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
    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 28, 2011
    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.
  3. Apr 27, 2011
    A strange animal, Darkspore doesn't seem to want you to like its characters-and won't let you make your own.
  4. May 3, 2011
    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.
  5. May 5, 2011
    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.
  6. May 6, 2011
    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.
  7. May 31, 2011
    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.
  8. May 28, 2011
    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.
  9. May 25, 2011
    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.
  10. May 18, 2011
    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.
  11. May 17, 2011
    Extremely repetitive hack 'n' slash with nothing of the charm in Spore.
  12. May 3, 2011
    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.
  13. Apr 28, 2011
    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.
  14. Jun 4, 2011
    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.
  15. May 27, 2011
    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.
  16. May 23, 2011
    In summary, Darkspore, while unexpectedly dissimilar to Spore and not without its flaws, is an enjoyable hack-and-slash action RPG.
  17. May 18, 2011
    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.
  18. May 16, 2011
    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.
  19. May 12, 2011
    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.
  20. 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.
  21. May 8, 2011
    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.
  22. 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.
  23. May 6, 2011
    Sadly a lack of anything approaching a decent story means the action can feel like a grind, especially when played offline.
  24. May 6, 2011
    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.
  25. May 5, 2011
    The lack of narrative hurts what could have been an awesome story.
  26. May 3, 2011
    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.
  27. 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.
  28. May 2, 2011
    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.
  29. May 2, 2011
    Quotation forthcoming.
  30. May 2, 2011
    Darkspore feels like a sliver of Spore.
  31. Apr 28, 2011
    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.
  32. Apr 27, 2011
    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.
  33. Apr 26, 2011
    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.
  34. games(TM)
    Jul 3, 2011
    Just don't believe everything you read on the box. [Issue#110, p.130]
  35. CD-Action
    Jul 1, 2011
    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. PC PowerPlay
    Jun 9, 2011
    Solid enough, if not a candidate for natural selection. [July 2011, p.68]
  37. LEVEL (Czech Republic)
    May 25, 2011
    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]
  38. PC Format
    May 22, 2011
    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]
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 133 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 58 out of 133
  2. Negative: 45 out of 133
  1. Apr 27, 2011
    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 thanDon'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
    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 incredibleIn 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
    The user ratings for this game will vary greatly depending upon the play style of players; micromanagers who like to try differentThe 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 »