Review by nihim7
"Everything I expected and then some."
Spore, originally planned to be titled "Sim Everything" really is everything simulated. It is your own personal universe. I saw very early footage of this game five years ago and was astounded. I couldn't wait for it to come out...except I had to, obviously....for five years. I have to say, that ridiculously long wait was well worth it. I went out and got it on the release date, and have been playing it for hours, without a dull moment. And as for all of you who are giving this game low ratings...firstly, how can you not find the idea of creating your own species and then conquering the world with it fun, and secondly, just look at how vast this game is. You have an entire universe at your disposal, with literally millions of planets to explore, conquer, etc, and beyond that, populated with a limitless number of creatures, created by other people. This game is truly revolutionary just in that respect, as well as being loads of fun at the same time.
Really good quality graphics. The planets are all well sculpted and fairly realistic. Zooming out and just looking at the galaxy is pretty amazing as well, good effects there. Only real complaint about graphics is that they are a bit cartoon-like. I would have liked it to be a tad more realistic, but still very good.
Runs very smoothly, and is incredibly fun to play. What's better than creating your own race of monsters and dominating everything that stands in your way of world, and universal domination...not much. This is the real buying point of this game, as it is for most games, and Will Wright really nailed it. (More about each stage below)
Replay Value: 8/10
What, how could a huge universe ever get boring?? Well for one, the cell stage is pretty much always the same, and there isn't much variation in creature stage either. Once your in space though, the possibilities are nearly endless, which makes up for the lesser replay value in previous stages.
Below is my review of each "phase" of your creature's life
There really isn't much to say about this one. It's kind of like Pac-Man with no walls...except you can kill the enemies without power pellets. It's fairly amusing but once you play it once or twice, it gets old fairly fast. Still, worth playing, so don't overlook it as a main part of the game.
6/10-Just because the replay value on this is terrible.
Now we're talking. By now you're probably pretty tired of swimming around in a drop of water and getting killed by things much bigger than you. Honestly...now you get to do about the same thing, but on land, but it is a vast improvement over the cell stage. There is a ton more parts to put on your creature, and you can now shape it however you want. You also are able to lead a pack of creatures from your nest, or friendly nests to help you do whatever you want to do (hunt, gather, make friends, etc.). In this stage, you're given the choice to either advance by killing off your enemies or making friends. Killing them off is generally more fun, but the idea of getting other species to join your pack is pretty cool, and it is nice to have the option to not even have to kill anything. Also, this is when epic creatures first appear, and they're really annoying if they decide they want to make you dinner. However, it IS possible to kill epics, I've seen it done, and you get a ton of points for doing so. Overall, this is a really good part of the game, but replay value is lacking in this stage.
Ok, so you finish being a wild animal, after a scene resembling 2001 A Space Odyssey, and start to settle down and use tools, and even start to wear clothes. Here you make alliances and war with other tribes and have to ally or conquer every other tribe to achieve victory. This stage reminded me a lot of Warcraft (not WoW, just normal Warcraft), mainly because, it's just a basic RTS, but it's really quite fun to play. You assign your units jobs by giving them different tools, and the main currency is food, which is the whole reason you became a tribe in the first place. I have to say though, it is really satisfying to see your tribe crush that one tribe that always keeps trying to steal your food. Overall, good RTS, just would've been nice to see a bit more complexity.
This is where Spore starts to become a little more intense. Your goal here is to take over the world by either a)Converting them to your religion, b)Buying them out, or c)Killing them all...with nukes! Yes you can actually destroy every city on the planet except for your own in one fatal blow by launching a bunch of ICBMs from your main city, for a ton of money of course. That's awesome. Anyway, the main goal is to capture cities by using tanks, ships, and planes to take the cities on the map using your particular style of capture, or using multiple ways. Your starting trait is decided upon how you acted in the tribal stage. If you won over other tribes mostly by giving gifts, you're economic. If you won them over by playing horns and entertaining them, you're religious. And if you did it by killing them all, obviously, you're going to be military. The three methods of capture are all fun to use, and about equally challenging. Firstly, you have to control spice geysers, being that they are the main income source. Then, if you are economic, you set up trade routes and buy out your enemies. If you're a religious empire, you try to convert them, by making the populace unhappy, and then having a giant hologram of your creature preach to them. And if you're military....you kill them all (duh). Overall, very fun stage, if I had to compare it to another game, I would say it would be like Sid Meier's Civilization...except it doesn't take days on end to win.
This is really the best stage of the game in my opinion. Now that your planet is unified under one flag, you are ready to set your sights on the rest of the galaxy. You have to go through a few quick tutorial missions, but after that, you're on your own to do whatever you want. You can do missions for your empire, or other empires. You can conquer other empires, or ally them, and have them fight by your side. You can terraform planets to your liking. You can explore the galaxy, finding tools and rare artifacts along the way. You can set out to colonize a huge empire. You can become the biggest spice tycoon that ever lived. The possibilities are endless at this point, and this is where there is the biggest replay value. Oh, and did I mention there's a doomsday device that lets you blow up entire planets. That's awesome. Only bad thing here, is that if you are at war...the game is VERY fast paced, because you have to always be on your toes, and it gets very annoying when you are about to destroy an entire empire, and they decide to raid your capital, and you have to go defend it. And the Grox...they don't seem to have very good social skills...and they will kill you, which is annoying, especially since their empire is humongous. Despite that though, this is one of the largest game environments ever created, and that's worth something as well. This is worth hours of gameplay, and is just flat out fun to play.
Overall, Spore is one of the best games 08 has seen yet, and for that matter, one of the best games made ever. You can disagree with me on that all you want, but nearly everybody can find something fun in this game, and I would suggest that if you don't yet own it, go buy it. It is worth $50 and then some. It really is your own personal universe.
9/10--would be 10/10 if the cell stage was a bit better, but I've yet to ever see a truly perfect game. Easily one of the best games I have ever played.
One last thing:Galactic Edition, is it worth it?
If you're interested in how the game was designed, or even how it is linked to actual evolution, the Galactic Edition is worth a go. I went Galactic, and I'm happy with it, but if you just don't care about how the game was made or actual evolution, DO NOT buy the Galactic Edition. Theres a lot of people who've been upset because they spent the extra money, and weren't interested at all in the extra content.
Reviewer's Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
Originally Posted: 09/16/08
Game Release: Spore (US, 09/07/08)
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