Media Week – Spore
Publisher: Electronic Arts
Release Date: September 7, 2008
Spore is a truly amazing game when you sit back and look that it all entails. On first play-through, it took me around seven hours or so to make it to the fifth and final stage of the game, and that’s not including all of the different things I can do in that final stage. The game really centers around two things: evolving your character from the cellular stage upwards, and creation. There are two main modes in Spore: the Creators, and the game itself.
Within the game itself, you have to evolve your creature through five stages of life: the Cell stage, the Creature stage, the Tribe stage, the Civilization stage, and the Space stage. Starting in the Cell stage, you create yourself as a small cell in the water, who must eat the food that you choose to grow. Every action that you make, in this case either eating plants or meat, will decide how your creature evolves, and what special abilities you get later on in the game. When you have eaten enough, you will be given an option to move on to the Creature stage. In this stage, you evolve enough to gain legs and arms, and to be able to walk and run. Now your task is to either make friends with other creatures, or to destroy them all so that you are the dominant race. Starting at about here, most of the creatures that you will meet in your travels, if you’re connected to the internet, will either be Maxis created creatures, or creatures created by other players who have shared them on the Spore.com website.
After you’ve gotten enough DNA points from this stage, you’re race will evolve enough to be able to form a Tribe. Now you are given a small town, and either have to impress other creature tribes and befriend them, or destroy them all as well to become the top race. After becoming the best here, you will move on to the Civilization stage. You’ve learned enough by now to make a city, and your responsibilities grow because of it. Now you must not only protect your cities, but you must convince other cities of your same creature that you created to join your cause, or destroy them for their betrayal. After all of the cities are yours, you then move on to the most vast stage of them all, the Space stage. Now is your time to fly off to other planets and try to control them all as well. This stage is, without a doubt the largest of them all, and will provide you with the most gameplay of it all.
Overall, one could say that it’s more like five games that you have to play in succession with your same creature, all mixed together in this one package. Not only can you play it that way, but there is also the Creator mode, in which you gain the ability to create a creature in any one of the stages, or create the buildings or vehicles that are used in the Civilization stage. The creation elements are endless, and can be combined to make almost anything that you can think of. When playing, you can also load these creations that you have made without being forced to create something new every time. After making a creation, you can upload it to Spore’s Encyclopedia of creations called the Sporepedia. With this, you can download other peoples’ creations to your game, you can upload yours so that others can use them, or find your friends’ creations to add them to your game.
While having a high graphical computer makes the game look amazing, even using a simple computer with an on-board graphics card will make the game run at a very decent pace. I was able to play without any lag. I didn’t get the best graphics of course, but I was still able to play the game and get the best out of all of it’s functions without any trouble at all. The music that is involved in the game as well is very catchy. While it’s nothing special and worthy of a soundtrack, it’s perfect for each stage of the game. Each creature also has their own unique “voice” which they use to communicate, or to impress other species. In the later levels, your creature will even speak in a voice that you may hear in a Sims game.
This game definitely shows you the value that you pay for it. With the ability to continuously be able to download more creatures, buildings, and more; as well as to create your own and to change up the way that you decide to go about your life in each phase, will definitely change the way the game plays each and every time. I find myself going back and playing through it again with a new, different looking creature, changing the items I use on it every time, and then changing how aggressive, or how much I try and be friendly each time. It’s a very fun game, and I can’t see it stopping anytime soon.
If you can still find the Galactic Edition anywhere, the box itself is a work of art. Each box weighs about five pounds, and comes with a DVD on “The Making of Spore”, a book on “The Art of Spore”, a fold-out Spore poster, a premium 100-page Galactic Handbook, and a DVD made by National Geographic called “How to Build a Better Being“. Everything within this package is well made, and worth every penny to me, so get out there and pick up Spore today!
Weasel’s Score: 90%