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Black & White 2: Battle of the Gods review

AT A GLANCE
  • The new powers are a blast to use
  • Armies of cool skeleton warriors
  • Evil turtle creature looks awesome
  • No multiplayer? Why, god, why?
  • Creatures can't always find their way
  • Precious few entertaining side quests

Black & White 2 concluded with the defeated Aztecs conjuring up their own god. Now that god, charged up with the power of thousands of human sacrifices, is coming to convert your followers and snuff you out of existence with his army of undead soldiers and creepy-ass voice.

Godly battle is waged across three lands that are challenging to beat, especially if you’re taking the military conquest route. But if you’re a fan of the B&W series’ charming humor and side quests, you’re out of luck - the atmosphere is dark and bleak, and you can count the number of side quests on one hand. It’s all very straightforward conquer-or-be-conquered action. Not that there isn’t something to be said for that.

You can either use the new Gamora-lookalike turtle creature or import your old one to go up against the Aztec god’s undead beast, which looks like a giant zombie monkey.  The creature doesn’t have any new tricks up his sleeve, but at least he can start out buffed up.

The new miracles at your disposal are Life, which can resurrect dead villagers or wipe out skeleton platoons; Death, which raises a skeleton platoon for a short time; Lava Flow, which creates a bubbling pool of deadly lava that oozes downhill; and Verdant, which transforms enemy troops into livestock. They’re all fun and very useful - though we barely used the original set when we had these available. The shield miracle might as well be new, since it was useless in the original campaign where there was no opposing god. Now you’ll use it plenty to defend your villagers against the Aztec god’s wrath. No new epic miracles, though.

There are a handful of new structures, like a blacksmith shop that upgrades your armies, a hospital that heals the sick and an abattoir that chops up livestock (which might have at one time been enemy soldiers) into food. They all come in very handy.



The real downside is that many of the annoying bugs from the first campaign persist in the expansion. Path finding still stinks, so your creature will sometimes get stuck between buildings that he really should be able to fit through (or step over). And the biggest question: why, for the love of god (pun intended), didn’t they add multiplayer? It’s a god-sized wasted opportunity.

More Info

Release date: Apr 28 2006 - PC (US)
Apr 28 2006 - PC (UK)
Available Platforms: PC
Genre: Strategy
Published by: EA GAMES
Developed by: Lionhead Studios
ESRB Rating:
Rating Pending

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