reviewed on PC
The meat of the matter
Ok, lets talk graphics and sound. Visually, the game is cartoony and takes a humorous look at what is a potentially serious topic in the minds of many. It was a great choice of art direction. Even the most viscous of creatures look a little softer and less threatening with the eye popping bright colors and vivid environments. Even in space, you will find a colorful Kaliope of colors just from the planets and stars. The cartoony feel also makes Spore considerably more forgiving to modest computers, assuming certain setting are adjusted accordingly.
Sound and ambient music is sort of give and take. Sometimes the music is perfect for the environment, at other times all you hear are birds chirping. Spore is filled with the sounds of the world however. Every creature, big and small will cry, chirp, sing, growl and squeak. Don’t expect comprehensible voice acting though. Simlish is in full effect and is the common language throughout Spore, well, aside from the grunts, growls whistles and chirps.
The player interface will change only slightly through each stage. For the most part, the screen UI stays the same throughout. The controls and camera have proven to be sluggish sometimes though. On the ground, creatures tend to get caught up in the terrain or on each other. During combat, targeting can become difficult, often resulting in giving the wrong command to he wrong unit or no command being issued at all. Besides those few stumbling points, the UI and controls are relatively streamlined and easy to navigate.
One of the major selling points of Spore is its available online content. The Sporepedia as its called is a complete collection of user created creatures, buildings and vehicles from online users. The game itself is not multiplayer in any way, but as you create and save your creations, they are automatically uploaded to the Sporepedia (unless options are set otherwise). These creations are then available for download by other Spore players. Your creation can very easily appear in someone else’s game as one of the many creatures populating their universe. With the total file count in Sporepedia already at the 12 million mark as I write this, users can limit their downloaded content to select Spore members and friends via a buddy list. The Sporepedia also keeps track of all achievements earned in the game and displays them under your profile as well as thumbnails of your personal creations.
From spore to spaceman
In the end, Spore delivers exactly what it set out to do. Due to its very nature, there will be some people who are not completely happy with the game. Perhaps something they liked didn’t get enough attention or something wasn’t fleshed out as much as they would have wished. When you get down to it, we are all like that as gamers. We get caught up in the hype and we forget how massive a game would have to be to encompass the very best of everything we imagine a title should be. Spore successfully redefines what it is to be a civilization game, not because it’s the best one of the category, but because it successfully bridges the gap into other genres and brings them into one, cartoony, fun addictive game that is a hybrid of everything.
No Pros and Cons at this time