Metascore
65

Mixed or average reviews - based on 52 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 52
  2. Negative: 1 out of 52
  1. Apr 26, 2011
    70
    The vast amount of customization options and the simple but fun battle system kept me interested enough to overlook the poor execution of story.
  2. Apr 29, 2011
    75
    What it lacks in variety and narrative, Darkspore makes up for with fun cooperative combat and character customization that deepens the more you play.
  3. Apr 28, 2011
    74
    I think we have to just admit to ourselves that Spore and Darkspore are really not the grandiose sim-everything games Maxis wanted. They are just fun little wastes of time, and there's nothing wrong with that.
  4. Apr 26, 2011
    85
    Spore is an infinitely more unique and nuanced experience than Darkspore, but in the end, Darkspore is much more likely to stick around in the gamer psyche. It may not do anything particularly new, but the way it polishes and riffs on known gaming conventions should leave you happily clicking on bad guys and collecting new body parts late into the night.
  5. May 3, 2011
    50
    Darkspore's just a mediocre game. If you're dying to run around and smack enemies on the head with your left mouse button, it might be worth a few bones -- but you're better off waiting until it heads to the inevitable discount on Steam before you commit.
  6. May 3, 2011
    50
    While never terrible, Darkspore feels like it's had its heart surgically removed. All the components for a giddily stupid, aesthetically imaginative action RPG are here. Somehow, however, they combine into a shambling golem that knows its basic purpose, but not a whole lot else.
  7. May 2, 2011
    60
    Darkspore probably won't replace your favorite dungeon crawler anytime soon. The satisfying controls and mountains of loot really only serve as a baseline in terms of this genre's gameplay. It would've been great if Maxis could have added some variety in the game's missions, but as it stands, Darkspore is a fairly redundant game with a slightly interesting character editor.
  8. Jun 4, 2011
    58
    Darkspore isn't bad, but the developers really failed at focusing on the elements that are good and stripping out the other noise. I would actually score the game better if it had no multiplayer and no creature creator. Instead, we've got clown-heroes and griefer matches. Pass.
  9. May 2, 2011
    83
    Even when the least exciting elements of the game eat up half of my playtime, I still find an excuse to fire up Darkspore every single day.
  10. May 23, 2011
    72
    In summary, Darkspore, while unexpectedly dissimilar to Spore and not without its flaws, is an enjoyable hack-and-slash action RPG.
  11. Apr 26, 2011
    60
    The story is absolutely forgettable and the level design is boring, but the gameplay is competent and the bedazzling genetic monstrosities along with the copious amounts of loot you've collected are fun. If you're an action-RPG fan who simply cannot wait for Diablo III, give Darkspore a shot.
  12. Apr 27, 2011
    80
    With this game Maxis owes a debt to Blizzard but these guys also have a deep and varied videogame. Darkspore is a very good hack & slash with huge replay value and relevant spikes of gameplay.
  13. May 16, 2011
    70
    Darkspore barely has any relation with Spore, apart from borrowing some of its concepts. It is simpler than Spore, and may dissapoint those who seek a direct sequel of that game, but it is still a good game.
  14. May 8, 2011
    40
    Darkspore remains a humdrum deep-space Diablo, but one doomed to be defined more by what it's missing than what it offers. [June 2011, p.98]
  15. Jul 3, 2011
    70
    Just don't believe everything you read on the box. [Issue#110, p.130]
  16. Apr 27, 2011
    70
    Darkspore is long and solid but its lack of substantial innovation and repetitive missions makes this game too derivative to achieve a truly fun experience as expected.
  17. Apr 27, 2011
    60
    A strange animal, Darkspore doesn't seem to want you to like its characters-and won't let you make your own.
  18. May 9, 2011
    75
    Darkspore is a pretty good game with some brilliant ideas, but its extremely repetitive gameplay spoils the fun. Still a good choice for the hack'n'slash lovers, while they wait for Diablo III.
  19. May 6, 2011
    70
    Darkspore isn't perfect, but it's solid, and I'm really happy to see a game in this genre that takes some risks and introduces some new mechanics.
  20. Mar 31, 2011
    85
    Collect, develop and coop. These are the things which Darkspore uses to keep gamers in front of the screen.
  21. Apr 26, 2011
    80
    Waiting for the return of Diablo, this new Hack'n'Slash pleases the gamer, thanks to the great variety of situations and characters.
  22. May 25, 2011
    65
    Darkspore has become a solid action adventure game and that's mostly due to the co-op mode. Maxis shows that it's capable of making games outside of the simulation genre but for a Spore spin-off this game lacks of innovation.
  23. Apr 28, 2011
    70
    Darkspore proves to be a fine action/RPG whose infinite customization options assure a fun and long lasting gaming experience to both fans of the genre and potential newcomers.
  24. 50
    It might be a 'proper' game this time, but this lacklustre Spore spin-off hasn't got anything like the same sense of fun or ambition.
  25. May 5, 2011
    73
    Darkspore is merely a pretty good action-RPG. It works great on a fundamental level, but its execution is a little too cumbersome to let you truly appreciate its breadth.
  26. Apr 27, 2011
    75
    Darkspore takes some parts of the evolution simulator Spore, but not enough to create a title able to beat its alternatives. If we forget that there once was a game called Spore, Maxis's new job is a fluid, agile and fun ARPG, perhaps too simple and repetitive but with enough hours of fun. A good way to spend time, but if you want greater depth you will find better it in other alternatives.
  27. May 8, 2011
    60
    An average game with a few good ideas, some decent gameplay systems and some fun heroes to play. This would be fine, except that Darkspore depends on being a completely online experience - with bad servers.
  28. 70
    Successful and addictive hack-and-slash title piece lacks better level design and perhaps a bit more challenge for experienced players to achieve a higher score. [Issue#204]
  29. May 18, 2011
    65
    It's a shame because the technology underpinning both Spore titles is undoubtedly a fantastic achievement, but it looks like we'll be waiting a while longer before Maxis manages to find the right outlet for its creative tools.
  30. 70
    Darkspore is a mix of good use of various aspects of successful games in a different genre, and an exaggerated laziness in game structure.
  31. May 22, 2011
    52
    Good hack 'n' slash mechanics are let down by a lack of reasons to care about the action and keep heading back into battle. [June 2011, p.90]
  32. May 17, 2011
    50
    Extremely repetitive hack 'n' slash with nothing of the charm in Spore.
  33. Apr 28, 2011
    65
    It's inevitable that simulation kings Maxis created Darkspore the way they did – near-plotless and mechanical – for that is all they have known since their inception. Hardcore RPG fans won't mind a bit and will revel in the variety and imagination on display, but others are advised to try before they buy.
  34. May 2, 2011
    58
    Darkspore feels like a sliver of Spore.
  35. Jul 1, 2011
    70
    If you treat yourself to the PvE campaign – especially in co-op mode – in small portions, it's a good recipe for a couple of relaxing game sessions. In the beginning at least, because over time watching the experience bar grow simply gets boring. [June 2011, p. 62]
  36. May 28, 2011
    60
    Apart from the over-the-top hero management, Darkspore feels like an unfinished torso of a game. Killing a few monsters and picking up items isn't enough for a game in 2011. Leaving out a story, dialogues, real quests and good level design killed of the fun, too.
  37. May 27, 2011
    60
    Darkspore is a fun and simplistic online hack-n-slash game, with a 4 player co-op mode and an addictive "chain" loot system. Spore's character creation system is also present, but with 100 different creatures to choose from, the PvP has many balance issues. The PvE mode is certainly more fun, but many players will get bored very soon from the endless grinding and repetition.
  38. May 5, 2011
    76
    Darkspore may touch the imagination in ways Diablo doesn't, but the gameplay cannot move beyond the mechanical and the meaningless.
  39. May 3, 2011
    60
    Darkspore doesn't exactly redefine RPGs as we know it, but there's no other action RPG around that allows this much control over the look of your characters. There's a lot of room for improvement, but the living loot system and Hero Editor help Darkspore stand out among other hack-and-slash games.
  40. May 31, 2011
    60
    Even with all its collection of flaws, Darkspore is not a bad game. The only real mistake that EA made was releasing it on PC with a $50 price tag. This game belongs on XBLA or PSN. But if you're into some mindless time-killing before going to bed, by all means, pick it up.
  41. 60
    Darkspore has many neat ideas, but the bottom line is that the game lacks variety. You will end up going through previously completed levels in order to farm new gear for your heroes, and keeping up with the level requirements needed to progress through the game ends up being more work than it's worth.
  42. May 2, 2011
    50
    Quotation forthcoming.
  43. Jun 9, 2011
    60
    Solid enough, if not a candidate for natural selection. [July 2011, p.68]
  44. May 12, 2011
    70
    If you're playing alone you probably will be disappointed with Darkspore's storytelling, all grinding and the enormously slow start of the game. With some friends it'll be much better, and with a lot of configuration possibilities, over 100 monsters to collect and entertaining action battles which requires some strategic planning, this is an excellent adventure while you're waiting for Diablo III.
  45. May 5, 2011
    70
    The lack of narrative hurts what could have been an awesome story.
  46. Apr 29, 2011
    78
    DarkSpore is technically a good game, but unfortunately only technically. The gameplay becomes very soon quite boring even so you can play with your friends, which makes it slightly better. Long term motivation is the thing that DarkSpore lacks the most.
  47. May 6, 2011
    70
    A straightforward evaluation of Maxis' newest creation is very difficult. On one hand we get an absorbing, futuristic hack'n'slash (a rare thing!) with fun cooperation and a variety of heroes. On the other hand it's not a great game - a weak storyline, poor PvP and some minor setbacks don't let me grade Darkspore especially high.
  48. May 6, 2011
    60
    Sadly a lack of anything approaching a decent story means the action can feel like a grind, especially when played offline.
  49. May 20, 2011
    75
    Darkspore features addictive gameplay and fun character customization, but lacks in storytelling and long term motivation.
  50. 80
    A videogame analog of "weird fiction" genre, Darkspore maintains a fine balance between Diablo-style gameplay and surprisingly immersive sci-fi setting. [June 2011, p.86]
  51. Apr 29, 2011
    84
    A wonderful tideover game with solid gameplay, excellent collection & loot chase values, all the varied difficulty and challenge you could want, and a beautiful presentation to back it all up. But perhaps the developers paid a little too much attention to the enthusiastic beta playerbase and over-estimated the gaming mainstream's willingness to grind.
  52. May 18, 2011
    55
    As a Spore-Diablo mashup, Darkspore ultimately fails to capture the brilliance of the latter, or the theoretical creativity enabled by the former. As an action-RPG, though, it drip feeds enough of the genre's typical moreishness to keep you in a trance-like play state.
User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 127 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 62
  2. Negative: 13 out of 62
  1. Apr 27, 2011
    9
    Don't let the name fool you. This is not some spore game wrapped around an action RPG. There is little resemblance here to Spore other than the editor that is found in the game. That's a good thing too, since the editor was one of the defining features of the mostly forgettable Spore game. What you will find in Darkspore is an action RPG that scratches your dungeon crawling itch while scratching the collecting enthusiast and artist in you. You'll spend hours building up your team, grinding away for body parts and equipment, and tag teaming bosses with either friends or random people. I rarely play co-op in games and when I do, it's usually after a couple days or after the campaign. I found myself playing the co-op on the first day though due to the ease of matchmaking and the fun to be had. Don't let the negative reviews scare you, this is a great game for dungeon crawling fans and Pokemon like collector fans alike. Full Review »
  2. Apr 26, 2011
    8
    In the same way people enjoyed Torchlight as a "Diablo 2 LITE" experience. So can you enjoy Darkspore. Don't expect it to be and incredible world-shifting experience. But it is solid RPG fun and with co-op to boot! Recommended to those looking for casual RPG fun. Full Review »
  3. Apr 27, 2011
    8
    The user ratings for this game will vary greatly depending upon the play style of players; micromanagers who like to try different permutations in combat will be very pleased, whereas those who want to just jump in and point and shoot will likely find it tedious. There are many different combinations of heroes, squad compositions, items, and tactics that can keep one busy experimenting for quite a while; even figuring out the best hero switching combinations are important. This is more of a technical type of game where you figure out the best type of game mechanics for a scenario, as opposed to a story driven game. It would likely appeal to the crowd that likes the Mechwarrior, build your bot squad types such as myself. I havenâ Full Review »