Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Byte: Rome, Paper, Scissors

My mountain of review code just keeps getting higher and higher. I was very pleasantly surprised on Saturday morning to find a copy of Black & White 2 plop into my letterbox. I've plugged practically all of my free time into it since (hence the lack of activity around here), and if you'll care to click the link, you can see just how enthusiastic my response wasn't...
Oh, Mr Molyneux... can you at least *try* and make a game where your vision doesn't exceed your team's ability? Just once? And for the love of Grud, hire a decent scriptwriter! The review's somewhat of an epic by my recent standards (at a tad over 2000 words), but I enjoyed writing it more than I enjoyed playing the game. It's a shame, because conceptually, Black & White is a killer idea, but when the gameplay's as badly broken it is in B&W 2, it's really hard to find positive things to say.

It's not a terrible game, borderline 6-7 by Pro-G's scoring system (with me erring on the side of a 7 because I'm a graphics whore), but it's essentially the same game (with the same flaws) as the prequel, and that doesn't score a 9/10 four years down the line. The element of surprise and wonder has been lost: it's harder to see past the flaws this time because neither the core game concept, nor the flaws are new. The addition of army-based tactical combat is a good idea, but again, great concept, shame about the execution. I summed it up in the review as being "Rome, Paper, Scissors", because it'd like to be Rome: Total War, but it's so half-baked that you might as well be playing Rock, Paper, Scissors. Bigger Army + Creature = Victoly. Disappointing.

If you're micro-management friendly, you might get a kick out of it, but don't expect anything revolutionarily good.
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