post another one of his big game reviews, for a game that came out a week ago.

I hated hearing my creature taking a crap (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873211)

An OK game, but c'mon, why did I have to hear my creature taking a crap all the time.

Yuck!

I play games to escape, not to walk around with a monster bag.

The first one had too much micro-management (2, Insightful)

goatpunch (668594) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873219)

Shame that they've still kept the Tamagotchi-like 'Creature'; who wants to train a Cow-Wolf when you can cause Volcanoes?

Also, why does a god have to waste time performing the harvest etc.?

Shame, because the idea had potential.

I had a big issue with B&W 1... design issues (1)

HerculesMO (693085) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873221)

Peter Molyneux created a pretty nice game in B&W (the original). Graphics were great for their time, nice playability, etc. The problem was the philosphy behind "NO BUTTONS".

I can't say I remember 100%, but I know you had to draw circles and squares and such in order to use a skill or spell or something. This is total stupidity, especially when it is just easier to click a button.

If game developers decided to start innovating GAMEPLAY which *was* done with B&W, there wouldn't be such an inherent need to fix the things that aren't broken.

I gave up playing the game for that reason.

Re:I had a big issue with B&W 1... design issu (1)

tuggy (694581) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873346)

i have to disagree with your opinion.
the no-buttons thing was actually quiet good! i loved to play the game without stupid things that only steal screen-space... it was nice to have those beautiful graphics with nothing else on top.
the fact that you had to make gestures with the hand was also a good gameplay thing, because they ARE SPELLS... its magic man! :) just clicking a button a do it its half the fun...

Re:I had a big issue with B&W 1... design issu (1)

Stuart Gibson (544632) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873448)

The entire point was that it meant miracles couldn't just be tossed out without thinking. They were akin to special moves or combos in a fighting game, they required a certain amount of skill and precision to cast and were something to be practised to allow you to become more adept at them.

Stuart

Re:I had a big issue with B&W 1... design issu (1)

nenolod (546272) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873560)

I liked the philosophy behind no buttons, it made the game unique. People grumble too much about it, when they should realize that in the end it probably did not impact their experience as much as they thought it did.

At first, I thought mouse gestures in a game were stupid, now they're everywhere, even available in Mozilla.

Re:I had a big issue with B&W 1... design issu (1)

Angostura (703910) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873752)

Err, the point about using the gestures was that you had to learn and practice to be good with them; particularly in combat when rushing the spells sometimes go wrong. I personally thought this was a bloody clever aspect to the game-play. Much more involving that simply clicking an 'annihilate enemies' button.

Re:I had a big issue with B&W 1... design issu (1)

modecx (130548) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873776)

I totally have to agree, but I can see that it did serve a purpose. It slowed the game down, and made you think about what you wanted. Sometimes, it was difficult to draw the shapes in the heat of the moment, and my feeling that the AI god cheats compounded that issue for me. I swear he got tons of free resources--and the AI moves WAY too fast for a human to compete--not that it's necessarily very smart, though.

If it weren't for the carpal tunnel inducing nature of the glyph drawing, and the scrolling, zooming, I'd be all for it. But seriously, if I played for any amount of time, my wrist would be killing me. That plus the game play killing micro-management, I never finished the game. It's supposed to be fun, not work, people.

Re:I had a big issue with B&W 1... design issu (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874492)

Oh, the worst AI cheat was a bug that happened when your creatuere died and was returned to your temple while the enemy was casting a lightning at it, he'd continue with it next to your temple until the spell was used up, constantly damaging your temple (or more exactly, your towns because the temple absorbs buildings when damaged).

Let's be accurate (2, Insightful)

brokenarmsgordon (903407) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873261)

A marriage of Nintendogs and Age of Empire? Let's get real here, Black & White predates Nintendogs by some margin. If anything, Nintendogs would be the divorce of Age of Empire from Black & White.

But not really because it's a poor description, anyway.

Another review (2, Informative)

Kaimelar (121741) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873272)

Eurogamer did a review of B&W2 recently at

http://www.eurogamer.net/article.php?article_id=61 124 [eurogamer.net]

Based on this, I'm not sure I'll be picking one up. I think having more feedback from your creature is wonderful -- this was one of two complaints that stopped me from finishing the first one. It just became too frustrating to train my creature.

The other complaint I had does not seem to have been fixed -- the bullshit quests. You're a *god* -- why are you having to find lost sheep or bring wood to a bunch of sailors?

Of course, I'm also pleased to see that Peter Molyneux continues to do interesting, innovative work. I might give him the benefit of the doubt and get a copy of this game anyway.

Re:Another review (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873439)

Why would anyone give that man the benefit of the doubt after B&W and Fable? He promises the moon, and delivers a hunk of limburgher every time.

Re:Another review (2, Informative)

maxpublic (450413) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873864)

The other complaint I had does not seem to have been fixed -- the bullshit quests. You're a *god* -- why are you having to find lost sheep or bring wood to a bunch of sailors?

Because you start out as a pathetic, minor, forgettable little demigod and can only achieve greater status by increasing the number of people who worship your ass - which requires that you actually do something for them, else they'll find some OTHER pathetic, minor, forgettable little demigod to worship.

Just because you're a god doesn't mean you start out as Zeus. More like Demeter, or Persephone, and from there you have to work your way up the ranks.

Max

Re:Another review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873918)

and don't forget that you can feed the sheep to your creature instead of returning them to the owner. and you can find the sick brother and crush him with a rock in front of the sister, and then crush her house, and drown her in the sea for the big finish. you can also sacrifice the whole family when a couple offers their first born as a sacrifice.

Will wonders ever cease? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873277)

For those who haven't figured it out yet, even the opening logo is "playable". When you see the Lionhead Studio "bucket" appear, click your left mouse button and start waving it around.

Man, I hate it when they call my games toys (3, Funny)

giblfiz (125533) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873286)

critics referred to it as a toy
Last I checked video games were supposed to be toys.

Re:Man, I hate it when they call my games toys (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873790)

Last I checked video games were supposed to be toys.

No. You can play games with toys, but that's not the same as saying that games ARE toys. A ball is a toy. Tennis is a game. Tennis is not a toy. You can play as many different games with a ball as you can imagine. You can vary tennis a little, but it stops being tennis at some point. Toys are versatile.

A games console might validly be said to be a toy. You can play many games with it. A game is just a game.

Wanted to love Black & White (4, Insightful)

RexRhino (769423) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873332)

Black & White was one of the most original and creative games ever made. It introduced a whole slew of gameplay elements not seen before, and was truly brilliant.

Unfortunatly, it just didn't PLAY that well. I wanted to love it! I wanted to tell people how great of a game it was. It SHOULD have been one of the greatest games ever because of the creativity, and quality of production. I have no problem saying a game isn't good when it is clearly a low-budget ripoff, or another lame first person shooter. But it is another thing to say a game isn't good when it is clear that the creaters didn't sell out, and truly tried to push the boundries and create something new and great.

Hopefully Black & White 2 corrects these things, but from the reviews it sounds like it still has some problems.

Re:Wanted to love Black & White (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873538)

I wanted to love it!

This sounds so familiar, and is the big reason that B&W was reviewed favorably initially. Everyone sat down at it, found something NEW AND COOL and totally got lost in that much of it.

6-8 hours later, you find out that there's very little beyond that initial round of 'cool' and you start to encounter frustration. The 'Creature' is downright impossible to train and control. The people need to be micromanaged between worship and play. The interface is both intuitive, unique and frustrating. Don't get me started on the early bugs (like that bug that gave you infinite food/wood, but another bug that meant you NEEDED infinite food to feed your worshippers).

Myself, I got a few worlds in and just lost interest. The subquests were pointless and trite. The items you were capable of managing weren't even that fun to manage. The only 'cool' factor was throwing fireballs over enemy cities. If you could get the gesture correct, anyway...

I really hope this game is better, I'd like to play the Black and White game that *should* have been released.

Re:Wanted to love Black & White (1)

Bonker (243350) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873943)

My problem with B&W wasn't the gameplay. It was the bugs.

Despite the huge amount of effort Molyneux and co put into it, the game ran like compressed crap. It crashed frequently and had a memory leak like Niagra Falls.

There was a patch that fixed *some*, but certainly not all of the crash bugs, but it also contained a lot of code that 'fixed' PVP balance issues. Unfortuneately, these changes made the single player game almost impossible to play.

Black & White, ugh (5, Interesting)

slackmaster2000 (820067) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873397)

I suppose this is a bit off topic.

I'll always remember Black and White as being one of the most emotional gaming experiences I've ever had.

At first the game was amazing, simply amazing. We immediately bought copies so that everybody could play. The AI was SOOO impressive. The graphics were great. The animation was clever and funny. The game was unique and bizzare. For days and days we played.

But then after a few days we quickly realized that they forgot to make the GAME part of the equation fun. In fact, it was less than fun, it was downright irritating, frustrating, annoying, rage inspiring.

I have never played a game where I actually grew to HATE every aspect of it. I hated my creature and my only release was to torture him repeatedly. I'm not a hateful person, mind you, but I hated that zebra bastard who I had once found cute and entertaining. So yeah, he of course would rampage and burninate all my peasants, but I didn't care because I HATED my peasants. Needy good for nothing worthless sacks of shit that couldn't do anything efficiently but die. It wasn't long before I just destroyed everything. Everything. I even realized that I hated the whole game concept and I didn't really care about the outcome. Oh no you captured my creature? You can have the bastard, I'd rather play without him. Multiplayer was an terrible excercise in who cares. I played Dungeon Keeper 2 for quite a while so I was familiar with the concept of playing a game where the only thing in your direct control is micro-managing resources, but at least DK2 was fun. B&W missed the boat.

After a week, maybe a little longer, we sold all our copies on eBay and I remember feeling GOOD as I was mailing them out. Not good because I got a fraction of my money back, but good because I'd never have to see that zebra's sour face or hear those whiney ass peons bitching and moaning ever again.

I've played many games that turned out to be pretty bad, but this was the only one to actually inspire inner rage. Playing Black and White was about as much fun as dragging a cart load of cranky kids through a crowded Walmart.

Nail on the head (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873891)

oh man, did you ever hit the nail on the head.

almost felt bad when i started slapping my monkey around.
After a week, I started enjoying it. A LOT!

Re:Black & White, ugh (1)

The Taco Prophet (538981) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874056)

I'm glad I'm not the only one who had this experience with the game. Really neat concept, fascinating AI... and absolutely horrendous to play. I despised this game. I tried to give it to a coworker's kid, and he gave it back. I vowed that the next time I had an urge to buy a game Molyneaux had anything to do with, I'd give a friend of mine $10 to kick me in the nuts instead. Just as much fun, and cheaper.

My experience was contrary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13874352)

I played BW for a while, but when I had a difficult run with my cow, having to punish him repeatedly for eating people, I made the mistake of checking his state of mind. After slapping this bovine back and forth a lot, his state of mind was "My diety has a black heart."

I closed it down. Haven't played since. Actually felt BAD about slapping a giant, graphic, cow.

Somehow, slaughtering strangers in UT2K4 is actually fun...

Re:My experience was contrary (1)

Mike McTernan (260224) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874546)

I got that too. The cow started kicking villages apart, so I'd give him a good slapping. Then he thought I was bad and my castle thing turned into a urchin. The damn cow didn't seem ot behave much better either, and it was around that point that I got bored and stopped playing.

Shame, because it was a beautiful game and had a lot of potential. Still Populous III: The Beginning was awesome and much more fun - B&W was soon forgotten...

Re:Black & White, ugh (2, Insightful)

Anne_Nonymous (313852) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874565)

>> Needy good for nothing worthless sacks of shit that couldn't do anything efficiently but die.

Now you know how it feels to be god. I'd say the experience was worth $43.95 plus tax.

So... What about whorehouses?? (-1, Flamebait)

hcob$ (766699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873398)

I mean, come on. It is the greeks afterall. Can you turn an entire city into sex-crazed bi-sexual women that are slave to all men who enter(espescially gods)? If not, then what the hell is the point!?

Not worth the money . . . (4, Insightful)

millisa (151093) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873410)

I played B&W2. I am *not* a super-gamer. I finished it from start to finish in maybe 9 hours of game play, a large quantity of it being repetitive and somewhat boring.

The game is *very* pretty. If you have the graphics card and a nice sound system, you'll have some wow factor. But game play? Come on. The AI is downright stupid. The enemy creatures get 'stuck' looking at trees because they lose their pathing when you close off your gates to your city. Their armys will stand there waiting for you to open the gates, but if the gates close, they stop. I got past peekaboo early on in life and just playing it with an army until it gets close enough for archers to take out doesn't do much for me.

What's worse is I completed every single quest (barring a couple that would have switched my alignment) and I finished this game in less than a half day's worth of playing.

I'm sorry, but 50 bucks for something like this? Just for pretty graphics? I want my money back. (on the other hand, I didn't get any save crashes).

Re:Not worth the money . . . (1)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874579)

9 hours is less than a half day's worth of playing for you? Holy crap you have a lot of free time. 9 hours is at least a week for me.

Best TBS game? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873431)

What is a good turn-based strategy game to get right now? Is Civilization IV a TBS or is it an RTS?

When I thought of this game... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873433)

I thought "Look to the cookie"!

"The thing about eating the Black and White cookie, Elaine, is you want to get some black and some white in each bite. Nothing mixes better than vanilla and chocolate And yet somehow racial harmony eludes us. If people would only look to the cookie all our problems would be solved." - Jerry Seinfeld, Seinfeld (The Dinner Party)


Tamagotchi on the PC (4, Insightful)

Speare (84249) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873462)

I loved everything about the first Black & White game, except the frickin' pet. If I wanted one of those Tamagotchi (egg pal) electronic pets, I'd buy it on a keychain. I want to be a 'god' to my 'creation,' not an obedience school to some baby mothra knockoff. I want my 'worshippers' to follow MY vengeance with fear and tribute, not cringe at the Second Coming of the Great Big Teddy Bear. Too bad this is Black & White & Pet II, not a real god game.

Re:Tamagotchi on the PC (1)

_xeno_ (155264) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873939)

My thoughts exactly. My brother would actually play the original Black and White up to the point where you could start skirmishes, but BEFORE you chose a creature, just to play the game WITHOUT the thing. The thing I hated the most about that game was micromanaging the stupid creature. The most annoying thing was that slapping the creature would actually effect the surroundings. I've lost track of how many buildings and villagers I crushed by slapping my creature - usually because he had just eaten a villager. Of course, this succeeded in teaching him not to poop. (?!)

When I first heard about Black & White II, the very first thing I said was "does it still include the damned creature?" When I heard it did, I lost interest immediately. I want to play god, not Giant Monkey Babysitter II.

OK, admit it.... (2, Funny)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873545)

Alright everyone, admit it, you're trying to waste time reading other game reviews trying to pass the 24 hours for Civilization IV is released...

Re:OK, admit it.... (1)

Number6.2 (71553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874151)

Squirt some more leamon juice in my paper cut, pal.

Yes, yes, I admit it! I'm weak!

Me: Hi, I'm Number 6.2, and I have a Civilization Problem.

all: Hi 6.2!

Dr. Meyer: Here, take these two tablets and call me in 2000 years...

6.2

ah, memories (4, Funny)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873584)

The only way I found to win a game during Black and White 1 was to toss my creature's poop at the opposing side's food supply. As soon as you landed one in there, game over!

Re:ah, memories (1)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874411)

unless it was a human player who knows you have to empty the food supply in that case, and toss it back into *your* village stores, and refill their own rapidly ;)

Re:ah, memories (1)

DavidLeblond (267211) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874466)

Never got around to playing it over the internet. Actually I never got around to playing it after I had it for a week either.

Really Pay Attention to System Specs (1)

damniel (662838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873800)

I have had nothing but trouble trying to get this game to run properly on any of my different PC's.
First off, it requires Pixel shader 1.1 support on your video card chipset, which many Nvidia cards do not support(I know many of them do, just not some of mine)
List if Un-supported Nvidia cards [custhelp.com]
Secondly, you are going to need a newer generation video card with 256 Mb minimum.
My first PC has 128mb geforce MX, 512Mb ram,2.6Ghz intel , and the game will not start due to the pixel shader 1.1 issue.
My other pc is 128mb quadro Fx,1Gb ram, 3.0 ghz intel, and the framerate makes it unplayable even at the lowest quality settings.
These are both PC's that have done fine with Doom3, HL2, and many other games. I now own a $50 game I won't be able to play without dropping another $200-$300 dollars for a top-notch video card.

Re:Really Pay Attention to System Specs (1)

reedsr (891163) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874017)

Secondly, you are going to need a newer generation video card with 256 Mb minimum.

That is not true, the game runs fine for me on a Radeon 9800 pro with 128 MB

Hey... (1)

gallwapa (909389) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873810)

Black & White was awesome -- I was sadden that they added an interface with point and click buttons. casting miracles was part of the fun of the game...if you sucked at doing it, you were going to get owned by he who could cast fastest. plus, there was shortcuts like the R key for 'repeat miracle' ...so that helped B&W 2 seems fun, except for the fact that there is ak nown bug on NVIDIA cards that it runs like crap by default due to the pixel shaders. I had to edit my graphics.config and change my 6600 line to minspec 3 (lowest pixel shader) Theres no fur or grass, and the water isnt all reflective, but it runs smooth. Lionhead said they'll fix this in a patch. B&W2 seems fun though. I'm on the second land.

Micro-management gets old fast (2, Insightful)

Durzel (137902) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873838)

One thing I would say is that whilst the game is technically and graphically very good, the amount of micro-management required even with just two or three townships under your control on a map is too onerous.

The enemy AI, not unlike games like Command & Conquer, becomes fixated on constantly attacking you very early on in the game to the point where you barely have any other time free to do much else. This coupled with the fact that you have to manually create armies to defend your bases just adds to the frustration. You can assign your armies to defend certain structures, but any force that does not pass directly through this defensive circle is just left unchecked to wreak havoc. If an army manages to get past a group of archers, well.. they just sit back and watch them maraud through the town.

The collection of resource is another annoyance. You can have several storehouses (structures that store wood, grain and ore - required to feed your people/armies and build other structures) but invariably one will sit there near empty whilst the others are completely full up, even if they are placed adjacent to eachother. Again, managing this requires you to take time out and move resources around manually - something the AI is plainly incapable of doing.

It is also not always immediately obvious what the mouse is positioned over, and it can be frustratingly difficult to isolate something quite small when there are other objects that can be picked up in close proximity. Picking up individuals, for example, when your population is quite high can be annoying at times.

There are also a number of faults in how the A.I reacts to events. For example, you could position an armada of archers on your walls and towers, and if positioned correctly the enemy A.I will continue to send armies along a fixed path straight in the firing line. I counted at least 10 times where this occured (the A.I never seems to learn that its last brigade got massacred before even launching an attack themselves), before the A.I - I'm sure by chance - got blocked by an obstacle and was forced to take a different route.

Another key failing (although you could view this as intentional) is that it is difficult to earn "tribute" (essentially credits with which you can buy better structures) unless you follow the "good" path. Very early on in the game you are tasked with removing a boulder from someones garden, a task which - if you simply remove the rock - you are awarded a valuable amount of tribute. If you choose to disregard the persons cry for help, and instead throw them in the sea before depositing the rock on their house, you get nothing.

All in all, a disappointing game unless you are a fan of extreme micro-management and practically zero autonomy.

B&W requires patience (3, Interesting)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873844)

B&W was a great psychology experiment. Let me explain why.

The most common complaint I hear about the first B&W was that the creature was too hard to train. So now it pops up bubbles explaining to you what it is thinking. The second biggest complaint was constant micromanagement of villages.

I thought it was easy to train a creature: less is more. By the end of the first level I had trained my creature to heal hurt peasants, give them food if they need it, and water trees and fields in the spare time. It didn't take much effort and it was quite intuitive. And the creature did all the micromanagement for me. Brilliant!

But on to my point about patience: I watched my 9 year old brother play the game. He spent 99% of the game doing stuff with his creature. Punishing him, rewarding him, giving him stuff to eat, etc. Whereas I spent 10 minutes out of each hour doing that. His creatures never acted on their own, they followed him around, they ate everything, they pooped on everything.

I get the impression that most people doing game reviews have the attention span of 9 year olds. It wasn't the game's fault: these reviewers need to go back to playing Quake 3 because they fingers were twitching too much.

It sucks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13873879)

I have to disagree. This game has filled me with rage. I actually very much enjoyed the first one. The people that seemed to hate it are the ones that didn't understand how to manage their population and pets. That's what was great about it, if you did it wrong, things went badly. But if you did it well, it was a tremendous feeling of accomplishment.

#2 is dumbed down in every way. Knowing exactly what your pet is thinking and exactly how to train him makes the pet less of a pet, and more of a robot. He has no personality at all. The RTS elements are like an afterthought: simple and entirely lacking in depth. The city building has a great interface, but also seems to have no point in the end. In the end, the best aspect of the game was the road-drawing.

Bleh.

Hmm (1)

kevin.fowler (915964) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873907)

Am I the only one that just tied my creature to a tree and threw the opposing villagers off the tops of mountains? That never got old. This looks like a better sandbox than the first, and adding RTS elements might add a much-needed depth that was woefully missing from the first, especially if creature management is better. In the first game I can think of many times when the creature was breakdancing and petting people one minute, yet pooping on and collapsing roofs and throwing people into the ocean the next.

My Two Cents (1)

zettabyte (165173) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873909)

I'm not an uber-gamer anymore, but b/c I enjoyed B&W1, I bought this game.

While my machine is on the lower end of the specs for the game, I believe I'm well within tolerance. So far, I have had crashes involving the start of the game, clicking on scrolls within the game, and army battles.

It's quite frustrating, really. And since I promised myself I wouldn't spend $300 upgrading my machine just to play a game, I guess I'm out of luck.

As someone who grew up playing PC games (starting with Dungeons of Daggorath on the TRS80), I have to say I'm pretty disappointed with the stability.

As far as the gameplay, I do enjoy it. Given that I don't have a lot of time to play, though, I just can't tolerate losing 15m to .5h worth of work. When you only play 2 to 3 hours a week, that's a pretty significant portion of wasted time.

Whatever. Nevermind.

Ahh, comicary.... (1)

MagicDude (727944) | more than 8 years ago | (#13873976)

http://www.biggercheese.com/ [biggercheese.com]

Seems to sum it up quite nicely.

Buy it Here! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13874023)

Get the game here here: Black and White 2 [amazon.com] . And if you use the "secret" A9.com discount [amazon.com] , you can save an extra 1.57%!

The game is CRAP! (1)

HeavyMS (820705) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874155)

I recomend everyone that are thinking about this game to take a look at lion heads forum - what do you DON'T like about B&W2 (http://allboards.lionhead.com/showthread.php?t=97 765 [lionhead.com] ). There are rants there and peopel flameing Lion Head in ways i can only dream of doing. BTW the Like thread is about 1/4 of the don't like and if you remove all the OMG the grafiks are UBER the do not like thread dwarfs the like thread.

"deliberate response to ... original game" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13874306)

And yet the un-skippable intro...

I distinctly remember asking for a better rendered flying red pig instead of a real evil avatar as well.

After trying out B&W 1 (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874503)

I learnt that it's very important to keep in mind that a man's visions with a game doesn't make him a good game designer. That's why they often have different designers and visionaries at modern game companies. I'd look at both B&W 1 and 2 for examples of this. And conversely, people with not too many new visions can be excellent designers. I could look at Diablo II for an example of this, in large based on the ancient Roguelikes, and also admitted to be so by the designers at the division formerly known as Blizzard North. Yet it became among the most successful games in modern PC history.

My only recommendation to people not yet having experienced B&W is to try to always keep in mind that this is about a computer game, with the regular limited AI, and regular limited game play through a quest system and limited content, andof course that you don't control a world, but an animal. ;-) (seriously -- don't go think this is a Populous or Powermonger!)

This is the kind of game where your fantasy combined with others hype is your worst enemy...

I think B&W is a game that would be earth shattering if ideas and visions ruled game design, but I believe that unfortunately for Peter Molyneux, it's the other way around. Great ideas can lift a game a lot, but it still needs to have the foundation of being fun. If it doesn't, it risk feeling to me like a game made by a "mad designer" where you... well, spend time slapping monkeys to destroy villages. Sure the idea is fun, but without other concepts such as exploits of human's collective minds (Diablo II) or competitive nature (FPS games), strategic and analysing thinking (RTS games), etc, how long is it fun, really? For me, about 2 days or so, and I really wanted it to be good.

Re:After trying out B&W 1 -- correction (1)

Jugalator (259273) | more than 8 years ago | (#13874554)

human's collective minds (Diablo II)

Sorry, I meant "collecting" here. Was talking about the huge item focus of Diablo II. Most I've heard that like the game still plays it for that, and for many it's addicting as hell. So I wasn't suddenly mixing in the Borg into this discussion. :-)
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