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Spore review


Ultimate God-sim?

By tooth, fang, and dancing? (cntd.)

Much like the first stage, all of the body part upgrades grant certain abilities and stats. The entire spectrum between pacifist and predator is available and it all comes down to how the player chooses to design their creation. A creature designed strictly for combat, will lack all but the very basic communication skills just as a creature created for maximum adorability and charm will have a hard time defending himself against a superior foe. This is not to say the player is pigeon holed into always fighting or always making friends. There is nothing saying one can’t mix and match anyway they see fit.

The creature stage is where the personality of the game starts to become clear. As the player moves into the third stage of the Tribal era, the gameplay makes another jump to an RTS style game, but only in a very basic sense. Those not familiar with RTS games needn’t worry about overly complicated tech trees and squad management. It is a very basic interface that is easy to pick up.

In the Tribal stage, as the acting chief of your species’ tribe, it is up to you to once again make war or peace with the other tribes. If you lead them successfully, you will advance into the City stage of a modern civilization. In this stage, a little bit of city management is added to the RTS aspect as well as some political complications of having to deal with other cities competing for resources.

Once you complete the City stage, the meat of the game opens up in the Space stage. The Space stage in some ways is the combination off all the previous stages. Though your species is out traveling the stars, you can still explore and interact with the native creatures of other planets, which there is no shortage of. Wage war, explore, colonize and expand. The Space stage is by the far the most complicated and detailed of all the available stages, but even then, it is not nearly as detailed and deep as a dedicated Space Civilization title, which in this case, is a good thing. Though some players may want to see a deeper level of complexity and detail in each stage, it would only serve to slow the progression of the game down.

Is that all?

When you get down to it… Yeah. Since Spore makes the choice not to go too deep into any single method of play, once a player advances to the Space Stage, that is where the majority of the action takes place to the dismay of many. In some cases, the other stages are so brief, you really don’t have the chance to get a good feel for what it was about. Players who follow the goals and objectives as they occur will find themselves in the Space Stage in a manner of a couple of hours of casual play. Those who find they favor an earlier stage over the later stages, often feel disappointed that there isn’t more to accomplish with their creations in that particular stage.

This is not to say however that there isn’t any replay value to Spore. With limitless creation potential of the different creation tools (creature, building, vehicle, space ship), there is no telling how many different ways there will be to tell the story of your creatures evolution to galactic dominance. The only problem is, it’s always the same story in the end. Even with different character and approach to objectives, the end goal is the same. Spore is a title whose replay value depends completely on what the player is looking for out of this game. Those who want massive RTS combat and civilization development will be disappointed and will quickly get bored. Those who enjoy the mixing and matching of creatures and developing new creature ideas will find Spore entertaining for much longer.


fun score

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