Long read: Who is qualified to make a world?

In search of the magic of maps.

If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

X02: BC in the AD

Lionhead’s other Xbox property is equally colossal

It's another world starter from Lionhead. Third person... in existence. Tribal pursuits. Dionsauric. Puns aplenty have been vetoed this morning already, so instead of trying to amuse myself (let's be honest, you're not laughing, are you?) I might as well tell you about Lionhead's BC, set at the dawn of time in a world covered by ravenous predators and starring various dumb-as-a-rock cavemen hoping to evolve. With your careful guidance.

Taking on the role of the main caveman, your goal in BC is to coach your tribe into a thinking, resourceful unit with no need to cower in caves under constant fear of dismemberment. This third person action/adventure sees players leading and developing a clan in the hope of one day becoming the dominant race on the planet.

It's an ambitious pitch, but then Lionhead knows a thing or two about those.

Over the course of the game you'll need to teach your tribesmen hundreds of techniques; how to make fire, how to make weapons, how to use weapons, how they fit into the food chain and how to take advantage of that, and how to avoid becoming worm's meat. Fortunately, each of your tribesman is an individual, living and growing both physically and emotionally. As they become more intelligent, they develop new skills and become easier to interact with.

BC's biggest selling point though is the world you inhabit. Occupied by hundreds of thousands of creatures, each with distinct goals and levels of AI, BC is home to an actual simulation of a food chain and acre upon acre of unpopulated landscape. It's into this harsh and unforgiving world that you're to be thrust, and the idea is to come out the other end smiling, all limbs attached.

BC is another one of those "2003" titles which could slip unceremoniously. We'll have to wait and BC.