Black & White 2 Comparison - Armies, Miracles and More!

Article Index
Black & White 2 Comparison
Armies, Miracles and More!

Armies - The Other Aspect

The option of armies is where the original Black and White suffered.  It was far easier to win a land playing good, than it was playing evil.  When you played good, the people were happy and believed enough that your influence circle grew so huge, you could case miracles in neighboring towns.  Playing the original game while evil was a different story.  While it was still possible, it was much harder to expand your influence circle being mean to your villagers, and armies would have been the ultimate evil tool.

Standing Army

Running Army

Thankfully Black and White 2 picks up the army aspect to assist the hand of evil.  The army aspect is a great and necessary element, but it also needs work.  There is no option to change an army's formation.  The bigger your army gets, the lines they march in just get bigger.  Changing the formation of giant armies, like 250 soldiers or more would be very beneficial.  I like the fact that armies can be merged together, but why can't catapults?  It would have been nice to be able to merge catapults together in the same group.  Other than that, an army can be the ultimate evil tool.  Army's also act and react to approaching enemy armies the way they should, and battles are a blast to watch.

Miracles - Food miracle?  What food miracle?

In the original Black and White, not only were miracles a beneficial tool, they were easily used to gain belief in your village, or a neighboring village.  Simply by casting food, or water, over a village would earn belief.  Of course repeated casting of the same miracle would yield less and less belief points each time until enough time passed the villagers were again impressed by the miracle.
Miracles also came in the one-shot variety.  Sometimes even picking up a tree, a one-shot miracle would be hiding underneath.  One-shot miracles came in handy, and in the third land the one-shot miracle wood generator was the best way to supply your village with wood.  The three main miracles of wood, water, and food, were always available to you.  Additional miracles were earned as a reward, or were a gift.  
There is no food miracle, no one-shot miracles, and miracles don't seem to be impressive at all to the villagers.  Casting water or heal on a group of villagers used to give big belief points.  Now they don't seem to care, although healing does give you "good" points.  Even if the villagers don't care, they used to give an, "oooooooo."   I suppose they are "miracles", but somehow casting a giant fireball on your own people doesn't seem to hurt them at all, or even catch anybody on fire.  But it was my favorite way to dispose of an enemy army.

Let's talk Creature!

I would have to agree that the learning curve of the creature has been improved.  It's easier to teach a creature what is right and wrong and your creature will remember.  However there are a few things I do miss from the original game.  Creatures used to learn how to cast miracles on their own, or rather, they'd learn it from you teaching it to them.  That was neat and the way creature learning should be.  Like a parent teaching a child.  The creature would attempt the miracle several times and learn it.  It was rather entertaining watching a creature try and cast a spell.  Now creature miracles are simply bought.  What's the fun in that?


I also noticed that while thirst is not a requirement, my creature did go and help himself to the water.  I guess creatures aren't thirsty in Black and White 2.  Another God-like feature that I enjoyed was changing the leash on the creature.  It used to be done by gesture.  Now it's done by a menu.  It was also very nice to be able to change the length of the leash, not something that can be done in Black and White 2.

BW - Cow is learning the 'food' miracle

BW - Creature Drinks

Creatures are no longer assisted in battles against other creatures either.  Originally creatures would create a magical arena to fight in and duke it out with or without your help.  If you wanted, you could intervene and help your creature by queuing up strike positions on the enemy.  It was also possible to make your creature block and dodge.  These features have also been removed from Black and White 2.

BW - Creature fight

BWII - Creature fight

AI - Intelligent?

Crushing an enemy catapult with a rock.With a lack of armies in the original game, there wasn't much to be said about AI.  I'd have to say that the enemy AI in Black and White 2 is somewhat lacking.  While armies patrol and for the most part attack intelligently, an entire army will stand outside your gate and wait...for a fireball.  Enemy catapults always moved too close.  Close enough to be easily wiped out by a fireball or meteor, or better yet, drop a rock on it.  Many times several armies would gather outside the wall gate with no catapult and just sit.  Easy targets that could be wiped out with a single fireball.

Other - The Small Stuff

I believe the sound effects and visual effects having to do with gestures were better in the original game.  There’s no more fishing, and there’s no temple!  On the other hand God building is a definite bonus.  I also like the fact that zooming with the mouse wheel follows your hand.  Multiple hand pick up is one of the best features you can "buy".  I never did understand the point of forcing besides solving two reward challenges, and accidentally harming your own people.  

Conclusion - And The Verdict Is

Black and White created its own genre.  It was a one of a kind unique game with aspects never before seen or thought of.  Black and White 2 tried to implement too many RTS like qualities that have taken away a lot of features that made Black and White it’s own game.  The original game was based around belief and learning.  Belief and learning could have still been used in the sequel.  I don't approve of tribute and buying upgrades.  It un-God-like to buy things.  Why not advance your civilization by nurturing your people and getting them to research new miracles, or new buildings.  On the other hand, if you're evil, force them to research!  The personal touch has been lost in this series as it seems the object is more about earning points than being a God.  The people aren't the people they used to be.

Water Effect - Eye-Candy

Gorgeous Sunrise

With all that was lost in the series I can't help but recommend this game to everyone.  Black and White 2 is one of my favorite games and I will continue to promote it.  The graphics, eye-candy, and physics are extremely realistic.  As much as I've griped about this game, I'm ready to go play it all over again.