It’s no secret that I’m a Peter Molyneux fan. Honest! I know I tease a lot, but I really do look up to the guy as a designer and have spent countless hours playing and enjoying the games he helped make.
The hype levels for Black & White were through the roof. After a long career at Bullfrog, Molyneux had started a new dev studio were he would be free to make amazing games with no compromises. Black & White was going to be the first game from Lionhead, and you could do anything.
How do I know this? Because he told us about it at E3 in a private demonstration. He did the whole “zoom out to the earth, then zoom in on an apple to show a worm coming out to demonstrate the scale of the game” trick, every question we asked him about what you could do was answered with a yes and by the end of the fifteen minutes we left convinced that this was going to be the game that changes the world.
Later that day he stole our taxi, but that’s another story.
Cut to a few months later and the game was out. I remember being so excited to finally have a copy and so annoyed that I had to review another game before I could open Black & White guilt free. Man, was it worth the wait. I loved the spells you could cast, how the world changes based on the moral choices you made, the creature being so interesting to watch, and just being able to do fun stuff like build houses out of monkey poop.
But I also hated so much of it. THE BUGS! So so so many bugs. The patches that took forever to come out and would always add more bugs. The way the creatures would misinterpret what you ask of them and go crazy. The lack of long-term variety. The missions that made no sense.
I still look back on Black & White fondly, though.
A year later at the next E3, I was cruising around Kentia Hall and spotted Black & White for the PlayStation. I spent a second feeling sorry for the poor bastard who would have to cram the game into the little console, and then decided to check it out. It crashed half a second after I started moving the hand around, and nobody looked interested in fixing the demo booth. Here, I took a photo of what I saw before I walked off to take more cash bribes or whatever us games journalists did at E3, it’s all a blur now:
Hey, did you hear that Molyneux is making a new game? After a long career at Microsoft, Molyneux has started a new dev studio where he’s free to make amazing games with no compromises. I heard that Godus is going to be the game that changes the world.