Black & White is a God game from the creator of the classic game Populous, Peter Molyneux. It is a game of open endedness in the very definition of the word. You choose what you want to do and how you want to do it, unless of course you feel like progressing to new lands, which requires doing certain tasks
Whenever someone prays, a god is born. In the land of eden, a small child goes swimming, and is surrounded by sharks. His parents call out to the gods for help, and you are born. You are there to stay now, and it is your choice, will you be good or evil?
BW plays out quite simple. You are a god, and have the powers of one. You can pick up people, trees, rocks, etc., and throw them around or drop them on houses. Also, later in the game, you gain miracles, which are like fireball, lightning, or flock of birds (or bats if you are evil). Speaking of evil, that is one of the finest points in the game. You can be good or evil, depending on how you treat your villagers or complete quests. Onscreen, you are shown to be good or evil by the look of your almighty hand.
For a game with so much going on, it must be a complicated control setup. wrong. All control is done with the mouse (unless you choose to use the keyboard). The game has no onscreen menus to speak of, and works quite fluid with this setup. The game also recognizes a gestures system, in which you draw shapes onto the ground with you hand to quickly cast miracles or such.
The most innovative part of this game, however, is the creatures. Shortly after the start of the game, you are given the choice of 3 creatures*.
- An Ape that learns faster than the others, but is also easily distracted
- A Tiger who is best at fighting
- A Cow, who pays good attentiong and learns at medium pace, and is a decent fighter
The creature AI is absolutely brilliant, and no two creatures will be exactly alike. Like you, the creatures can also be good or evil. They learn by being put on leashes and watching what you do, then repeating it. If you like what they do, you can pet them and praise them, but if they do bad (like eat the villagers if you are trying to be good) you can beat them to a pulp.
- More creatures can be found as the game goes on, or downloaded online. When changing creatures,either through the ingame option or through an external program, the personality, size, etc. are transferred to the new one.