Black & White 2 review

This time round, GamesMaster gets to be a god of war, too...

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It's not easy being a god. Sure, you get the whole miracle deal and whatever, but you also have to put up with a bunch of whining disciples. "We need food," they moan, in the sort of voice that's normally asking if you can spare any change. "We need not to get thrown off mountain tops!"

Hey, it was provocation. Shut it or the cow eats you. Or worse. Yes, that's the great thing about being a god - thinking up fun ways of dealing with those whining disciples, and Black & White 2 gives you a lot of scope for that.

On first sight, the game's similar to its predecessor, only with a lot more polish. So much so, in fact, that you can forget about running it on a PC that's more than a year or two old.

The big difference makes itself known pretty early on. And it's war.

If you don't have the patience to build up a city and make it so impressive that your neighbours want to join up with you, you can bypass all that namby-pamby nonsense by forming an army and forcing them to join you. You can get your creature to join in the mayhem, too.

That makes for a lot more actual gaming than the overly freeform original. It can also get mighty challenging when you're overseeing a load of towns and armies at the same time.

One minute you're putting in much-needed houses, the next you're masterminding a cunning pincer attack on enemy troops while keeping half an eye on the construction of a defensive wall.

There's a hell of a lot to do and it often feels daunting - like a big cross between Sim City and Total War. But it's well worth having a go if you think you're man - sorry, god - enough.

Black & White 2 is out for PC on 7 October

More info

DescriptionThe big question is: what kind of god are you?
US censor rating"Teen"
UK censor rating"12+"
Alternative names"Black & White 2"
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)