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    Black & White Preview
    by: Hasta

    What would the PC gaming world be without the legendary Peter Molyneux? Hell on earth… Well, maybe not that bad, but it definitely wouldn't be as badass as it is today.

    Click image to enlargeOkay, those of you who have no clue who Peter Molyneux is… well, shame on you. He is, in my mind, one of the most revolutionary designers in PC gaming history. Sure, you may not know his precious little name, but I'm sure you've all heard of Populous, Theme Park, Syndicate, and Dungeon Keeper. With Molyneux's latest and greatest, Black and White, he hopes to take the God Game genre to new heights. "I created Black and White with one main goal: to create the most attractive and most coherent universe ever seen in a video game," Molyneux said. Sounds to me like he's trying to do much more than change the God Game genre.

    So, you're still not sure what the hell Black and White is all about? Well, being a God Game, you are-God. You control everything you see, and you do whatever you'd like. You rule over an old world filled with little people, ready to do whatever you tell them to (no, not ANYTHING, perverts). Torturing your little ones, getting your favorite little tiger to beat the living crap out of the poor, innocent cow, and getting the local sweetheart to take off her clothes for you, are only some of the things you can do (Note: If you got excited by that last one, get a girlfriend… Because it isn't true). Black and White provides the player with endless possibilities, for whatever their sick little hearts desire.

    Click image to enlargeIt may seem that gameplay in Black and White is similar to most games in the God Game genre. Trust me, it isn't. Until now, every God Game or Simulation has had strict rules that one must follow to get the most out of the game. Recent simulations like Rollercoaster Tycoon, or even The Sims are perfect examples of this formula. Sure, you can do things your own way to a certain degree, but there is no doubt that there is one strategy that will make you do better at the game than another. According to Molyneux, "There is no good or bad way to play Black and White. I'm not telling you which way to go, but whatever course you choose it will strongly influence the way the universe will evolve." The way you play affects everything in your possession. Your people and creatures learn and evolve from your actions, making a feel like no game we've seen before. The single player game will be based on a set of events that take place in the specific world you are in, not having "levels," but rather a playing area that expands as you get further in the game. And while multiplayer will be included, details on the multiplayer system have yet to be determined.

    Click image to enlargeGraphically, Black and White exceeds on all levels. The world you rule over is beyond beautiful. Imagine a game with some of the best terrain's yet seen, buildings with an extreme amount of detail, lifelike water all over for your precious eyes, and on top of all that, tons of little people running all around enjoying life… Oh, I almost forgot the monkeys! How can a game not be good that lets you have your own monkeys? Anyway, while all this is happening, you are still maintaining a rock-solid framerate. The new technology in Black and White is similar to Team Fortress 2's, only to a much bigger extent. The world is in complete 3D, giving you extreme detail from all directions. Not only will you be able to view the camera at a full 360 degrees, but also you will be able to zoom in and out. Zoom in and out… Big deal. Well, it's actually more than any Zoom you've seen in a game. Example: you're common view is the average height, above the buildings, but not close to the skies. Zoom in, and your detail is sti ll extraordinary. What you couldn't see from the higher view, you now can. Next to a villager's house, there is a barrel. Crawling out of the barrel is a worm, in full 3D. And this is no worm made of 3 pixels, oh no! It's detailed with extremely realistic animation. The technology, if you haven't already figured out what it is, provides polygons at each point of view, providing excellent detail keeping up the framerate to the max. Zoom out all the way to the skies, and you see the whole world, still maintaining a desirable framerate.

    All said and done, there is no doubt Black and White will be an epic game. Molyneux has been known for creating games that have revolutionized the industry, and this one will do nothing less than that. Just do this for me: Look at how great his past games have been, and then bare in mind what Molyneux has said himself about Black and White, "In many ways it is the first game I am really proud of." Enough said.
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