B&W2 -- more of the same?

Just read another article about B&W2, this one from GameSpy. Is it just me, or does Molyneux seem not to get it?

And the god, Peter Molyneux, told the fans to fear not, for he had heard their cries in the wilderness and promised a new game, with a better interface, new creatures and a lush world to frolick in. The world would be at war, but the fans could mold the game in their own image and bring peace to the land.

Am I the only one out here who thinks that the least of B&W’s problems were the interface, the number and types of creatures, and that the world wasn’t lush enough? I mean, c’mon. The game was dull. Dishwater dull. On top of that, it was micromanagement hell in a way that didn’t even pay any dividends at the end. The word “tedious” was coined to describe B&W.

To be fair, I’ve read in other places that Lionhead is supposedly removing much of the civilian micromanagement from the game, but judging from all the screenshots I’ve seen and all I’ve read, B&W2 still looks way too much like the original for my tastes. The army control does sound kind of neat, and may even allow you to pull off some fancy tactical maneuvers as advertised, but the big problem is that I don’t really care enough to find out. Yet GameSpy and Gamespot soldier on, insinuating that this time Pete’s getting it right. This time the game will be playable. This time the game will be fun.

Well, pardon me if my skeptic hat stays on a good while longer this time. What it honestly sounds like to me is that the Game sisters are determined to justify the exaggerated scores they gave the original upon its release, come hell or high water. At my expense. In this case, unfortunately, I do question the independence and objectivity of the guys writing these articles. I can’t help it, after having been burned so badly the first time around.

http://www.gamespy.com/gdc2003/bandw2/

According to the gamespot, the number of creatures will actually be fewer (along with the number of spells) than the original, so even if some of the choices are different, I think it’s being minimized.

I didn’t find the original to be a good game; personally I find Catz 3 to be a far superior pet simulator, The Sims a better peon pusher, and any RTS in the past five years a better strategy game, and the whole not to be better than the sum of its parts. But I appreciate they seem to be trying to make this version more of an actual game, even if the RTS elements aren’t much my style.

I found this quote from gamespot troubling though:

The distinctions between good and evil from the first game have also moved with the times for the sequel, and while the difference between good and evil actions in the first game was more or less black and white, there will be numerous shades of gray in Black & White II as civilizations do their best to prosper either through war or peace. According to Molyneux, players who actively prepare for war and seek to expand their empire through the use of force will be considered evil, while those who concentrate on making advances within their own city walls and only fight in self defense will be deemed good.

Umm, no, that’s pretty much just black and white. And nothing in either of the previews seems to suggest there will be more complexity to the moral decisions which I always conceived of as the real reason you’d play a god simulator anyway.

A god simulator should be about being a god, not a slave.

As far as I’m concerned, if the people under me are so incompetent and stupid they can’t breed, feed themselves, and build their own homes, the ‘god simulator’ isn’t worthy of my time.

I don’t want to break my mouse trying to perform gay spell moves. Give me hotkeys. S (for spell), submenu: W (offensive), D (defensive), X (special power) A (other). Then number the fucking things.

Make sure my damn peons can build homes and farms to feed themselves. In fact, I don’t know a single fucking game outside of SimAnt where food was a good idea. We play games to have fun, not to fill-in for unfinished AI.

Fuck I hate that game. It’s more of a disappointment than Civ 3 or MOO3.

Mudpuppy, you’re exactly right. Molyneux just doesn’t get it. (This is what I was alluding to in the GDC thread I posted). My comment feedback for his lecture consisted of one sentence: “Molyneux has jumped the shark”.

His lecture was supposed to be “lessons that were learned from Black + White 1 and how Black + White 2 will be better”, but what he actually said was: “Black and White 2 is going to ROCK because you can move your armies around with these little flags (kind of like Warcraft 3’s except you can attach them to objects), and because your creature’s hair will get wet when he goes in the water!!!”

Jesus.

My favorite quote, which he said more than once without at all sensing the irony of it: “In Black & White 2 we want to allow the player to play any way he wants. He can either be evil and raise armies, or he can be good and nurture and house people.”

Jesus.

Basically he has no incentive to fix the game or even understand what’s wrong, because he sold 2 million of the first one because he’s Peter Molyneux. Or something. I figure it’s the same thing as Lucas and Star Wars, but lesser in magnitude.

-J.