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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Thank you. Thank you. Oh, and thank you.
I was afraid the entire world had gone insane. I played it for about 20 minutes, The only positive thing I can say about this game is that the alt-f4 to quit shortcut works. I googled to see what the hell I just subjected myself too…and people…liked this game? WTF? I’m afraid about what humanity is coming to if this can come off as “good”
I too bought spore and regretted it shortly after. It was one of the few games I’ve ever bothered to delete from my hard drive. Thank you for writing this, It gives me hope that there are still a few of us with braincells left.
It’s launched on my birthday! I know what you’re all getting me….! 🙂
I was surprised by it when I tried out the private beta via a friend’s account some weeks ago.
I was surprised how something so boring ever made it this far in development without some bright spark, somewhere in a position of authority considering pulling the plug and spending the money on pizza instead.
Glad you’re sane, Pike. For a moment, I was worried at your prolonged indulgence on my Steam friends list.
I watched the trailer for this last night after hearing that it was free for a limited time and was 4 player co-op.
Half way through said trailer I realised that I’d forgotten to paint certain bits on our skirting boards and that I needed to level the floor some more in the living room ready for the carpets. The trailer was that good.
“FIGHT AS A SQUAD (WITH FRIENDS THAT HATE YOU)”
“COORDINATE ATTACKS (BY CLICKING AT THE SAME TIME AS YOUR FRIENDS THAT HATE YOU)”
“WIN AS A TEAM (OR FAIL AS YOUR FRIENDS THAT HATE YOU LEAVE TO PLAY SOMETHING MILDLY MORE INTERESTING)”
“I KISSED A GIRL AND I LIKED IT” – Kotaku
Heh heh, Jakkar, I got distracted by laundry and inadvertantly left the game minimized but running all night. I DID NOT, I assure you, play for 11 hours as Steam claims. I got the picture in about thirty minutes.
This should lower Will Wright a notch or two on Metacritic’s new Human Worth Aggregator.
So we have ‘distracted by skirting boards’ and ‘distracted by laundry’ within one community in reaction to Darkspore. One wasn’t even playing it.
If those aren’t testimonials for the front cover, I don’t know what are!
This game sounds awful.
I didn’t even like Diablo II.
I played the original Spore for about 2-3 hours at Steerpike’s house once. It was amusing enough, but I never had the desire to play it again.
Darkspore is great, but if you expect to have fun playing against the A.I… you won’t. EA is going after the DOTA market here, not the Diablo players. The entire point to Darkspore is squad PvP, like DOTA, Demigod, LoL, etc. If you’re not playing that part of the game, you’re going to be disappointed. If you’re not at all interested in PvP, this game isn’t going to hold your interest for more than 30 minutes and you should skip it and play something else. But, if you did like DOTA et. al. you should definitely try Darkspore.
I can’t agree with you. DOTA strikes me as wildly more original and entertaining than DarkSpore, and the world is so packed with outstanding co-op and versus games that the dull blue clickgasm of DarkSpore won’t stand out in any way shape or form. Of course, personal mileage may vary and I respect your view, but in my opinion this is a game that should never have left planning stages in the state it’s in.
I played this game on my brothers PC and I instantly realised the market it was directed at.
Its directed towards people who like to think they are playing a game but aren’t really. Its the same people you see in the local arcade or movie cinema waggling the joystick and mashing buttons frantically before gasping at their loss unbelievingly and slotting in their next quarter to try again with nothing short of mindless precision. There is a market for this sort of thing; but to me its mine sweeper with graphics and less thinking.
I agree with most, if not all the negative comments about this game. Allow me to add one more: it’s ****ing FIFTY BUCKS (USD)!!!
Also, I feel it is my civic duty to emphasize the fact that you (not your hero/es) must reach level 9 to unlock the PVP aspect of the game. To reach said level in a slightly less mind-puréeing manner, I highly recommend you group with those “FRIENDS THAT HATE YOU” and take advantage of the exceptional boost in experience gain.
Welcome to Tap, CrazyB!
In general I don’t trash a game so completely based on a beta, which by definition means there’s still theoretically time to improve the game. But only a TimeShift-style delay, destruction of all assets, and restart from the beginning could save this dog. I feel bad for all involved.
Thanks! I’m glad to have stumbled upon this site, as I’m a fan of intelligent and respectful reviews.
The Darkspore Beta, with its non-stop hack-and-slash (pound, shoot, eye-laser, etc.) combat and DotA-esque cache of heroes varying in appearances and abilities, seemed at first to offer a pleasant rest stop on the road towards what I hope to be Blizzard’s next El Dorado: Diablo III.
Sadly, the execution is just so terrible. I reached experience level 10 without a single iota of immersion towards the storyline. I mean, honestly, who cares if a bunch of aliens want to kill/assimilate a bunch of other aliens. Ironically, the hero that showed the most emotion was the AT-ST looking robot, making quirky little gismo noises as I rained Cold-War-rivaling amounts of artillery on everything that moved.
Group missions were more of the same… except significantly faster, with the only pay-offs being the rarified quality item drops and the aforementioned boost in XP gain.
I can’t speak for the PVP side of the moon. I didn’t bother with it. Ever since hanging up DotA and HoN respectively, I’ve been reluctant to get involved with any game along those lines. And if I do, it’ll be to LoL with my friends, you know, for FREE.