Over two years in development and two million lines of code, this highly anticipated game is one that those who have been able to preview the game, say has been well worth the wait. With so many dissapointments (*cough*Oni*cough*) in "highly anticipated" games it's nice to see one that appears will live up to the hype.

The Lowdown

In Black & White you take on the role of a diety on the planet of Eden. On this world you must attract worshippers, defeat rival gods and complete complex quests to expand your power base. But you are not alone in this duty. Playing a major role are the Titans. Your avatars on the planet of Eden. These mighty creatures each take an animal form, but their final appearance will be heavily weighed on how you train them.

In raising your titan, and even in solving each quest there are a vast number of ways to accomplish your goal, following the paths of good or evil (or even somewhere in between). A titan nurtured will take on a benevolent appearance, a titan treated harshly will become a monstrous parody of its original form. Indeed all aspect of your land will be reflected by your attitude. If you are benevolent, your people will enjoy verdant pastures and fruit bearing trees. If you are malevolent your landscape will become bleak and filled with fissures and blast marks left behind from the smiting of insolent followers.

The graphics engine has been built from the ground up, and is one of the most complex used in a game to date (early 2001). The interface is minimalistic; in fact, one of the design concepts is that of "no interface," in which the mouse is your only tool, represented on screen by a godly hand (looking human if you are benevolent, but transforming into a haggard claw if you turn to evil). To enter new control "modes" you trace shapes with the mouse. When rearing a titan you use different "leashes" (learning, compassion and aggression) to enter the leash mode you would first make the "leash" symbol, then follow that with the "learning" symbol to enter into the learning leash mode. Also this game was designed to transcend genre stereotypes, it is part strategy, part Sim and part RPG. All in all a promising entry into the arena of computer games.

Black and White is a god game by Peter Molyneux. Leaving traditional icon based interfaces behind and leaving the usual "good" role based model, this game provides a flexible experience, both in terms of the interface and your interaction with the landscape.

The game's goal is to rule the world, either by the force of good or evil, it's your choice. Your role is shaped by the interactions you have on your worshippers. You can destroy unbelievers or create miracles to convert them to worship you. Besides your direct manifestation you have a creature that you teach and control. As your creature focuses on your actions it learns to mimic you, for example if you show it how to harvest wood eventually it will harvest wood for your worshippers. If you show it how to cast fireballs it will smite the unbeliever. It will help or harm your villagers depening on what it is taught to do. Positive reinforcement, by rubbing his stomach, or negative reinforcement by slapping him silly all help your creature learn.

The interface is controlled by your floating hand, the only physical impression you directly give on the land. Game control is by gestures, to cast spells you can draw an insignia on the ground. Spell power can be increased by instructing your villagers to worship. To take over other villages you can impress or scare them. To increase the population you can build more homes and farms, then set your villagers to breeding.

Peter Molyneux is perhaps the best known creater of god games, starting the whole genre off with Populous. Now he's moved to the next step, stealing what little social life geeks like myself have by giving us something new to keep us awake till 3:00am.

The web site lives at http://www.bwgame.com

Black & White - Hit 'god' game.

This is not a game you try to play with a slow system!!

This game boasts wonderful terrain and creature rendering, as well as a supposedly iconless interface ( reliant on a certain definition of icon ), movement is primary a mouse-driven affair, as is the majority of the spell-casting in the game.
This is where a slow system will be the bane of gamers. Without precise mouse movements it becomes increasingly difficult to play the game at any competitive level, and when your machine is rendering multiple gods, creatures, towns and special effects, the load on slower systems can mean that the mouse will jump from one side of the screen to the other when trying to navigate.

So what constitutes a lower end system when it comes to this title? Listed below are the minimum and recommended requirements as included on the game box. In my personal experience, the recommended system requirements should be taken as the minimum, and the official minimum requirements should be used to determine whether you will be able to install the game.

Minimum system requirements:



  • Internet (2-8 players): 56.6kbps or faster internet connection; 1cd per computer; 1 player per computer.
  • Network (2-8 players): TCP/IP compliant network; 1CD per computer; 1 player per computer.

Note: This game appears to rely heavily upon system RAM more than processor or video card specs. a healthy 128mb boost to my 64mb turned the game from a sluggish, jerky, and unplayable slide-show into a smooth, highly detailed game.

Note #2: Regarding Fondue's comment about the quests in the game. The only thing more annoying that this is trying to influence a village beyond your sphere of influence, when you do not have your Titan/Creature due to an extremely dodgy plot development.
(Wow, this is a big game, so expect a long writeup. I've only just started playing too, so expect it to get longer.)

Black & White is a highly ambitious god sim by Lionhead Studios. It was in development for about three years. It's big and highly complex (the biggest and most complex game in existence as of this writing, in fact), but almost inevitably has some serious flaws. And some of these aren't your common or garden "game X implements feature Y better" nitpicks, but huge, gaping holes that make you wonder if they really employed testers for this game (the gameplay side at least - technically it's pretty solid). In a nutshell, it's dull. In spite of its problems, the game does raise the bar of what can be expected from a "deep" PC game. It's a bit like Quake in that respect - easy to criticise but definitely a big technological leap. Except Quake is fun. The following are some things that (I think) went right and wrong.


If I had to point out one thing that's really, really wrong with this game, it would have to be the ridiculous level of micro-management involved. This is made even more jarring when you consider that so many strategy games have taken the emphasis off micromanagement (or even resource management in general). Until you get quite established, you have to constantly monitor your settlements and manually drive on their expansion. It can be immeasurably tedious and repetitive.

In most RTSs, you tell your guys to make a building and bam, it appears (or slowly builds itself, should you have enough materials). In B&W, you have to first make sure you have lots of wood (by casting the Wood spell, making some villagers foresters and/or dropping wood into their store manually). You then have to build a scaffold (which you can make one at a time, and have to manually supply the wood for). Once you have enough scaffolds, you have to place it in the right location, and tell people to work on it and supply them with wood (all of this will happen automatically over time, but it takes hours).

Coupled with the navigation method (and being hindered by slow charging spells, slow villagers and slow manual wood drag-and-dropping, especially early on) this process can be glacially slow. It wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't obviously engineered to slow down the pace of the game. When you consider that most of the construction ideas are lifted wholesale from The Settlers, you'd think they'd at least give the villagers enough autonomy to get on with it. There is precious little progression available as well (there's no tech tree, no military aspect, no timeline, and only a couple of dozen spells, none of which are particularly powerful or impressive unlike those in every other Populous-derived game).

N.B. : I now understand the micromanagement side a bit better and can see how it can reach (hard fought) equilibrium. It's still significantly flawed though.


Although the game makes a big display of there being 'no wrong choices', it's insanely hard to maintain a 'good' alignment. While evil points can be gained from practically anything you do (or simply 'neglecting' your villagers... e.g. getting bored of ferrying fucking trees across the landscape for five minutes), 'goodness' requires you to be playing perfectly and performing acts of good all the time. The system is about advanced as that in Ultima IV, only implemented far worse. I defy anyone to even get into the 'good' side of the scale. You're substantially set back from the start by your creature merrily scoffing villagers whenever unattended... because in the game's rules, death is always evil. Which is just stupid. Good idea, unbalanced implementation.

Creature AI

Much has been made of the AI in Black & White, and with good reason. Although Lionhead's claims that it's really cutting edge, academic level stuff are spurious, it is still pretty impressive. Because your creature is pretty much a blank slate to begin with (although not that blank... it has some sense of self-preservation at least), it acts pretty stupidly. But by interacting with it appropriately (and teaching it thoroughly) you can coax some complex and useful behaviour out of it. The simplest thing you can do is use it as a harvester (get it to pull up trees and throw them into the store and water - and fertilise - crops) but as it can do (nearly) any action that you can, the sky's the limit.

As well as behaving realistically (and it's eerily realistic at times), the creature's physical model is very expressive and changes to reflect the state of the creature very accurately. My ape is currently veering slightly to the side of good, and is thin (due to regulating what it can eat - i.e. NOT villagers!) and muscular (thanks to teaching it to catch and throw rocks about on the beach). It also has a cool two-tone tattoo on its chest. All in all, the most successful element of the game (although the manual is woefully inadequate in explaining how to use it). In fact, it's when you realise that you're not concerned by (not-so) trivial things like path-finding and you see your creature make an intelligent decision, it hits home that this is a great implementation. And it gets bonus points simply for not being The Sims.


At this point I should mention the terrain engine. The guys who worked on this surely know their onions. My first session in the game was largely spent going "gaaaah...!" as the island zoomed and rotated effortlessly at my command (well, kind of, see the next section...). I wondered how they managed to get so much on screen without the game slowing down (unlike most Sim games, everything is represented actual size), but quickly worked out that it was smoke and mirrors - zoom out enough and sprites and LOD kick in. This happens so fluidly and imperceptibly however that it's hard to find fault.

The engine is basically tuned to perfection to do its one task very, very well. Having played games with engines built with licensing in mind for the last few years, such an optimised environment comes as a hell of a shock. Immersive? You betcha. But are graphics the most important thing? Well, as you and I (but not PC Gamer) know by now, they're definitely not.


Much has been made of the 'gesture' system for casting spells in the game. It's certainly original, but it's also almost completely useless. At the bottom of the screen there are a set of icons representing the gestures you can cast at any one time, along with a diagram of the gesture. Now, this may sound like a crazy idea, but why not just let the player click on these icons?? Although to be fair the system does allow you to cast spells fairly effortlessly and looks cool (rather like the superfluous first person view in Dungeon Keeper). Come to think of it, although the philosophy behind the interface is 'no icons', there are icons everywhere - the village desire flags, the spells, the temple, the scaffolds...

Navigation is a bit of a mixed blessing (ba-dum-chh) as well. You can change views pretty much as you wish (performing town management from a birdseye view and interacting with your creature in close third person, for example) and generally fly about without having to think about it, once you get the hang of it. But you can only control so many degrees of freedom at once. You have to 'drag' the scenery around to scroll, which can get irritating (unless you set lots of bookmarks, which isn't much better really). Games like Earth 2150 felt a lot simpler. There's also a pseudo-Ultima Underworld style rotating mode, which is exasperatingly useless (and just serves to pitch your view wildly when you hit the top of the screen).

Everything else (saving, stats and tickertape of game messages, etc.) is managed through the Temple. This is a rather lame idea all round really, as it flies in the face of keeping everything fluid and intuitive (in fact, making it very onerous to check your creatures in-depth profile). It also looks quite crap - a Myst-style flythrough rendered in realtime, which is impressive exactly once. (Oh, and saving, by the way, takes approximately seven billion years on a large map - and you are forced to save all the bloody time.)

One final point that is perhaps too much to ask, is that there are no integrated communications features as far as I can tell (in the style of Tribes 2). If I could use ICQ and browse relevent information from inside the game, I'd probably never leave (if there was actually any point in playing the game after completing it, that is).

Tutorial & Quests... why?

If the AI and terrain are resounding successes, then there is another, very prominent, element of the game which sucks hard. Whenever the game is being a big, powerful virtual sandpit and a freeform RTS/Sim like Populous, it's great. But whenever you hit a pre-scripted section, it all goes pear-shaped. The game starts off on the wrong foot in fact - making you wade through the longest, most tedious, patronising, and badly acted tutorial sequence ever commited to disk. (see Learning from Lotus Notes point 12)

Now, tutorials are an idea totally without merit to begin with (I blame those bloody space combat games), and suggest to me that the time spent developing them could be better spent making the interface more self explanatory (or writing a good manual, even). They're shite, without exception, and the one in Black & White is particularly bad (and you can't even skip it without the patch). There's a lot of information to get across, but why not just fire up (skippable) help sequences when the game is started? Or have a training mission or something? You know, like Dungeon Keeper did? Just don't make it as incongruous and shit as a tutorial.

But once you've weathered all that (and they keep popping up in dribs and drabs right through to the end of the second world), there's still some pain in store: the quests. Now, the 'quests', such as they are, come in two flavours: skippable and pointless and unskippable and easy. If anyone would seek to argue in their defence then they are clearly a fool. If I recall correctly, they were added to give the player 'more to do'. They must have taken not inconsiderable effort on behalf of the coders. But it was effort wasted.

Some of the quests involve a totally stupid crowbarring of a christmas cracker puzzle into the game world (e.g. towers of hanoi, rubik's clock, pelmanism... the last one a guess but I bet anything it's in there). Some require no skill, but try your patience (such as fetching items*, or having to perform some action that the interface makes disproportionately hard in a small time). None of them are enjoyable in the slightest or would bear repetition (compare and contrast the subquests and minigames in most modern console RPGs). When I reached a puzzle "that not even our wisest elders can solve" and found a piss-easy game of Simon, I stopped playing in enraged disgust for a fortnight. Hardly next generation entertainment.

To make it worse, they spoil the illusion terribly - all of a sudden you have indestructible actors and sets placed in the game world. There are also plot devices sprinkled around liberally (some of which help to balance the game). The most annoying thing is that although the game should be 'pure' and 'freeform', these little tasks are neither. You can't even figure out your own solution in many cases, you have to trigger the proscribed event. Maniac Mansion it ain't. And the presentation is completely risible (with one significant exception, see below) - both graphically and sonically. At one point Lionhead were making noises along the lines of "it's not a strategy game, it's an RPG". Well, fuck that, you've just been playing Zelda too much. This is as much an RPG as I am a heron.

N.B. : Did I mention how buggy it is? If the game has 50 hours of gameplay, roughly half of those are retracing your steps after it crashes randomly after several hours of unsaved play. For that matter, nearly 90% of the time is spent gardening unless you want to run out of wood - and wood is like oxygen in this game.


Puzzle using the iFeel mouse. Weather parsed from the internet. Villager names taken from email address book. Creature can dance to MP3s (not yet implemented). Creatures can be used in some ICQ style program (not yet implemented). All nice touches which add and subtract nothing from the game. All a very obvious nod to Hideo Kojima's silly little 'touches' in Metal Gear Solid. In both cases, many column inches were devoted to these gimmicks with comments along the lines of "yet another example of the attention to detail in this game". No, they're not. They're gimmicks, gimmicks engineered to distract absolute fucking fools from the myriad problems with the game.

When a game's readme file devotes more time to explaining the procedure for getting the game to alert you to incoming email than it does mentioning that the game is riddled with show-stopping bugs and is basically unplayable online, you realise someone has lost the plot*.

*Not that there is a plot in the game, just a half-assed sequence of events strung together with some 'funny' (i.e. horrible) voice acting.


While we're on the topic, the game really was ridiculously overhyped. Granted, it's a significant step in the evolution of PC games (from a technical vantage point), but surprisingly few of the lofty claims and promises that preceded it have been delivered on. It's not the best game ever, which was the team's specific aim from the start, and gushingly alluded to in the readme file ("Making this game, we found out who we really were. We hope that, as you play, you'll find out who YOU really are." Gack!). Worst of all, it's a bit buggy and there are features missing (yes, even with the ridiculously delayed and flaky patch).

After three years, this is a bit rich, but I think we can blame EA for this as much as Lionhead. But if EA are the root of the problem (and I can imagine that at least some of the problems with the game came as a result of trying to appease the suits), why are Lionhead such a bunch of fucking pussies? This game is a far cry from the vaunted 'Bullfrog ethos' of the mid-Nineties. Would Yuji Naka (for example) fuck up his games to ring up some extra sales? I think not.


I haven't had a chance to play it yet, but it looks to me like the online game is much like every Bullfrog online game (except Syndicate).... slow, a bit non-confrontational and unfocussed. Could be mindblowing with the right kind of mods though (I wonder if there'll be any mods for this game? Is it possible?).

Concerning Old Farts and Cambridge Dons

An unfair issue, perhaps, but maybe the 'answer' that Black & White represents isn't quite to my satisfaction because Lionhead are asking the wrong 'question'. As I understand it, Lionhead are comprised of industry veterans (with a strategy/paper-rpg slant) and maths/technology gurus (and Steve Jackson for some reason). Their view of what would make a perfect game seems strangely out of kilter with the post-1997 world. On top of this, they seem to have aimed the game at the most casual of gamers ("now try moving the mouse... good... good..."), so you end up with a game that's half Fischer-Price hand-holding and half hardcore snoozy tin-pushing. Essentially, it's like Populous with added gardening and pet ownership.

But somehow, it works. You can't help but think that it would be better (maybe even recapturing that quality that made Syndicate, Magic Carpet, Dungeon Keeper and Populous so good) if they'd not pandered to the casuals, and left out the stupid quests and just concentrated on making the game tight and entertaining. Still, it's nearer Chris Sawyer (Transport Tycoon) territory than Will Wright (The Sims), so for that I am thankful.

The Unique Selling Point

The best thing about the game, and the one thing that received no publicity at all, is unleashed completely unannounced at the end of the first world. Nemesis, your imaginatively-named nemesis in the game, an evil and callous god, is voiced by none other than ... (kneel, because you really are not worthy) ... Hugo Myatt ! (a.k.a. Treguard from seminal kids TV show Knightmare.) I don't know if he gets to say "The only way is onward, there is no turning back", "Ooh dear", or "Life force critical!" but he still rocks the helmet of justice. He is criminally under-used though.

Summing Up

Basically the game is a mixture of Settlers 2 and Populous with a fairly powerful (yet not exactly revolutionary) AI system thrown in. Oh, and there are only five single player levels (although they're 'worlds' that take hours to play). There. Those two sentences are all you need to know to guide your purchase and yet none of the arse-kissing multi-page magazine reviews bothered to actually tell you this. A great (not at all classic) game to be sure, but next time Peter (and company), can we have something that isn't just (yet another) Populous remake?

*The worst fucking part of the game by a country mile is the 'Ark Quest' on map one. You have to bring various items to some people building a ship. After each stage, you are subjected to the most annoying song ever ("Eidle Eidle Eee, Eidle Eidle Eee, We've built it too big and we've run out of wood...." etc.). Did you, Peter Molyneux, sit in your nice office and play through this and give it the green light? If you did, you're fucking, fucking insane. And rich. Damn you. Gizza job.

There is a revised and extended version of this piece at http://www.rantingextreme.com/articles/b&w.shtml

Black & White
Lionhead steps into the boots of the gods, but are the boots too big?

Yes, far too big. Released mid 2001 by Lionhead Studios and EA Games, Black & White was set to take gaming to a new level in sims. The player takes control of a young God, and has the power to shape his flock of worshippers. The only problem is, this game sits on the fence too much: its not an RPG, its not an RTS, and its far too dull as a sim.

To begin with, the graphics were mindblowing in their day, and they are still quite pleasing even today. Popup is essentially nil, there can be an amazing amount of on screen activity with almost no drop in performance, and so long as you feed it plenty of memory, it can be viewed in large resolutions without much trouble. With a Pentium 4 2.4 GHz, 512 MB DDR DRAM and a GeForce FX 5600 256 MB, the game runs smoothly at 1600x1200x32. Terrain is beautifully modelled, and people, while not brilliant in realism, are rendered well enough for the cartoon depictions that they are.

Sound is average, nothing outstanding, but not below today's standard. Surround sound is available, but doesn't help or hinder you too much, whether or not you have it. Effects are average, if sometimes unrealistic sounding. Music is more or less non-existant, so there is not anything to say about that aspect. Overall, sound could have been made more impressive.

So now we move on to gameplay, and it must be noted here: this is a revolutionary game in the God Sim genre. Once you have acknowledged this, you enter the game with much enthusiasm. After all, it is Human nature to often wonder: "If I were a God, and all I had to guide me was my own conscience, what would I do?". My initial thoughts were that this game would build upon Populous and other God Sims, making it more freeform and giving you more powers as a God. This is only half correct - and that is being very generous.

What Populous lacked in God Simulation, it made up for with RTS. It was fun and addictive; Black & White does not make up for its lack of Godliness. You start the game on a small island, and when a child is almost eaten by sharks, and his parents pray to the heavens, you come down and save him. First mistake: they have broken their promise of a completely freeform game immediately. If you were evil, would you have saved him? No, you would have picked his parents up and dropped them in with him; or better yet, drop one of the parents in so the other can return to tell the tale of your omnipotency. What's worse is that after this you are suddenly whacked with a whopping long tutorial that is so simple that a trained monkey could follow it; and without the patch there is no skipping it.

Also, your freedom is severely restricted through this tutorial. You must help the builders by bringing them wood, you cannot choose to smite the slow ones, thus speeding them up and forcing them to bring the wood for their own lazy selves! After this, you get to choose a titan. At this point I thought: "Choose? Choose! You told me I could CREATE my own creature!" They lied. You choose either a cow, a monkey or a tiger, and over time it changes depending on how you treat it. This is not how they described it, and it is a severe disappointment. I wanted a half shark/half jaguar, evil killing machine, but no, there is no customization here. Even as your creature does evolve to become a malevolent, horrid, twisted beast, or a benevolent, kindly creature, he still remains a cow, money or tiger.

As you progress, you will start to notice that you are not much of a God. If you want to smite someone, you've either got to drop heaving things on them (repeatedly... even a boulder twice the size of them will simply bounce off them), drop them in the ocean and wait five minutes for them to drown, pick them up and hurl them at a mountain side, or have your titan eat them. No fire and brimstone, no thunder, no angel of death. Even if you want to be a kind God, you can't do much, except save people during random quests, play with your titan and supply wood to singing sailors that you would rather choke to death. Things start to get better in the second level, as you obtain miracles such as a food miracle, wood miracle, fireball and lightning. The fun begins... or not.

By this stage you will really be starting to notice that you are a God in a world of mindless drones. I do not know about you, but what I would like to see in a God Sim is where you, as a God, perform miraculous deeds, create things, destroy things, convert and smite - God like duties. Your followers, on the other hand, will pray on their own whims, gather their own food and wood, build their own houses, give birth to children, defend their own lands and strike down the pagan enemies you designate. This is not the case in Black & White at all. You must designate when and how many will pray, who farms and who gathers wood, who will stay home and breed, and you must build all their buildings yourself. Now most Gods aren't carpenters, Jesus Christ was, but that didn't mean that he built things for Humans!

Micromanagement is utterly ridiculous, and if you decide you'll leave them alone, they get upset and stop worshipping you, and then their society falls into chaos. Eventually you will come to blows with other Gods, and here is where you would think that you would order your followers to build up some vast armies and march them towards the pagan lands! Not in Black & White, your followers are oblivious to the art of war. Instead you must do all the fighting yourself - very tedious, very boring, very irritating. While you are in another God's lands, either smiting the unbelievers or performing miracles of food and wood to awe them, you are using up alot of belief.

To get more belief, your followers must pray, but while they are praying, they need food, so you must spend belief making food for the worshippers. If they are praying, they cannot build, therefore you must keep some back in the towns building, but its not enough and they will get upset that not enough is being built. If you leave them there too long, worshippers start to die, thus upsetting your people and making you lose belief. Now, you are either diverting all your energy into preventing death and discontentment, or you are off trying to use this belief to convert followers. Either way, one task gets neglected, and there are obvious negative consequences for it. If your own followers went to war, and all you had to do was aid them with some miracles, things would be much more simple and fun.

Your titan will also come into conflict with rival Gods' titans. Titan combat is even more irritating than God combat. In mythology, titans fought with weapons, not with kung fu style moves that are so poorly rendered it looks like it's straight out of Kung-Pow (especially if you choose the cow as your titan). Its point and click here, and it is very boring. Your titan is your only real troop, your followers are useless, but your titan can romp around enemy lands, either impressing them, or throwing them about and snacking on them. He can learn to throw rocks at enemy houses, and can also learn to perform destructive miracles.

The interface is similarly frustrating. It uses gesture recognition to activate the various miracles, but the only problem is that some of them are tricky, and the recognition is not forgiving. If it is not almost spot-on, it will not acknowledge you are trying to select it. Thus, if you have poor frame rates, a bad mouse mat or a bad/dirty mouse, you are not going to be able to select them, and will have to scroll all the way back to the temple and select the icon there. But even moving back to the temple is irritating - click terrain, drag towards/push away to move, repeat; move mouse to side of screen, click, move mouse to rotate the screen; move mouse to top of screen, click, move up or down to pitch screen; scroll mouse wheel, zoom. Sounds simple and functional, but you quite often cannot maneuver the camera into the position you want immediately, instead having to twist and turn constantly.

As you continue to progress, it becomes more and more obvious that this game is very linear. Yes, you can choose to be good or evil, and you can choose from one of three creatures, but beyond having the choice of how to win the level (but any RTS game gives you that choice) that is all you can choose. You cannot choose what land you travel to, whether you convert these people or you don't, what your land looks like and what creatures dwell within... all of this is already decided. There is a strict storyline and you have absolutely no choice but to follow it, like it or not. I don't, because any sense of freeform has now officially been blown out the window. Multiplayer is just as bad as singleplayer, if not worse. It acts as if it is an RTS, pitting you against other Gods, but it has all the faults of singleplayer without the storyline to interest you.

Overall, Black & White is a could have been. There is not enough RTS, RPG or God Sim in this game to make it succesful in any of the genres. It remains a large step forward in the God Sim genre, but that is all it is. Its appeal is lost in the first few hours of gaming, and all but the most patient and/or inquisitve gamers will endeavour through the entire game. I don't reccommend this game to anyone.

Final Verdict:

Graphics: 4/5
Sound: 3/5
Gameplay: 1/5
Playability: 2/5
Overall: 2.5/5

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