Black & White 2 PC

Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 50
  2. Negative: 2 out of 50
Buy On
  1. AceGamez
    100
    A shining triumph that looks and sounds as fantastic as it plays. It makes war fun, city building easy and your social life non-existent; but let's face it, do you really need friends when you're God?
  2. Black & White 2 is even more unique, more playable, more endearing than its antecedent, and so full of provocative moments that you may find it difficult to tear yourself away.
  3. With this effort, there's no doubt that Molyneux and his team have succeeded in surpassing their original efforts. Black & White 2 is a work of art, beautiful in both its stunning visuals and genius gameplay. [PC Zone]
  4. There's a hell of a lot to do and it often feels daunting - like a big cross between Sim City and Total War. But it's well worth having a go if you think you're man - sorry, god - enough. [GamesMaster]
  5. After countless days of sacrificing sleep to squeeze in a few more hours before finally taking a rest I can safely say it’s quite an addictive force once you get settled in.
  6. The scope of this game is huge and there is so much to do it is baffling.
  7. The game still suffers in gameplay because you’ve got to micromanage your population, telling people to go forth and do things one at a time, but at least your metropolis gets to be inhabited by a populous and intriguing people.
  8. The greatly improved presentation is top-notch, sealing the game up very well.
  9. 88
    There are plenty of things that I wish the game had included, but the one thing the game definitely needs to do is build a greater sense of personal involvement between you and your worshippers. As it is they mean absolutely nothing to you beyond their occupations.
  10. The graphics, creature mechanics, and gameplay can all add to the obsession with B&W2.
  11. Game Informer
    85
    It may not be as ambitious as the original, but it is a fun, clever, and intricate strategy title deserving of your divine attention. [Nov 2005, p.172]
  12. Play Magazine
    85
    You can develop into a deity so festering evil that your on-screen god hand becomes scaled and tattooed... [Nov p.103]
  13. Black & White 2 takes the same unique play style of the original Black & White and adds a system of objectives to make the game more linear. The result is mixed, but those who enjoyed the original will probably still find plenty to like about the new Black & White.
  14. PC Gamer
    83
    An excellent response to the criticisms of its predecessor. [Holiday 2005, p.74]
  15. The sequel is less open-ended and more structured. Indeed, this time there's a more coherent story, which makes it feel like a different game. However, this comes at the cost of some of the free-form gameplay that you may have loved from the original.
  16. Having sat down for 12 hours solid to play through the game in one sitting it would be hypocritical to criticise the game too harshly, it certainly has that Lionhead charm by the bucketload and manages to immerse the player in the world of Black & White effectively.
  17. For what it does right, the game can’t seem to keep from dropping the ball. Combat is a key component in many RTS titles, and here the whole concept just falls flat.
  18. The graphics are superb, and the game plays much better than the first Black & White. Just about every aspect has been improved, from creature training to tending to the needs of your followers.
  19. 80
    Both multiplayer and skirmishing modes which were present in the original game are totally absent in Black & White 2. Thankfully, the single player game is a good deal lengthier than the first game.
  20. The developers took out the Creature vs. Creature combat, but villagers are less helpless and can do things like get their own food and take care of their most basic needs without your constant supervision.
  21. One of the things which sets Black and White 2 apart from its predecessor is the combat system.
  22. The simplistic nature of the game can also turn off many hardcore gamers and the length and difficulty of the game may seem a bit short and easy.
  23. Some parts of the game can drag a little, and the warfare system doesn’t feel fully fleshed out, but creating towns and ‘playing god’ is as fun as ever.
  24. Beautiful graphics make lording over an entire civilization a treat.
  25. Its biggest issue may be its release date: there are simply better games competing for your dollar in the marketplace right now.
  26. If you’re a fan of the first B&W and you were just itching to see how your favorite game could get better, you’ll probably be disappointed by the sequel and be left to ask, like me, how on Earth could Peter Molyneaux have released such a game in the first place?
  27. B&W2 has funny bits and strategic bits and dramatic moments and the creature represents at points a fascinating AI with which to interact, but in terms of a game (and I know I probably use this phrase far too much) the total is much less than the sum of the parts.
  28. Its just too bad they didn’t make sure it all ran well together, there is nothing that can bring you out of the illusion that you are not just playing a game but living it like glitches in the game.
  29. Pelit (Finland)
    77
    Better than its predecessor, but what the player gets is tedious and simplistic. Instead of a challenge, there is a three-unit real-time strategy without the strategy. The creature works rather well, though. [Oct 2005]
  30. This is a solid game, but there isn't much in the way of innovation here that I can see apart from the obvious graphical improvements.
  31. There are a lot of little reasons to get Black & White 2, but none of them comes together with quite the synergy that would make them more than the sum of their parts.
  32. Edge Magazine
    70
    As an RTS, Black & White 2 is less deep, but just as flexible and responsive – and when creatures, miracles, wonders and large armies are all in play it’s arguably the greatest show in gaming. [Nov 2005, p.94]
  33. 70
    Vastly more playable, but still falls short of the series' graphical capabilities and ideological potential.
  34. 70
    Unfortunately, in the process of fixing the game, they ended up stripping much of what made the first game so endearing by allowing the numbers to take precedence over the personality. What Black & White 2 gained in competence; it seems to have lost in soul.
  35. 70
    Black & White 2 shows a crystal-clear understanding of what makes games cool. If only it showed as good a comprehension of what makes games... well, games.
  36. games(TM)
    70
    Few can deny that these improvements have made Black & White 2 a resounding success. The trouble is that gamers were expecting many of these things four years ago. [Nov 2005, p.112]
  37. There are many improvements, yet fans of the game's ambitious predecessor will miss its free-form nature.
  38. Even with some warts, Black & White 2 is still pretty good. Heck, no god is perfect, right?
  39. 69
    Black & White 2, while enjoyable for a while, just isn't full of enough gaming nutrients to make it taste as appealing as it looks in the picture over the counter.
  40. PC Format
    67
    Unquestionably the most impressive thoroughly mediocre game you'll play this year - but hardly a religious experience. [Nov 2005, p.98]
  41. 65
    This is nothing on the beautiful little gem I [didn't] played four years ago.
  42. Much like Sid Meier's recent reinvention of "Pirates!,' huge numbers of ideas have been included at the sacrifice of any of them being particularly impressive. Jack of far too many trades, apprentice at only a few.
  43. 60
    Everything in the game is too clear and too consistent. There’s no room for ambiguity or context. You’re either a goody two-shoes or a complete jerk.
  44. Black and White 2 might be one of the shallowest games I have ever played. In fact, I am depressed that a developer like Molyneux has been able to continually botch up awesome-sounding ideas so thoroughly for so long.
  45. The game is gorgeous, features great depth and affords some neat strategic elements. But as time wore on I couldn’t stop myself from thinking that I’d like to be playing a game that is less boring and includes more in the department of "doing things".
  46. netjak
    55
    While "B&W" simply was dull and arduous, B&W2 ended up being far too easy to handle with little reason to go through again as the opposite alignment.
  47. Disappointment is the litany of B&W2. As an evil god, I can build prisons and worse...but why? There's no payoff. Pointless minigames that eschew the game's central morality conflict end up being stupid, insulting, and/or infuriating.
  48. The basic problem with B&W2 is that once again you're micromanaging a world for people who are too lazy and stupid to be able to do the simplest of tasks, such as build a house or find someone to mate with, for themselves. It's a real shame.
  49. Computer Games Magazine
    40
    The cow is missing a lot of the inscrutability - and therefore personality - had in the last game. [Jan 2006, p.49]
  50. The campaign is lackluster both in terms of plot and scope (even the optional "side" missions, while still present, aren’t nearly as creative or engaging as the original’s – and where’s my damn singing sailors?).
User Score
7.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 115 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 30
  2. Negative: 4 out of 30
  1. Jul 7, 2012
    6
    A decent game that can consume a lot of your time! It is quite enjoyable. But the warfare is completely stupid, what is the point of going toA decent game that can consume a lot of your time! It is quite enjoyable. But the warfare is completely stupid, what is the point of going to war if the enemy can use destroyed armories to create platoons? The enemy can create a fully experienced platoon in 3 seconds without having to recruit people. That makes warfare unnecessary and shallow. Full Review »
  2. JonasH.
    Mar 23, 2008
    8
    This game is great. You control everything, being this the position of the natural resources (You need a tree in the town centre? Move it This game is great. You control everything, being this the position of the natural resources (You need a tree in the town centre? Move it from the forrest) as well as how you want your citizens to act. One thing I love especially about this is that you can make an evil creature who'll eat and dump on citizens. Only on one, rather vital, point does this game fail. It has a terrible bug that gives my Logitech G9 mouse (3200dpi) an 16DPi working resolution, and this really ruins the whole experience. It's very frustrating when, for the fifth time, you grab a citizen while trying to grab a tree or pad your pet. Full Review »
  3. Nov 10, 2013
    6
    In comparison to the original game, this follow up feels simplified. Sometimes it's for a good cause, but it often feels like content has beenIn comparison to the original game, this follow up feels simplified. Sometimes it's for a good cause, but it often feels like content has been ripped away rather than refined.

    The graphics are stunning, even today. But the game feels like a cheap RTS with uninspiring gameplay. You may take over villages by impressing them (this is the good way), and you do this by hoarding up a bunch of stuff in your starting village. It's unclear whether a lot of the stuff actually has any function besides looking pwetty and cranking up your impressiveness-meter. To unlock such things, you'll have to buy them through tribute. Tribute are earned by doing different "quests", which seems more like boring achievements. Such as building 10 houses, getting your creature to harvest 5000 grain, or taking over two towns. You may also earn tribute through silver scroll quests, that are a lot like the one's from the original game; where you have to go through small challenges such as solving puzzles or just throwing barrels from island to island. Even though the structure are the same as in the original, the quests feels a lot more shallow as your reward will always be tribute. You'll never be surprised by getting a silly beach ball or a new pet. In some levels throughout the game, the tribute thing may become a problem. Either you'll get bored, as you've unlocked everything early on; or you'll find a level impossible to win as you haven't unlocked enough stuff; while the opponent is about to build an epic wonder that'll be more or less an instant win. It'll then be very tedious having to restart a map that you've played for hours.

    The creature aspect is another thing that has gotten revamped. You may choose from 4 pets at the very beginning of the game with no particular quest leading up to it. Then you'll be stuck with the same pet throughout the game, as there's no other ones to be earned. Your pet is easier to teach, as he will have a much clearer thought bubble over his head about exactly what you may praise or scold him about. You can also go back to any learned behavior via some menu clicks to re-scold or praise him again, should you change your mind. It becomes clear early on that the scold and praise thing is more of an on/off thing, than just directions. This makes the pet a lot easier to maintain, but it will also feel less like a pet, and more like a robot.

    If you want to play as an evil god, you may take towns by force. This is done by creating soldiers, and may be combined with having your creature help out. The system will sometimes make things a bit too easy, as neutral towns rarely pose any challenge. The enemy towns tend to have an extreme amount of soldiers from the beginning though while you have to wait for the breeders to give you new men; making your small legions useless if you aren't stashing up heaps of them during a long time. The creature cannot take over towns just kill enemy troops and buildings; and as the influence system has been replaced with the impressiveness system, there's seldom any point in bringing the creature over to an enemy's town for other reasons than fighting.

    Lastly, the tribute system also covers for the miracles and the skills of your pets. You will have to buy your miracles, as well as your creatures miracles; instead of teaching him them. You will also have to buy functions such as hand gestures and the possibility to force your hand through the influence radar; all through some uninteresting menus with boring descriptions.

    Black and White 2 obviously aims to ease things for the player, making the system clearer and refined. But it comes off as shallow and uninspiring, and more of a regular strategy game instead of a god simulator. It's an okay game, but as the concept holds so much capacity; I must say I'm a bit disappointed.
    Full Review »