Where to begin? Stupidest game ever? Most obnoxiously altered voiceover? Highest quotient of clicking?
If the open beta available on Steam is any indication, DarkSpore – the pathetic grasp at success so profoundly failed with the medicority of Will Wright’s original Spore – this is not one you’ll want to spend your Galleons on.
Why? Because IT SUCKS. Not offensively so, oh no. It sucks in a sad gasp at sucking. It doesn’t even bother to suck hard, suck long, or suck deep. It just… exists, in a vague inversion of pressure. A sad end for a series that never succeeded and barely started.
DarkSpore is an appalling Diablo clone that arrives literally 15 years after the party. It integrates a variant of the Spore creature creator, which is fun but hardly a game of itself, and would have been a much more desirable artifact had a worthy game been written around it; then it is nothing more than click-click-click isometric combat. What horrifies me is that people will pay for this game. I paid for Spore, and I regret it, because I should have known that the epic evolution sim tried to do too much with too little. No one could have done Spore justice, and though creator Will Wright is unquestionably a genius, he is also one man – one man who bolted Maxis within weeks of Spore’s launch. Give a veteran team of 250 $300 million and eight years, and maybe, maybe they’ll achieve something as ambitious as Spore’s original goals.
Spore bombed, philosophically. Oh, it sold good. We were all bamboozled. But the game was a study in plainness. So what does EA/Maxis do? Well, they were clearly drinking – heavily – and came up with the idea of doing a clicky action/RPG with clicking, and making creatures, and clicking.
If you’re a Steam subscriber you can fling yourself into the open beta, which will last until the game’s launch on April 26. In it you will visit the color blue. You will listen to a British accent so distorted – and often played when you’re trying to do something else – that even by the end you’ll have little idea of what you’re doing. Click to go there. Click to kill that thing. Click to click.
Aside from the fact that DarkSpore’s very concept is the equivalent of (and as logical as) turning Caesar III into a first person shooter, it’s not at all fun to play. I knew this going in; it’s not like I was expecting DarkSpore to surprise me or anything. But still, the level of mediocrity we see here is something of which to be ashamed. Skip it.
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