Spore Reader Review
Spore, a revolution?
Grand Theft Auto introduced the sandbox, Half life 2 introduced advanced realtime physics, and Spore like these games has set a new standard, one that developers will strive to achieve in their own games. Spore has brought not one but two amazing new concepts which could spawn an entire new genre of games in the future.
"Why only two eyes? Create your own unique creatures and watch them come to life, then share them with the world!"
The first biggy is the Creature creator, a small feature in the vast entirety of the game but huge in terms of technological achievement. The level of programming that something like that takes is hugely complex but you wouldn't think it when playing. You can make an entirely original creature from scratch in five minutes, with full animation, texturing, sound, interaction, collision and as many eyes and legs as you like. But the real achievement here is how easy it is to do. Anyone under 50* can instantly begin using the editor to create something which would normally take months of study with 3DS Max and Photoshop CS3.
(*By the age of fifty years the human brain has degraded to a point that it is unable to learn anything relating to computing.)
Second is the content sharing, imagine having the ability to share your custom creation automatically with anyone who plays the game, knowing that somewhere someone is remarking about how odd this new creature that they have discovered is. Well this is exactly what Spore does. Quite incredibly your game will be customised not only with your creations but with every players around the world, allowing a whole galaxy of new civilisations to explore.
Unfortunately though despite these breakthroughs the game as a whole is lacking. The game is split into five stages, each of which work like a mini game, which don't all appeal to a single person. I personally did not enjoy the first four stages all that much and love the space stage whereas my younger sister enjoyed those and not the last. This is good for EA, creating a broader appeal and increasing the target market but it is not so good for the players.
The first stage is based on the old game Asteroids with cells instead of spaceships, it is novel but not worth playing multiple times, the second stage, is like a very repetitive MMO without the online interaction. Then it becomes a simplistic RTS game with only three building types and two vehicles. And finally the space stage, a simplified version of Civilisations (this maybe selling it short as you can explore a whole universe). Each separate stage in itself would not stand up as a separate game in today's market. People may argue that with all the games together it is better than any single genre game but you can only play one stage at a time.
Overall I am left disappointed, perhaps it was too eagerly awaited and couldn't possibly live up to expectation. In the end the only thing that keeps me coming back to the game is the editor, being able to create the wildest things my imagination can come up with does do something for me, it seems to fill that very masculine need to create stuff.
My hope is that the features developed in Spore like the creature creator will be applied as standard in games of the future. Imagine an RTS where all the units can be created before the game starts, limited by a certain amount of credits. Or WOW2 where everyone can colonise their own planet and fill it with whatever customised object they can think of.
So roll on Little Big Planet maybe this one will get it right, I wish I did not have to buy a PS3 just to find out but I will.
7 / 10