Great Games on a Budget – Black & White (PC)

If you’re a Lionhead fan and enjoyed playing Fable you should definitely try this action filled game with a hint RPG. Enter into a world where you are God himself. Black and White developed by Lionhead Studios, published by Electronic Arts is an action filled game with lots of things to keep you playing. This is truly an immersing game that pushes you to see how great a God you can truly become.

The story introduces itself by showing you a family on a beach, the little boy runs into the water and is in danger. Descending from the galaxy, you answer the family’s prayer by saving the little boy, thus beginning your journey of ruling a village. Play as an evil, fearing deity and be praised by your people while they fear you. Or become a compassionate, kind ruler, and you can guarantee that villagers from all nations will adore you.

The tutorial is brief and to the point, unlike some games where you have to endure a ten minute explanation. Starting off in the village called Eden you are taught the basics. Moving around the game is simple, by holding down the mouse button you use your God-like hand to drag on the ground. However I found that looking at the village full screen and zooming in whenever I want was much easier. Soon I found myself seeing villagers hurrying to build a temple to worship me, which I admit gave me a sense of accomplishment. Your guide in this game is your conscience. These angel and demon characters influence you to make decisions. Be it assisting to do genuine deeds or pure destruction. You are given a choice of Tiger, Monkey or cow to become yours, will have to be taught right from wrong.

Later on in the game you can cast spells such as lightening storms or fireballs to cause havoc, which you have to admit is quite awesome. In time he grows larger, becoming a giant moving monument. Your creature can also be taught how to perform miracles. As the master of this island you can pick up trees, wood, animals, even people and do as you please. Keep in mind though that your main goal is to win over every villager on the island. Helping them with tasks they ask of you will be of great use to you. Helping you progress through the story are Story Scrolls on the island. It’s not necessary for you to click on all of the silver scrolls as they are optional tasks, but clicking on the Gold scrolls are mandatory. Assign the villagers to roles such as a forester by picking them up and plopping them next to a tree or drop them by the temple to become a worshipper.  I did enjoy grabbing villagers and hurling forward causing them to was quite fun. I don’t advise this if you are going to be a friendly God as the villagers don’t appreciate being killed. The more villagers you help the more your influence widens, and people will believe that you are a powerful divinity.

In my opinion this game is a bit overrated and overshadowed by Lionhead’s other games like Fable, (not that it’s a bad game), but we should give Lionhead some credit for other works. The game play is relatively easy, but addictive. You want to grow your island and conquer other destinations.  In some ways the game reminded me of Age of Empire with its overview of the village and inhabitants.  I’ll admit that this game does have a special place in my heart as it is a part of my early gaming collection. So I have played it a few times. Fans should appreciate the developer’s earlier games and give it a chance. Is this game replayable? There is something about playing through older generation games that gives a sense of nostalgia. Maybe this is an eligible reason for replay, but I doubt many gamers will if trying this game for the first time.

I’m not denying that the game has issues so onto the errors of the game we go. One feat about the game that annoyed me is that after someone has died (I think) there is a constant whisper of “Death” which can be adjusted by turning off the speakers but who really wants to go through that? It is irritating after a while because let’s face it, it’s pretty creepy. A smooth running PC is essential if you want to see the full potential of graphics in the game. However in my eyes there wasn’t much to see.

The graphics are pretty plain looking and I really think they could of done a much better job on that. You can hardly see peoples’ faces as they are blurred out. They reminded me of clay dolls. There is not much to explore on the Island which is disappointing. You can travel to other destinations but this game is not an open world. My creature didn’t always do as I wanted. I don’t know if that was him trying to rebel or a bug. For example he ignored me giving him food to eat. Simple tasks like that was undeniably frustrating. There is detail in the land and animals though so I do give Lionhead credit for that.

All in all you can guarantee you get a few laughs from the game play. Black and White delivers an interesting storyline and awesome powers for you to use at your own will. The game is different from other RPGs/Strategies I’ve played and is not one of the best but let’s face it, not every game has to be 10/10 for you to have fun playing it. The best thing is it can be picket up at the bargain basement price of just £1.

Subscribe to our mailing list

Get the latest game reviews, news, features, and more straight to your inbox