Black & White 2
Well I've just been reading all sorts on Black & White 2 and I can tell you it's going to be a truly amazing game. Lionhead studios have taken everything from Black & White that didn't work and got rid of it, and everything that did work and made it a thousand times better. They went through the trouble of starting entirely fresh, which allowed them to build a new island instead of using the previous one, as well as completely revamping the creature AI (which took 5 guys 3 years to do!). This game really is ahead of it's time, let me go over some other things....
In an interview, the developers said they'd had enough of games which were'nt epic enough, didn't take into account pyshics (e.g. you could knock down a brick wall with swords. In B&W2 it doesn't matter how long they stand there, archers and swordmen can't break a fort wall, it requires catapults and heavy weapons), didn't allow complete freedom, and ultimately an entirely new gameplay experience. The point they did stress was that this game is EPIC!! There would be 6 entirely new miracles which really bring that aspect into play. For example, one of them causes an earthquake to rip right through the entire island, and another produces huge volcanos to form (lava spills down the land). You really will be able to shape the world which you inhabit.
Depending on whether you're a good god or a bad god really shows now. Not only will your creature change appearance much more dramatically, but your entire city will. If you're a good god then expect to have happy citizens and beautiful buildings. If you're not so good then expect ugly structures (almost slum-like) and temples which are dark and evil, also the citizens will be very unhappy. Another cool aspact is that you can name every single person in your city - just take them to the naming-fountain! The developers said they wanted a game which looked very detailed and complex but was incredibly simple to play. They criticised many games for having way too many icons all over the screen (just straight-out confusing) and so they've made something that is very player friendly. After all, they are gamers themselves!
Lets talk about creatures. Well, depending on whether you want a war-machine that will spread destruction wherever you go or more of a guardian figure that will protect your people and city, will very much depend on how it acts and looks. If the first example is what you want then they will be ferocious and powerful, but take them out of battle and they will just stand there... like a soldier waiting for their orders (they will almost turn into a robot) and it will be very hard to make them care or show compassion. Similarly, if you choose the guarding figure then they will be loved by the people and show love and kindness, but send them into battle and they will cry (very literally) because that's how they've been taught - they're not a war-machine bred for killing. Then you might think "what have I done to my innocent little creature!" and almost feel quite emotional. This is because they will be completely unique to you as a gamer and certainly reflect your character. Everything you do will some way effect it's growth and personality - quite extraordinary. The animations and graphics are also far better than the first B&W. Also, a number of bugs have been fixed regarding the AI. In the previous edition, if your creature did something and wasn't punished for it, the programming actually praised them - meaning they were more likely to do it again. This time it isn't so. If they're not punished it won't increase the chances of it happening in future. Little things like this make for much better gameplay - and there's been thousands of little improvements that many will not notice, but on the whole will make a huge difference.
So how do you win if you're creature isn't evil or a war-machine? Well, that's something that troubled the programmers for a while - but not long! They've made it so, if you're a peaceful player and a good god, people from nearby towns and tribes will physically pack up and come to join your city as it expands. This means eventually you'll have an enormous kingdome and massive population. once you have taken over 60% of the island you win (but that can take a very long time). So for people who have the need to battle you can just invade/destroy cities and win that way. It's entirely up to you! But remember - every action has a consequence, not matter how small it may seem - you're creature is continuously molded into something unique and original. This really is the ultimate god game and one I can't wait to get playing.
Black & White 2 will be released on October 14, so pre-order your copy now!!