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Black & White 2 (Windows)

Teen
ESRB Rating
Genre
Perspective
Theme
75
MobyRank
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
3.8
MobyScore
5 point score based on user ratings.
Written by  :  Indra is here (19699)
Written on  :  Dec 28, 2005
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  2.14 Stars2.14 Stars2.14 Stars2.14 Stars2.14 Stars

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Summary

I'm sure it wasn't the developer's fault...

The Good

Although I have the habit of committing overkill when a game is "that bad", I will refrain that tradition due to the respect I have for Black and White 1 and especially the Lionhead Studios development team...and I don't give that credit very often.

Something went terribly wrong in this game. Oddly enough, if you've played Black & White 1, explored some forums and FAQ surrounding it, you'll probably get an odd feeling you know what happened that evolved to become Black and White 2.

Honestly, if asked is the game better than Black and White 1, that would be quite a difficult question to answer. There's certainly a whole lot more...you've got armies now, mass battles, army units, new buildings...but when asked is it better? I painfully must say. No. Even more painfully, it got worse.

The thing is, all those things you wished for during BW1 exists in BW2. Remember how irritated you get about controlling your creature? Now you have COMPLETE control over it. Like you can teach anything you want, when you want and how you want to your creature. But somehow, it didn't make it quite fun anymore. The element of surprise, trial and error is gone. You creature is just a dang robot.

You also have armies, wow! That would be great in BW 1. Oddly enough, it didn't work very well in this version.

It's quite difficult to separate the good and the bad of this game, and I am certainly overlapping its borders here, but based on what I've written, you'll probably understand that the developers "tried" to fulfill what the popular demand wanted. Unfortunately in this rare case, the fans were the idiots! (me included). The only good thing ironically it that the developers had it right the first time around. Kinda reminds me of the movie Robocop. It was a hit, but since it got so popular, the sequel became corny as hell since it was trying to "please the masses".

Probably the same thing happened here...

The Bad

Well, since I already overlapped some of the bad stuff in the good section, in this section I left for the REALLY BAD STUFF of the game.

First, the graphics. Egad man, what happened! It is me or why are all these 3D graphics getting worse. BW 1 had better graphics, how odd? What's even more odd, is that if you increase the detail level, the graphics get worse. A lot of needless detail that actually prevents you from seeing thing (eg. your units, those little help signs, etc.) What in the hell happened here? I don't think its because of my graphic card either. Additionally, your villagers don't look cute anymore. They all look serious (probably because of the war element). BW 1 was a fun game. Everyone was cute and funny, even if you through them around to their deaths. In BW 2 they all look like those zombies you meet going to work. They don't even dance anymore! What happened to all the fun in the game?

Secondly, game control. Oh boy, the more I played the game, the more I had the feeling this game was SERIOUSLY RUSHED. Lionhead in BW 1 created the MOST PERFECT game control system I've ever encountered. In BW 2 there are of controls that just don't work very well. The hand gestures don't work very well if not don't work at all. It's nightmare trying to pick the right villager you want. Its hell when you want to build those dang walls since they never end up where you want them to be.

Third. Concept. The biggest failure of them all is what they did with the god. Guess what, you (god) can build! Yipee! Not really. Why? If you can build, collect resources, kill enemies, THEN WHY IN THE HELL DO YOU NEED VILLAGERS ANYWAY? Oh, by the way, you circle of influence is no longer decided by the number of villagers, but by the number of BUILDINGS! Helloooooooo...sense something wrong here? Did they (referring to some idiot calling the shots) fire the philosophers who came up with the idea of Black and White or just told them to shut up? Build here, build there, to hell with the villagers, they're useless. They gather resources when you don't want them to. Many reviews of BW 1 stated that the people were to dependent on your commands, now they're all independent, you don't have to tell them anything. Even more irritating is now you have an overabundance of resources! Forests grow rabbits in BW2. In BW1 you had to nurture forests so that you don't run out of wood due to over deforesting, in BW2 it's almost impossible to cut down a whole forest! Then you have limited resources of iron ore...ayayayayay, this is too much...

There is also a lot more minor bad stuff I left out, but basically all the major bases were covered. Black and White 2 is technically a major disaster. The level of challenges, creativity and intelligence was degraded to a minimal in this game. Sad to say, me thinks the there won't be any more Black and Whites after this...

The Bottom Line

Uh, don't play it if you've played BW 1.