Saturday, 11 October 2008

Review: Spore


EA finally released Spore a few weeks ago and like many my expectations were high. After playing it for some time I had mixed views. The game has done everything it promised, it leaves the player in a world where they will grow their creature from a tiny single celled organism to a being that near controls the Galaxy.

However although Spore is fun throughout, there are several serious problems that spoil your experience somewhat. Firstly there is the complete lack of an auto save feature which has many times lost hours of my progress. Secondly the online service although improving has been flaky at best and is often completely broken and finally and most cripplingly EA has used their use of SecuRom technology. This only ever allows you to install the game three times with no way to "deactivate" an installation. This also means if EA decides to stop supporting the Spore online service it will stop working altogether!

Although these issues are quite serious Spore is definitely worth playing! It is one of the most innovative games I have played as of yet and the editors, especially the creature editor are worth the money alone. The games online features, although flaky allow almost infinite replayability as other people's creations will be sent to your game as you play to add huge amounts of new content. Spore's graphics are average for a game but the fact most of the content is user made adds a greater variety and creativity to them. The sound is fairly good with the added bonus of creature calls being generated based on the creature's mouth shape. The game play is where Spore really begins to shine and the main reason for this is the variety of genres Spore touches on. There are elements of RPG, strategy, action, arkanoid (arcade style) and sandbox. The concept of Spore encompasses almost everything and therefore has very wide appeal making  this is a very strong point of the game. Finally I must say spore is by no means cheap (in the UK about £30-£40 or $60-$80) but is every bit worth it and given the amount of work put into it (around 8 years) this is a reasonable price to charge! 

Spore can act as both a casual and hardcore game depending on how you play it, for instance someone may enjoy playing around in the creature phase and use Spore as a simple action game and someone else could spend many hours/days taking their species deep into the centre of the galaxy. Most importantly Spore actually makes you feel more creative and this alone makes it worth buying!

Summary:

Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 7/10
Gameplay - 10/10
Concept - 10/10
Value - 8/10
Overall - 9/10
 
Note, the overall score is not an average of the other scores by my assessment of the game generally.

Thank you for reading, now go and buy Spore!

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