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Most of all, I just love the way the game delivers a feeling of close interaction between you, as a god, and your world. So much of this is down to the interface. Yes, there are more menus this time around, and anyone with any sense will soon start using keyboard shortcuts to control movement, but the way in which you can perform most operations just by clicking and dragging is fantastic. I like the way you can just grab your people’s most requested building from a central plinth and lay its foundations on the ground nearby. I adore the way the game gives you information at a glance, lets you copy buildings from nearby buildings, or drag out a regiment to build by grabbing and dragging a flag. It’s brilliant. It works. Even non-gamers can and will understand it. In all the carping about the basic nature of the RTS gameplay, a lot of commentators miss this out.
And in the final analysis, what counts is that I thoroughly enjoy playing Black & White 2. Granted, it’s not without more than its fair share of frustrations, but it still provides worlds in which I can lose myself and challenges I want to get to grips with. It might not deliver all that was promised, but in the long run I really don’t care. As disappointments go, it’s hardly the worst I’ve come across.
I’ve spent hours with my Black & White 2 creature, and while he has some deep-rooted problems and does some fairly awful things, I can’t help but love him all the same. That goes double for the game itself.