Lionhead Studios is back after five years with Black & White 2 designed by Peter Molyneux. In the first game it is all about strategically building towns and armies to fight along with a huge pet monster. Once again you are a god helping people to win against their enemies and you control a hand which makes the game very interactive so you can pick and move huge objects. The game is huge and every part of the game gives you a choice of being good or bad which means the game doesn't get that boring with different ways in defeating your enemies. So along comes Black & White 2 again you control a god but Lionhead have done a lot better in making you feel god like. The main goal of the game is to conquer over and destroy the Aztecs. Who destroyed nearly all of your tribe at the start of the game.
What is different in Black and White 2 is you do really get a God like feeling when playing. Through the game you can choose to be good or bad and at each of the dissision making junctures your actions will end up affecting the whole game. Once again your conscience of a good god and bad devil is back to advise you in playing the game which add a nice comedy element to the game. If you are good you will move a rock for a villager but if you're evil why not drop the rock on his head. The way in which Lionhead have designed moving is very unique .You grab the ground and pull so it feels like you're pulling yourself forward or pushing yourself backward. The hand feels even more interactive by being able to interact with nearly everything. Pulling huge rocks or trees from the ground gives a feeling of a godly strength. Also the people are like flies you can pick them up and throw them flying. As well you can zoom right into the action or out and are able to control the sun so it never gets dark. You don't need to use the keyboard at all to play so you can relax while playing.
The pet creature is the other great part in the game you pick one at the beginning of the game from a monkey, lion, wolf and cow. Like everything else you can influence your creature to be evil or good forming him into a nice and cuddly or demonic beast. The creature has free will and can do what it likes or it can be used like a tool listening to your commands to be a fighting machine. This is the same as the last game what is different is the creature's thoughts are displayed above their head. Your monster will remember what is taught and act on that in free will then you are able to customize these commands. So if you praise him for eating people he will eat them when he is hungry. On the other hand if you scold him for eating people then he will not eat them which is very clever AI. As you progress your monster will grow in size into a giant and will be able to cast some impressive spells.
As you start you just care for your villagers, building them houses to live in and keeping them from being destroyed. You assign them to breed, farm, build, and forest. If you like you can build yourself, you are god after all. Another different aspect in the game is when you build a nice town, cities can be drawn to join you because violence isn't always the answer. If that doesn't work then you can go back to the old way of building huge armies and taking over your enemies by force. If you are a good god and draw people to your town it will look nice. On the other hand if you are a bad god and take your enemies by force then your town will look bad. As well as your villagers using force you are able to cast some awesome spells to destroy your enemies with thunder bolts from the sky. As you progress you will be able to choose to improve what you can build and the spells you can cast.
What is a bit of a drag is it can take a long time to build your armies and town up. Also you can find yourself having to do the same building process to get your town ready to battle. People moaning in the background can get annoying after a while but the game has been made very slickly by Lionhead Studios so there is little wrong.
Overall the games graphics are very good and have been very well finished which really makes the surroundings look 3D. On the monster and water is where they really do have great effects in the game. The sound is great and ties the action together smoothly with the graphics so when you brush through the grass it sounds very realistic. The game is easy to get into and learn the controls not having to use the keyboard makes it very relaxing. If you played the last game it may only seem that there are only little changes which have taken ages. Although these little changes and better storyline mean it was all worth while for the wait. Great game.
8.7 out of 10