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Tuesday, August 15, 2000

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Black and White Preview
5:35 PM | Michael Eilers | Comment on this story

Checkout.com has posted a preview of Lionhead's upcoming 'god game' Black and White, the latest title from Peter Molyneux, the quirky creator of such unique (and popular) titles as Syndicate, Populous and Dungeon Keeper. Molyneux's current creation has been raising eyebrows all over the web since its showing at E3 this year. While it was recently delayed by several months, it is supposedly on track for a December release.

Checkout.com's preview discusses many aspects of this complex god game, from the creatures you raise to be your 'muscle' in the world to the villagers you must persuade -- or intimidate -- into worshipping you. Along the way you must learn spells, complete mini-quests and deal with a formidable AI, and then take your creation online to compete against or just socialize with other creatures. And unlike the mindless slaughter of shooters or the endless capitalism of sim games, Black and White features a game of moral choices. You can literally shape the world around you with your behavior and decisions. And as this quote reveals, your creature will follow your example, good or bad:

Not only will your creature learn from your rewards and punishment, it will also learn from
watching your actions as a God. As your creature evolves and adopts some of your beliefs, it will
gain some of your spell abilities and venture off on its own, acting in your name. For instance,
the creature could travel to a village while you're off somewhere else and support a tribe of
starving villagers by using magic to create food. Just about every single action you perform in the
game has the potential to alter your creature in subtle ways, so much so that even Peter
Molyneux is constantly surprised at what the creatures do on their own. If the creator is surprised
by his own invention, then we as players must be in for a real treat.
Supposedly the complex engine that powers this title simulates an entire world at once, from the weather in the sky to the tree in the field to the apples that tree grows to the worm in a fallen apple. This game is coming to the PC at the end of this year. Peter Molyneux has discussed a Mac OS version of this title several times, and a port to the Mac OS may in fact be in progress at this time. We will bring you more information as it becomes available.

Black and White Preview at Checkout.com
Lionhead Studios
Feral Interactive
Lionhead Studios
Black & White

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