Black & White 2 Comparison

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

Intro to Myself:

I would like to introduce myself as this is the first time I have written as part of the team.  This is my first article and I have another project lined up to be published in the near future.  A full introduction can be found on the contacts page.

Intro to the Game:

I'm a die-hard Black and White fan ever since I played the original back in 2000.  I couldn't wait for Black and White 2 and picked it up on release day.  It wasn't long after I started playing I was on the message board bragging about how gorgeous the graphics are.  Because of my passion for the game, Zeus recommended I write a review.  There had already been so many articles and previews published about Black and White 2, I decided to do something a little different.  Instead of a review, I've written up more of a comparison between the original Black and White, and Black and White 2.

After comparing the two games, my gripe list has grown larger than I expected.  Rather than try and separate the good from the bad, pros from the cons, I've written my mixed opinions in the order I played the game...provided you can play it.

Safedisc 4 protects Black and White 2 and seems to go a bit overkill with read errors.  I received more than one I/O error installing the game.  Installation failed the first time and I had to change optical drives half way through the second installation.  Upon running the game, it will also detect any CD emulation software such as CloneCD or Alcohol and refuse to run.  

Game Introduction:    

Less having to do with game play and more of a pet peeve, there is no way to by-pass the introductory animations from the developers and publishers.  After watching these more than ten times, every time after seems like an eternity.  Franticly pressing escape doesn’t make it go away any faster.

One of the biggest let downs of this game is the introductory movie.  After the leaps and bounds made with graphics and animation during the 1,254 days Black and White 2 was in development, I couldn't wait to see what they had come up with for an introductory movie.  But besides adding a special effect here and there and cleaning up some of the pixilation, the movies are identical!  After watching the birth of a God and flying through the universe, to the galaxy, zooming past Earth, circle around the sun, and back to Earth again I thought to myself, "This looks awfully familiar."  After loading up the original Black and White I confirmed my suspicions.  The intro movie is practically identical.  

The animated introduction after you reach Earth is where the new Black and White is different and we see a beautiful rendered land, and meet our conscience.  After selecting a creature and completing basic training, the introduction of the Aztecs invading the Greeks is very well done and establishes a solid plot to the game.

Evil Aztec Warrior The games are somewhat similar in their plot, although the plot in the sequel is a lot more solid.  In the original game you are spawned by a single prayer from the parents of a child as he is approached by sharks in the sea.  After being adopted by the tribe and training in the first land, you learn of an all powerful evil god, Nemesis.  Nemesis is the antagonist the same way the Aztecs are, only instead of banishing or releasing gods on every land to get to Nemesis, the challenge is to win over or defeat the Norse and the Japanese to get to the Aztecs. This swirl of light is an evil enemy God from the original Black & White

Belief VS. Impressiveness:

The original Black and White was developed on the principal of belief.  If a tribe believed in you enough, they followed you.  The successor partly works on a similar system called Impressiveness.  Belief could be had many different ways in the original game, from casting miracles, to moving rocks, and even your creature could score some belief just by doing a little dance.

Gained 45 impressiveness.In Black and White 2, there is no belief.  Tribes automatically believe in you.  Playing "good" is based upon impressing the enemy tribe into abandoning their leader and migrating to your town.  Impressiveness is easily gained by building a huge city.  It's not hard, it just takes a while.  Impressiveness points can be seen every time a building is built or a road is expanded, or a tree is planted in the right spot.

Black and White 2 could have still used the belief system and in my opinion, should have.  Since we are playing the role of a God, belief should be the basis upon winning over a tribe.  In the original game, you could attach your creature to the neighboring town and entertain the villagers until they believed in you.  I tried this same approach in Black and White 2 just to find that my creature simply had no effect.  The creature doesn't seem to be a thing of awe anymore, but simply a giant helper, or if you will, soldier.  Granted your creature will still entertain the villagers, but it won't gain you anything, except maybe some "good" points.

The People Are Robots:

BW - Cow entertaining a neighboring village.I partly think that because the belief system is gone, so is the character in every person.  After playing the original it reminded me that people interacted more with their environment.  They made more noise and chanted better at the altar.  After moving a rock, or casting a miracle, the villagers in the surrounding area would all stop what they're doing, turn their attention to you and give an, "ooooooo, ahhhhh"  Especially around the creature you'd hear "Woo hoo!" or "WOW!"  When the tribe went to chant the music would change, the villagers clapped in rhythm, and chanted, "Hey, hey, hey, hey, heeeeeeyyyyyyyyyyyyyy."  It was kinda cool.  Another tactic you could use as a God was to move a rock into your village.  The villagers would see it as a miracle having this huge rock appear in the village.  Most nights the villagers would gather around and worship a rock.  This would put energy into the rock that you could see, and eventually your symbol would appear above the rock.  So what good is this glowing rock?  Throw it into a neighboring town and the people will be see it and start believing.  Another thing the people used to do, especially at night time when there weren’t enough houses, was gather and sit in groups.  They looked like little homeless people.  It was rather quite real.

BW - Homeless people sitting around Most if not all of these elements seem to have been removed from the sequel, which was rather disappointing.  People no longer worship rocks, or the creature.  I don't think I've ever seen anybody sit either.  Just stand.  Or they never quit moving. BWII - People standing around