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Friday, 18 May, 2001, 14:22 GMT 15:22 UK
Black and White: Your views
Is Black and White as big a hit as predicted?
Press previews for Black and White have been running quite literally for years and now the time has come to see if the PC game lives up to the hype.

Developed by renowned PC gaming developer Peter Molyneux, expectations of this strategic god game are high.

"PC owners looking for something very special indeed need look no further than this. It is on course to become the biggest selling PC game of 2001 and that should be recommendation enough," wrote the BBC's David Gibbon.

But what do you think? Does it live up to the hype? How does it compare to Molyneux's previous titles such as Populous and Magic carpet? Is it the best strategy game for PCs so far? Or were you disappointed?

HAVE YOUR SAY

I don't have time to play games often, so this is the first game by Molyneux that I have tried. Reading the other responses it seems like you either love B&W or hate it. Count me in with the love it faction! I spend a couple of hours a week, so I'm not very far yet, but I love being able to go slow, and I enjoy watching my creature when I'm bored feeding villagers. I tend to get fed up with fast paced games, so maybe B&W's one to avoid if you need constant action.
Anthea, USA

Superb interface and graphics... but the plot is far too restrictive - I was always waiting to finish the tutorial and begin the game proper. The game was over before that happened - just too easy!

Magic Carpet was far more playable in the long run.
Tomjon, UK

Does Black and White live up to the hype? Sort of.

Is it a good game? Yes, but...

There are a huge number of annoying "features" present. Sorry, did I say features, I ment bugs (and I know a bug when I see one). If it had passed across my desk during testing there's no way it would have been shipped as it is.

There are serious flaws in some parts of the game that not only make replaying it a major execise in patience but also allow fairly simple forms of cheating. The game is also one of the most unstable I have encounterd in the last year.

Black & White: more fustration than fun.
Simon Osborne, UK

I like the concept of moral decisions leading to related outcomes, but find it a tad too linear, the early tutorial annoying, and the control interfaces (having to actual go to your temple) a bit limiting...especially since as a real-time game, your villagers can be working on things outside of your interests. I also found too few opportunities for evil or strongly self-interested decisions fairly rare.

Otherwise the graphics are very good for a PC, and is an excellent game for someone new to the genre, early teen, and with a fast computer.
Zac, Canada

I have a P3 500 with 128Mb of Ram and a TnT2 graphics card, and this game simply will not run. It is a if the code is sloppy and causes more work to be done by the processor than is really required. One or two frames per second on a Pc well inside the minimum spec is appauling. Changing all of the settings to minimum had little affect in improving gameplay. This game is overcooked and under-optimised.
Ben Hopkinson, England


This is a good case of over-hype and whatever new is always the best yet

Rob Williams, UK
Nice graphics, some gameplay would have been nice. Patience is a virtue if you want to save your game, too (I usually have a cup of tea while this happens).

If only you could get rid of the annoying tutorial, just skip it completely please! A game of micro-management for the budding village idiot. There are far better games on the market right now without the need for fancy graphics, and you can actually enjoy them.
Vinny Savory, Netherlands

This is a good case of over-hype and whatever new is always the best yet. It is quite good, but at the centre of the game beats an old, gather materials and build, heart. Albeit, with a few fun touches.
Rob Williams, UK

Some tips: Play the game to 'beat it' and you won't enjoy it. Play it to relax and you will have a great time.

Don't pander to your villagers every need - the more you do something the more you will have to do it.

Copy the music folder from the CD-ROM to the Audio directory of the game and save/load times are hugely increased.

It's a great game that won't appeal to those who want to buy a game, beat it and move on to the next.

It should be played with a much more relaxed and creative frame of mind. The 14 - 24 age group don't seem to like it for these reasons.
Andy, Wales

It was very good for the first hour but that didn't make up for the rest of the game. I, and many others I know, feel cheated.
Stewart Graham, UK

It's brilliant! If you just want to play to win as quickly as possible, then perhaps this game is not for you, as if you do, you'll miss most of it. This is not a game to be rushed through to victory. It's a game to be savoured.

Training your creature, just watching the things it does (I've been known to just sit for an hour and watch my creature wandering about doing stuff.

The creatures are marvellous. My tiger is as daft as a brush and took ages to learn any miracles, but he's a great breakdancer. He's very fluffy and cute and looks gobsmacked when you do anything near him.

My ape, however is a bit of a devil. No end of slapping or putting on the leash of compassion will stop him snacking on my villagers whenever he gets the chance.

My cow is incredibly cute, and burst into tears when that nasty old hermit laughed at her. So I made her eat him. Ha! Great game, I love it.
Antony, UK

The graphics and the interface revolutionary are superb and in general it seems to be a good game. My problem is that it seems to be impossible to be a good god. No matter how hard I try, I cannot make my villagers happy and content.

On a separate note, the creatures in the game can be a nightmare. I chose the cow as my creature but it is intent on going to the toilet in the centre of my village! When I got hold of a "Grow Creature" spell, I should never have used it. All I have now is a giant cowpat as the centre piece of my village! All I can say is "very funny Molyneux!".
Ross Heritage, UK

The game itself didn't work on my PC, even though the PC was beyond the required specification. More annoying still was the fact that since installing it one of my favourite other games from the same publisher no longer works! I paid 35 to lose a game! Avoid it like the plague.
Tim Watson, UK

I'd be able to give an opinion on the game if I could get past the tutorial without it crashing... hopefully the patch released on monday will fix that
michael,

I've seen Black and White played beautifully, unfortunately it was on a really fast PC. This seems to be the way games are going - new games require the latest in computing power if you want to stand a chance of enjoying them.

B&W is also best played in multi-player over a nice high-speed LAN. The trick is not to be nice, expand and micro-manage but to steal the enemy's children and sarifice them on your altar!
James, UK

Designed to draw you in slowly using its 'coaching', it is a very beautiful environment with an interactive feel, all very positive and creative. It will interest you until the repetition sets in after 6 hours of gameplay. It needs something more than just god-sim features.
Paul Anderson, USA


I applaud innovation, so I hope it does well. But I doubt I'll be playing again

Andy Strangeways, UK

Hype is the right way to describe this game. It does look very pretty, but turns out to be very shallow, in my opinion, boiling down to throwing objects about a screen.
Chris, UK

I love it! My 11-year-old daughter loves it (she has taught her tiger to break dance). My friends and I swap stories about what our creatures are doing now, and the subtle humour that runs through the tasks is sublime.

This is definitely one of the most impressive games I have seen in a long time, from the graphic technology used which seamlessly scales the detail to fit the host PCs power through to the impressive AI of the central character - it shows why it took so much time to produce.

I would recommend this game to anyone. Period.
Alan Faller, England

This game lives up to the hype, it's brilliant. All the aspects of this game have been done with attention and care and it really shows.
John Hunt, England

Very disappointed.

It is a beautifully presented simulation, but the player's ability to affect what happens seems very limited.

The online play interface is terrible - no out-of-game chat, game names vanish before you can join, I could go on and on.

I applaud innovation, so I hope it does well. But I doubt I'll be playing again.
Andy Strangeways, UK


If you buy this game, beware - social activity and daylight will be distant memories!

Steven Meers, UK
B&W is the finest example of a PC game ever. It's got it all. Strategy, playability, superb graphics and sound, and to top it all, some very good humour. I've never seen a game live up to its hype. Until now.
Rob Lyons, UK

I found the game very difficult to get into, and I've pretty much stopped playing it altogether, it's too slow moving and I cannot be bothered to invest the time that it requires.
David, Wales

Totally blown away and amazed and stunned and pleased and surprised! At first, that is. By the time I had started the third island, it started to feel a bit samey, with no obvious end or goal in sight.

Don't get me wrong, this game will push the PC gaming envelope further and inspire others to do the same but ultimately, it isn't a great game in the long term, despite being wrapped in the best audio-visual effects a game has ever seen.
Neil, UK

It seemed an eternity waiting for this game to come out but I have to say that I am very impressed with the end result. The graphics are stunning and the AI top notch - basically, folks, yes, it has lived up to the hype.
Rob, Wales

Never been so bored in my life. So gameplay means that you have to have at least a couple of years to devote to this full time. You're better off going outside and meeting some real people.
Andrew, UK

Black and White has completely redefined a genre - something very rare in PC gaming these days. The interface is truly revolutionary, allowing for a more immersing gaming experience, the graphics and sound are good but the thing that keeps you coming back is the raising and training of your creature - one of the most satisfying gaming experiences I've had.

If you buy this game, beware - social activity and daylight will be distant memories!
Steven Meers, UK


Amazing, finally a chance to be evil without breaking the law

Daniel Ackroyd, UK

I bought this as soon as it came out and have played a few hours worth. Graphics amazing, concept good but so far it has failed to hook me like Populous 3, Age of Empires 2 or Halflife which literally took evenings out of my life.

Perhaps there is more to come? I found the whole creature concept a little difficult to get into and control too. It's not as interactive as I'd been led to believe... I'm only on the 3rd world I think but I'm struggling to call it a great game at the moment.
Gary Wood, UK

This is the best game in the world ever. Nothing else gives you such scope for development of your character, such amazing graphics, such immersion in the experience. I can't wait to play it. (Don't be a sucker to the hype folks!)
Carl, UK

Amazing, finally a chance to be evil without breaking the law.
Daniel Ackroyd, England


This game is so overrated

Grant Burningham, USA

Black and White is limitless, however, with such freedom, lesser players will feel overwhelmed, lost or just plain bored. Others will embrace the game, wave goodbye to your social life!
Djay, UK

I bought into the hype only to discover yet another tedious saga of micro-management. The much-vaunted creature didn't reflect my personality so much as the fact that I turned the game off and went down the pub.
Phil, Canada

B&W was a novel concept but flawed badly by a moronic control system and some serious gameplay issues which resulted in me, along with a vast number of others, uninstalling it scant hours after getting the thing home.
Chris Walker, UK

Not worthy of all the hype. It's OK I guess - hardly the next big thing. I'm looking forward to Twisted metal 4 on psx2!
Steve, England

This game is so overrated.
Grant Burningham, USA


Well done, Mr Molyneux, for getting away with charging 30 for such a clunker of a game

Danny, UK
Hmmm, Molyneux has brought out the same game again with a few new graphics and twists, but to me it is basically Populous all over again. I'm still waiting to be impressed, and I'm suprised you can play it with all those bugs in there too...
Sol, England

After reading all the reviews I rushed out and brought a copy when it was first released. Sadly, the flawed control system and obscure missions/subplots soon wore me out and I haven't gone anywhere near it for a number of weeks.

It's a tedious game and did nothing for me at all, I honestly can't see where all the hype came from, do reviewers actually play the games they're reviewing? Sometimes I wonder.
Craig, UK

The initial wow factor of Black and White cannot be denied. The graphics are absolutely stunning. The game is incredibly in-depth and allows you to do whatever you like, however you like. Well, that is unless you want to complete the game. The life of an all powerfull being is not an easy one. The tiny denizens of the world are of the most demanding variety and it is this that takes the shine off the game for me.

Add to this incredibly long loading and saving times (up to 15 minutes on the last level) and what you have is a game which is frustratingly good and bad in equal measures. But then perhaps that is the whole point. The game is about good and evil after all.
James Cumming, UK


Sorry, but in the end, play testing should have ironed out the problems which for me have ruined the good points

Paul Benwell, UK
So indepth that it's scary. You can go back and play it again and again, as you will be guaranteed to have missed something. A game that will kill time with no mercy!
Chris, UK

B&W could've been a masterpiece.... sadly the gameplay has let it down and after about 5 hours of achieving very little I got completely bored and gave up. Well done Mr Molyneux for getting away with charging 30 for such a clunker of a game.
Danny, UK

Loved and hated!

The technology is great, the creatures are huge fun and seeing what you can teach them is an artform.

However, I restarted the game after dying in Act IV and soon became frustrated at not being able to skip ahead of the mundane tutorials. In fact, I got so annoyed I stopped playing and haven't gone back.

As for saving....make a cup of tea! More like a 3 course meal. Sorry, but in the end, play testing should have ironed out the problems which for me have ruined the good points.
Paul Benwell, UK

Nice, but nowhere near as good as a fully patched-up Falcon 4.
Richard, UK

What is there to playing this game, really? You lay down a very basic village, slap a disobedient avatar a few times, and then water some trees. Then go and do the same in a nearby village.

If you're lucky, a fight will break out between your avatar and an enemy one: this amounts to clicking rapidly on the other creature's body - great. I took the game back. Better off with Age of Empires.
Paul McLernan, Scotland

Black and White is a genre-breaking game that requires a lot more than a soundbite phrase to sum up/review.

It's a game that requires you to actually think about the consequences of your actions. You don't have to micro-manage if you don't want to, villages will survive without your inteference.

The graphics and use of sound are peerless, but it does unfortunately crash often and the load/save times are long. I think it's a fantastic game and truely deserves its accolades.
Dan Burges, UK


This is not a game to be rushed through to victory. It's a game to be savoured

Anthony, UK
Graphics are great, but I'd expect that from any game coming out now. During the 3rd level I realised I was bored with it. Haven't played it since...
Joe, USA

Superb interface and graphics... but the plot is far too restrictive - I was always waiting to finish the tutorial and begin the game proper. The game was over before that happened - just too easy!

Magic Carpet was far more playable in the long run.
Tomjon, UK

It was very good for the first hour but that didn't make up for the rest of the game. I, and many others I know, feel cheated.
Stewart Graham, UK

I'd be able to give an opinion on the game if I could get past the tutorial without it crashing... hopefully the patch released on monday will fix that.
Michael, UK

I've seen Black and White played beautifully, unfortunately it was on a really fast PC, this seems to be the way games are going, new games require the latest in computing power if you want to stand a chance of enjoying them.

B&W is also best played in multi-player over a nice high-speed LAN. The trick is not to be nice, expand and micro-manage but to steal the enemy's children and sacrifice them on your alter!
James, UK

It's brilliant! This is not a game to be rushed through to victory. It's a game to be savoured. Training your creature, just watching the things it does.

I've been known to just sit for an hour and watch my creature wandering about doing stuff. The creatures are marvellous. My tiger is as daft as a brush and took ages to learn any miracles, but he's a great breakdancer. He's very fluffy and cute and looks gobsmacked when you do anything near him.

Great game, I love it.
Antony, UK


This is a good case of over-hype - whatever new is always the best yet

Rob Williams, UK
I have no idea. We bought the game last month, and it freezes every damn time I try to play the thing.
Michael, UK

The game itself didn't work on my PC, even though the PC was beyond the required specification. More annoying still was the fact that since installing it, one of my favourite other games from the same publisher no longer works! I paid 35 to lose a game! Avoid it like the plague.
Tim Watson, UK

This is a good case of over-hype and whatever new is always the best yet. It is quite good, but at the centre of the game beats an old heart. Albeit, with a few fun touches.
Rob Williams, UK

Some tips:

Play the game to 'beat it' and you won't enjoy it. Play it to relax and you will have a great time.

Don't pander to your villagers' every need - the more you do something the more you will have to do it.

Copy the music folder from the CD-ROM to the Audio directory of the game and save/load times are hugely increased.

It's a great game that won't appeal to those who want to buy a game, beat it and move on to the next.

It should be played with a much more relaxed and creative frame of mind. The 14 - 24 age group don't seem to like it for these reasons.
Andy, Wales

I like the concept of moral decisions leading to related outcomes, but find it a tad too linear, the early tutorial annoying, and the control interfaces (having to actually go to your temple) a bit limiting.

Otherwise the graphics are very good for a PC, and it is an excellent game for someone new to the genre, early teens probably, with a fast computer.
Zac, Canada


Black and White: more frustration than fun

Simon Osborne, UK
I have a P3 500 with 128Mb of Ram and a TnT2 graphics card, and this game simply will not run. It is as if the code is sloppy and causes more work to be done by the processor than is really required.

One or two frames per second on a PC well inside the minimum spec is appalling. Changing all of the settings to minimum had little effect in improving gameplay. This game is overcooked and under-optimised.
Ben Hopkinson, England

Does Black and White live up to the hype? Sort of. Is it a good game? Yes, but...

There are a huge number of annoying "features" present. Sorry, did I say features, I meant bugs (and I know a bug when I see one). If it had passed across my desk during testing there's no way it would have been shipped as it is.

There are serious flaws in some parts of the game that not only make replaying it a major exercise in patience but also allow fairly simple forms of cheating. The game is also one of the most unstable I have encounterd in the last year.

Black and White: more frustration than fun.
Simon Osborne, UK

I don't have time to play games often, so this is the first game by Molyneux that I have tried. Reading the other responses it seems like you either love B&W or hate it. Count me in with the love it faction!

I spend a couple of hours on it a week, so I'm not very far yet, but I love being able to go slow, and I enjoy watching my creature when I'm bored feeding villagers. I tend to get fed up with fast-paced games, so maybe B&W's one to avoid if you need constant action.
Anthea, USA

What's this proplem with saving, I have a file which removes the need for the CD - hey presto, 30 seconds saving time.
Bob, Bognor Regis

To sum it up: Black and White is an excellent game for the 30 - 40 hours of gameplay that you play it. After that, it's all a bit samey, and with only 5 levels, there's not much replayability.

On the grand scale, if a game can amaze you for 40 hours then it's well worth the money in my opinion. If you are going to buy, wait for the patches to fix the existing problems, of which there are a fair few.
Al, England


This is truely one of the great games of the year...perhaps of all time

David Collins
I think it's good. My friend says it's boring. I think the kitty is the cutest one. I like the way he purrs when you pat him. I like it when he growls.
Steve Clark, USA

This is truely one of the great games of the year...perhaps of all time. I've been playing for well over 20 hours and I am still on the first level. The graphics are great, as well as the gameplay. The only problem is the large number of bugs. But this shouldn't be a problem for much longer, because Lionhead are bringing out a patch very soon.
David Collins, UK

I can sympathise with those who felt it was a bit disappointing. Coming from an older generation of computer gaming, I expect more from a strategy game in terms of growth and reward.

Even as a game played for playing's sake, it grows dull much too quickly, seeing as the only resources are food and wood, and the variation of buildings is horribly inadequate.
Jeremiah Kauffman, North America

Excellent screenshots! I saw them in magazine previews and when I ran the game on my machine. It's not the fastest but well above minimum specs and all I get is a slideshow. Controlling the game is like trying to drive a formula with porridge in your shoes. Maybe the performance affects my overall opinion but it did also seem a little slow and boring, like data entry really.
Jonathan Quinlan, England

It is not a game for shoot 'em up fanatics, and is easy to beat if you want to, which is a shame. While it is challenging, if your aim is to solve all the puzzles and make your creature as hot as you possibly can, then this is one of those games where you start it at lunchtime and next time you look, the sun is coming up.
Duncan, UK


A fun game to play with lots of potential. Needs a beast of a computer behind it, though

Jon, UK
I'd say this is one of the best games I've ever played, I mean, has there ever been another game where you can have a cow with a scaly back, smoke emerging from its skin and bent horns on its head? Then you get to watch it fight other creatures! Talk about completely original!

The graphics are wonderful and the maps are huge. The only problem is the load times. This game is truly magnificent and deserves a wonderful rating.
Nicholas Dunn, Canada

The best game out there. If I listed everything I liked about it, I'd be here for hours! It has its flaws, but a great buy!
Andrew Heiberg, USA

I love Black and White because it's not as linear as everyone says it is. People say its linear because they won't change their way of playing the game and expect the game to do it for them, which is a big illusion used a lot in today's linear games.

It's your mind that decides the way you play Black and White. If you don't change your mind about what you dislike about the game and try it a different way, than you will find yourself on the same path through Black and White every time you play.

So stop saying you were cheated, and then realise: Black and White was cheated by you.
JJ, USA

Populous 3 with slightly improved graphics and a nutter of a creature running around eating people. I've worked as a tester and all I can say is, for three years in the making, how long did they actually test for? A bug in the final level which shrinks your creature - how can you miss that if you've been playing for three years?!

This isn't a bad game, it's just flawed, Lionhead please finish this game and give us the game you've been promising us for three years!
Paul, UK


This really is a benchmark in gaming, stick with it and you'll get a lot out of it

LC, UK
Well, this is a great game. I only found a few bugs. The game does also get kind of hard. Like in level 4 with fireballs and lightning coming at you at the same time, while trying to manage a village or two from scratch. Even with these problems, this game is a must buy! Rating:94%.
Chad Hall, USA

Not a great game, not even that good. The creature concept is interesting. I have 2 tigers and they're both stupid so I want to get an ape next...that's the problem...I haven't touched the game in a month because I couldn't bear to sit through the tutorial again.

Graphics are good but if you want better sound, gameplay and more action, get Sacrifice instead.
Glen, Canada

A fun game to play with lots of potential. Needs a beast of a computer behind it, though.
Jon, UK

B&W demonstrates some of the smoothest real-time 3d graphics I have ever seen within a game (albeit on my P4/256MB/GForce2 64MB spec computer). The best demonstration of this is to zoom all the way out into the heavens so that you can see all of the island and then gradually zoom in - allowing you to see the smallest detail on the side of a person, all in one fluid motion with no pausing or frame-dropping.

B&W does throw up some issues. The first is its spy-ware methods which download certain information about your computer to B&W publishers EA. This is to ensure that the game cannot be easily pirated. EA flatly deny that they are 'spying on users' but do confirm that they collect some information about the user. This obviously raises certain privacy issues, especially if this is the path that future games will follow.

B&W may be another re-hash at the strategy-based genre and this shows in its somewhat tired gameplay. However, the fine graphics are certainly a benchmark for future games in this and other genres.
Ben Metcalfe, London


Many people have criticised the game, but these are the people that were caught up in the hype

John C, UK
Its a wonderful game. You can sit and watch your creature for hours, giving you plenty of funny moments. And there has never been a better feeling in a game as when your creature performs its first miracle.

Granted, the bugs are annoying, but you must look beyond them. Or wait for the patch.

Overall, the game deserves the hype-status it has.
Daan, Netherlands

The concept of the game in its current form is simply amazing. The graphics engine is breathtaking although older computers may get choked at times. But it is the little menial tasks that you must perform as a god that is the drawback to this game.

To get your followers to do what you want them to do, you must interact with each one individually and only one at a time. Sometimes that can be as many as a thousand followers picking up quantity items. This is slow and time consuming and you can only hold 20,000 units at a time. It is all this micro-management of the villages that seems to bog it down from it unlimited potential.
Brian Fanning, USA

This game is pure genius, it really is. Like it or not, you can't deny that the game had serious thought and imagination put into its design. I love it, I really do. The graphics are just fantastic, and it runs well even on my meagre system.

One thing annoys me though, is the way that everyone is saying it is really unstable and is full of bugs! It runs fine on my system (and it really shouldn't) and the bugs are few and far between. The fact is, this game is so large and complex, there are bound to be a few that slip through.

This really is a benchmark in gaming, stick with it and you'll get a lot out of it. If I see Molyneux, I'll buy him a pint - or the pub if I must.
LC, UK


Qualms aside, this is a great game, but in dire need of a sequel now

Ben, USA
Yep, good points and bad. Overall I think it's pretty fabulous. Lots of comments such as 'it won't work, I feel ripped off'. Well, have you read the readme file, or checked the website for updates etc. or e-mailed product support? That's why these things exist.

Finally, after too many years of RTS and FPS, a true 'new' genre. These guys should be congratulated! Can't wait to see where they take this concept in future games.
Adam Simpson, New Zealand

After years of being hyped to death, I have to say Black and White is quite a disappointment. It's basically a glorified Tamogatchi. The "revolutionary" AI smacks of scripting, and the single player plot is terribly linear. The save/load times are annoying, too.

Yes, you can squeeze some fun out of this game, but in the end, you are just left thinking that there should be something more to it... hopefully expansion packs will fix this, but as it stands Black and White is not, as most of the press are hailing it, the best thing since sliced bread.
Adrian Johnson, UK

Does it live up to the hype? No. Could any game have lived up to the hype? No. But fundamentally, is this a game you should have in your collection? A very definite yes. Many people have criticised the game, but these are the people that were caught up in the hype and carried along a mental image of how perfect it would be - which is frankly impossible to satisfy.

The bugs in the game are minor, and with the patch being release on the 21st of May, these should all be fixed - as well as new features being added to further expand the game. You have to forget current ways of playing and just play how you feel like, giving a much richer experience. Spend time with it and you will appreciate it much, much more.
John C, UK


This game should blatantly have been in development another couple of months

Dave Wallis
I really love this game, the graphics, animations, sound, and addictive gameplay really sucked all my time up. The one big problem is the lack of story/plot.

More (much more) mini quests, and more focus on your creature instead of micro-managing your villages would really make this the perfect game.

Qualms aside, this is a great game, but in dire need of a sequel now.
Ben, USA

After 3 years in development and however many millions of lines of code, the fact there were only 2 or 3 major bugs in the game is amazing!

Never mind the fact that this game has had me hooked from the day I bought it.

Now I hear the bugs will be fixed in the patch due out May the 21st. Oh boy, time to clear the diary again...
Chris Wootton, UK

This is an excellent game that is almost everything you've heard about it. Unfortunately, due to excessive computer player cheating and many bugs throughout the game, the experience is nigh-on ruined. This game should blatantly have been in development another couple of months, the lack of effective debugging shows that.

If you can live with crashes, loss of saves and problems in-game, you will love what's left - an involving and exciting (almost) non-linear RPG/strategy/AI showpiece.
Dave Wallis, UK

Black & White is quite badly named since the game covers all shades of gray. Few games ever let you be bad without smacking you over the head for it. In the few of those that do it's because of flaws in the game's AI, so it's nice to see a game that doesn`t force you to be good but instead encourages you to do so of your own choice.

As for the ease of the game, the simple fact is that while the plot is there to be played through the real joy of the game comes from interacting with your creature.

The more you play with him the stronger the creature's personality becomes. Forget the objectives, reload in level 1 and just watch him to see what he gets up to. Better than a goldfish tank any day.
Hassan, UK

What a great game. I've been waiting ages for Black & White to come out and now it's here. I went out and bought it and I was impressed. The graphics are superb and the gameplay is extraordinary. This game will keep even the greatest of PC gamers happy for a long time.

The ability to have your own creature that learns from you is another added bonus and the best thing about the game is that you have the power. You can do whatever you want. You can be a good god and look after your villages and people or you can be a bad god and wreak havoc over the village by dropping large rocks and houses and smashing them or by picking up people and throwing them half-way across the map. Overall this game is a must have for all PC owners. Get it now!
Daniel Rogers, Australia

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