Date: 2008-11-02 11:52:02 Created: null

In the beginning, there was Bullfrog. Then Bullfrog created God.

What Peter Molyneux and friends did was create a game where you are a god and lead your blue-clad people to victory against the people clad in red. What was so terribly wrong with the red people was never explained, but it probably was something nitpicky about religion anyway.

Unlike all those bland RTS games we have today, you don't have direct control over your followers in Populous. The most direct thing you could do was order them to join with their leader and move to your symbol (called your fetish in the first game if I'm not mistaken), meaning you could make them take over opponent buildings one by one and things like that. But most of the time you'd let them pick their own fights when they got close enough to the enemy, concentrating on flattening the land for them and casting a full assortment of cool spells on everything in sight.

Populous II did just the same thing, only with many more (five times more actually) spells and nicer graphics. I had my usual suspicions against sequels when I first played it but those were very much put to shame. The first game isn't even half as interesting when you've played the second one. Being a god has never given you so many cool powers at the same time before, or after. Gigantic roaming plumes of fire, swamps, earthquakes, whirlwinds, baptismal fonts (convert anyone who falls in), city walls, earthquakes, plauges, tidal waves and volcanoes.

Mmmm, volcanoes ... Probably the most impressive spell of all. The ground shook, a loud rumbling was heard, then the ground heaved and rose in a screen-wide area and fires erupted all over the place. Massive!