Black & White - PC

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Also for: Power Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, Dreamcast
Viewed: 3D First-person Genre:
Adventure: Role Playing
Strategy: God game
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Lionhead Soft. Co.: Lionhead
Publishers: Sold Out (GB)
Electronic Arts (GB/US/JP)
Released: Apr 2001 (US)
29 Oct 2004 (GB)
6 Apr 2001 (GB)
Unknown (JP)
Ratings: 11+
No Accessories: No Accessories


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The Universe is made of Black and White. Everything we know and see in our existence is positive or negative. The balance of these forces constitutes our reality. Protons, electrons, their electrical balance creates our world. Are you good or evil? Forget about what you pretend to be or what is acceptable to society, what are you deep down?

It’s here, it’s here, it is here. Finally, after years of waiting similar to when you were young, waiting for Christmas. The God game to end all God games, the gaming apocalypse is with us. From the creator of the Genre itself, prepare yourself for an unrivalled experience.

In Peter Moluneux’ Black and White you are a God. You are brought into existence by prayers, for without prayers there would be no Gods.

This title is so diverse it makes it hard to categorise, an excellent quality for a game to possess. This is a game of beauty, both visually and in terms of gameplay.

How you play Black and White is left entirely up to you. There are Gold and Silver scrolls that you can click on to unravel missions and sub-quests. For example, one of the earlier missions involves you finding three stones to unlock a gate. The first stone is found simply by exploration, but the second stone is tucked away in a woman’s house. Her brother is sick and lost, if you find and return him she will happily give you the stone you require. Alternatively, you could smash her house to pieces and take it, good or evil.

How you treat your followers determines their mentality, do you want them to worship you or fear you?

Later on, building and resource management comes into play, you will have build houses and temples to increase your range of influence. By demonstrating miracles to the people, you will increase their belief in you and your power will grow exponentially. You must provide them with food, water, wood etc. and show people how to build and look after themselves. Additional villages believing in you will make you stronger.

You can also affect the world by commanding your creature. This creature is like a virtual pet. You must nurture it, feed it and teach it right from wrong. If it eats a villager because it is hungry and you rub its belly, it will quickly learn that this is acceptable behaviour. Your creature is an earthly personification of you, it will grow to gigantic proportions and even battle other creatures for land.

Another nice touch of Black and White is the control method. You must draw certain shapes like a pentagram with the mouse to cast spells. You can summon a fireball, throw it and even add after-touch. Then watch smugly as you opponent’s village burns to the ground. This control method is bound to be copied in future games, it feels so nice. It multi-player games you can see the other Gods drawing shapes with their hands, so you can prepare your defence and counter strike.

Black and White is amazing because of what you have to do, what you can do (throw villagers into the sea, for example) and how you can go about it. Likewise, the graphics have to be seen to be truly appreciated. You can zoom in to make people the size of the screen and then with one mouse movement zoom out to see the whole island from above the clouds. This gives an impressive sense of scale.

Black and White is a battle of the Gods, are you ready?