- Summary: Darkspore will feature dynamic, fast-paced action as players battle across alien worlds to save the galaxy from the mutated forces of Darkspore in a four-player co-operative and full single-player campaign, as well as intense multiplayer battles. In order to defeat the malicious Darkspore,Darkspore will feature dynamic, fast-paced action as players battle across alien worlds to save the galaxy from the mutated forces of Darkspore in a four-player co-operative and full single-player campaign, as well as intense multiplayer battles. In order to defeat the malicious Darkspore, players will need to collect an arsenal of living weapons - genetic heroes with different combat abilities - and upgrade them with tens of thousands of collectible body parts and armor.… Expand
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Apr 26, 2011Spore 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.
Apr 27, 2011Darkspore 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.
May 31, 2011Even 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.
May 3, 2011Darkspore 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.
Edge MagazineMay 8, 2011Darkspore 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]
May 9, 2011As a competitive gamer I really enjoy this game. There is a lot of detail put into squad building and mechanics... As young as the game isAs a competitive gamer I really enjoy this game. There is a lot of detail put into squad building and mechanics... As young as the game is right now, I have experienced a balanced PVP system and can also enjoy storming through PVE campaigns with friends. This is a perfect game for anyone that enjoys competitive PVP or is just an action RPG fan.… Expand
Apr 29, 2011As a few others have mentioned, *please* don't think this is Spore, or really anything to do with it. The only Spore-related thing about itAs a few others have mentioned, *please* don't think this is Spore, or really anything to do with it. The only Spore-related thing about it is the hero editor, which is fantastic. Other reviews have complained that the game-play is too repetitive. I think that can be said of most games, if you look at them realistically. I don't personally find Darkspore's game play boring or repetitive because of a few features. In other games, if you repeat a level you've done, you will find... that same level. In Darkspore, if you repeat it, you will be given a random map selection from ones you've completed and a random assortment of different enemies. Perhaps the people who insist it is still the same game, time after time, haven't played it far enough. Yes, the beginning levels are easy--you can run around smacking everything in sight without a problem. As you progress, however, the enemies not only become more difficult because of their abilities, they become smarter. The AI for them is improved at later levels. This changes up the game play from straight beat-it-in-the-face to needing tactics to beat certain combinations of enemies. Building your squads of heroes becomes more important, so you will have the right tools to defeat certain encounters. I like that you can enjoy exactly the same content single-player or co-op. Either mode provides unique challenges and changes game play. While I've enjoyed ARPGs throughout the years, I've always been a bit of an MMO addict. I *really* like that this game is not the usual solo-til-max-level thing, and then you *must* find more people to do anything fun or useful. Another great thing about this game is the sidekick system. A drawback of other games is, a friend of mine will start playing it to play with me, but can't actually do that, because I'm a much higher level. With Darkspore, you can replay lower levels while grouped with your friend, and instead of massively outgearing everything, one-shotting everything in sight, while your friend trundles along behind you bored to tears, your gear is scaled down to the lower level. This makes the content suddenly level appropriate (and actually quite challenging, typically) for you, allowing you and your friend to contribute equally. As far as people commenting that the storyline is a bit empty and lacking, or seems like a history lesson, I like that the story is not shoved in your face constantly. Each hero has a backstory that you can simply choose not to read if you don't care about it. Yes, the rest of the storyline is presented as a history lesson, but if you remember from the opening cutscene, you are told that you are newly awakened from cryogenic sleep, with a very high probability of memory loss. The story, as it is presented, is trying to bring you back up to date. This is done in tidy little chunks as cutscenes between each (new) level, and if you don't care about it, simply hit the escape key and it goes away. Yes, it's not a *massively* in-depth story, but if you are looking for something that lore-heavy, you should be looking for an MMO, not an ARPG.
Game play moves along at just the right pace, not hitting the anxiety-producing can't-quite-keep-up phase, but refrains from dragging itself out. There are randomly chosen objectives to complete, if you feel like it, for each level you enter. There are rewards for completing them, but you won't be handicapped by not doing them, either. If you complete the first four objectives, you will find you've unlocked a time objective--complete the level in under 10 minutes for a gold medal. That seems like a great time frame for letting you play a bit, stop if you feel like it, or continue on if you have more time. Darkspore presents the basics to you in a fluid manner, so you are immediately comfortable with how to play the game. You will have access to all of your abilities in a short amount of time, so it's not like other games where you learn to play your character one way, then suddenly at a later level, you are introduced to a new and completely game changing mechanic, requiring you to somewhat relearn how you are going to play that character. Instead, you have an endless ability to mix and match heroes to give access to different sets of abilities for each hero. Yes, you have a limited number of buttons you can mash at any given time, but depending on which heroes you chose to use together, the effects of mashing those buttons differs wildly. Lastly, don't let a dark opinion of EA cloud your expectations for Darkspore. This game is Maxis-driven, and they have the best support for this game I have *ever* encountered. If you have a question, problem, or feedback, post on the forum, and either a Dev or members of the community will answer you. Usually amazingly promptly, and with actual information instead of some placating blanket statement.… Expand
Apr 27, 2011The basic setup of the game is you go from level to level chaining them together to receive better bonus percent for new items. Each level hasThe basic setup of the game is you go from level to level chaining them together to receive better bonus percent for new items. Each level has a nice visual theme, and while the level layout is static, the enemies, loot altar locations, and other events are random and change each time. It's a loot driven game and does a great job of balancing risk vs reward...the more levels you chain the more difficult each new level is. If you die you loose all the loot (at the end of the chain) you would have gotten...it's a lot like a game show where you are asked "do you keep the $100,000 or are you going to go for the cool million???". I think this is a really interesting and unique setup...but most importantly it works.
One of the things that originally concerned me about the game was there was no leveling, no skill trees, nothing. After a while I started to see the beauty of the system though. There's two elements that take the place of this...one is the item system and the other is the squad system. There's a great random item system with tons of stats and varying quality levels. This is how you increase the power of your heroes. When you equip more and better items you increase their stats (and abilities) and the total counts toward their hero level. The other aspect is the squad system. Each squad has three spots...from which you can fill from a pool of 100 different heroes. In reality there's 25 heroes with 4 variants each, but this still offers TONS of options.
Each hero has 2 active skills, a main attack, a passive, and a squad skill. You can access all of your heroes squad skills no matter which hero is selected, and you can switch heroes in level on the fly. Mix and matching the different heroes and skills really opens up a lot of customization. I do think it takes some time to really get this though, but once I really starting looking at way to maximize and compliment my squad/heroes the beauty of the system became more apparent.
Controls are fluid and work well. Left mouse moves and attacks, right mouse is locational attack, and you can use number keys to activate skills. Skills are easy to use and there's tons of different kinds from buffs, AoE, heals, pets, targeted, crowd control, and even really unique stuff like dimensional warping. Skills have nice graphical effects and feel powerful.
There are tons of enemies in the game, and many of them have unique abilities. I think the game really shines in the department, and I have played TONS of ARPG's. Enemies charge you, knock you down, put you to sleep, teleport you, debuff you. There's enemies that are "squad leaders" in a sense that buff their allies. There's even enemies that turn normal Dark Spore into their champion variants making them high priority targets. It's also very satisfying to kill the Dark Spore. Enemies explode into clouds of blood, hits have a lot of oomph behind them...the combat is very satisfying.
Everything from the animations, level objects, enemies, skills all look great. I think the best comparison is kinda like the world in Avatar. Lot's of contrasting colors, bioluminesence, and light sources. One complaint I do have is the level design itself sometimes is too sparse and can be visually repetitive and uneven. Things look good, but I think a more coherent design and more set unique set pieces would have benefited the game a lot.
Music is very sci-fi and fits the game perfectly. It has a very ambient quality. Sounds effects are great as well. Enemies have their own sound effects, so do each of the heroes. Hitting an enemy has the appropriate weighty feel and gives the right amount of feedback. Lot's of nice effects for all the skills as well.
Story is an area I really don't care much about (especially for ARPG's), but so far the story is just ok. It definitely takes a back seat to gameplay (which I like) and is told mostly through cut-scenes narrated by the ships computer between missions. There's also some pretty cool narration in levels when you pass specific points or objects...like in the first level you pass a super nova and the ship's computer tells you about it. Pretty nice idea, maybe there could have been some cooler uses for this though. I do find myself wanting to progress in the game more and more to find out what's going on with the story, but it's not very deep...feels more like a history lesson that unfolds over the course of the game.
As far as ARPG's go, this has the best multiplayer system aside from Diablo 2 (battle.net). One of the few games in the genre with closed server architecture. Matchmaking works great as far as time it takes to find a public team, though I wish you could specify some parameters when using it (like minimum level you want to do, ect). There's stat tracking for all players so you can see everyone's in game progress, friends list, chat channels, and rankings. There's also 1v1 and 2v2 PvP arenas which are fun.… Expand
Apr 27, 2011The 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… Expand
Apr 28, 2011Not bad!
After playing it for just a short while, any doubt I had about this purchase was quickly washed away. My friends all had a blastNot bad!
After playing it for just a short while, any doubt I had about this purchase was quickly washed away. My friends all had a blast playing it together and I can see us becoming quite addicted to it. I'm excited to play it again tonight! As you progress through the game, you will increase in levels. Your levels don't actually dictate the strengths of your heroes, but rather how many heroes you can unlock. As you might've already heard, there's 100 heroes. As you increase in levels, you are given access to more heroes but you can only unlock a few. (For example, a few levels into the game will give you access to more than 10 heroes but you may only be able to unlock 4 of them.) There's only a few genuinely different hero characters, then the heroes begin to repeat previous iterations but have different stats and abilities. The hero editor is nowhere near as indepth as Spore's creature editor was, but still proves plenty of options. All heroes have preset appearances and you can add chunks of gear you find onto them to change their appearances. Not only that, but you can move or remove certain appendages and details from a heroes body as well as change their colors and color patterns. The end result is that you and a friend can have 2 of the exact same hero and end up looking completely different from each other. .
The concept of Darkspore is simple (a bit too simple) You are set loose upon a level, and you kill your way through to the end. Just how "simple" this actually is in terms of difficulty varies, since the enemies on the map are random every time. The maps themselves are not. Which is disappointing given the already linear nature of some of the levels. Other levels are a tad different from "kill-your-way-to-the-end" and require some exploration to complete. The story is unfortunately quite meaningless. You can literally write up your own insane lines to accompany every nigh-pointless cutscenes and it wouldn't make any more or less sense. Levels are visually pleasing, and the soundtrack is amazing.
Fighting enemies is a lot of fun. Every enemy of different types have unique traits to them, from the massive juggernaut enemies to small grunts, they all have something special to them. In large groups, these enemies combine their strengths and weaknesses and can be a pretty stiff obstacle even if approached with caution. Just as your group of heroes attempt to use squad tactics, the enemies will too. Upon reaching the final areas of the level, you'll encounter a Horde of enemies which can put your group through it's paces, until finally a boss enemy spawns. The bosses are quite tough, are flanked by minions, and definitely require teamwork to bring down. The end chapter bosses are pretty insane too.
Combining abilities amongst your friend's heroes is a lot of fun as well. The game is marketed as having a lot of "ability combinations" and "squad tactics". I was worried that this would be a load of baloney and just boil down to mindless murdering everything. To a certain extent, it is. But I was quite surprised that these terms turned out to be truer than I thought. Especially when you get attacked by groups of powerful enemies. For those of you who enjoy teamwork with your friends, you'll love combining hero abilities together, and sometimes are even essential to the survival of your team. The large selection of heroes makes squad tactics very interesting, with attacks that cripple enemies, slow them down, and debuff them, as well as supporting abilities that heal your team or provide them with powerful buffs. You can have a squad of 3 heroes active at a time when you enter a level. You can switch between these heroes whenever you want, however upon switching, a long cooldown is imposed to prevent you from switching constantly without any constraint. Switching itself also poses a problem as it leaves you temporarily frozen in place and vulnerable to attack. With a group of friends each with completely different heroes, you can switch "roles" on the fly keeping gameplay constantly fresh throughout the level and never leaving you pigeonholed into one spot. It's a clever system.
However, for all the positives I mentioned, there is one crucial thing that you must know, this is a coop multiplayer experience and is best played with at least 2-3 friends. Me and my friends are always on the lookout for games like this, and this proved to be up to par with us and gives us a lot of fun. If you plan on buying the game for yourself, then I won't be surprised if you are turned off by this game. That fact alone prevents me from giving it more than a 7 because of the multiplayer "requirement". The price will also turn many people off, as it did with me as well. But seeing how much fun we are having, I have no doubt at all that we will get many hours of enjoyment out of it. And to us, that makes it worth it!… Collapse
Jun 15, 2011After sitting through a good 30-40 minutes of backstory which is dumped on you at the start, I endured a frustratingly slow tutorial andAfter sitting through a good 30-40 minutes of backstory which is dumped on you at the start, I endured a frustratingly slow tutorial and endured 20 minutes of already boring and repetitive gameplay before giving up as the RSI-inducing controls were making my hands hurt already. Not recommended.… Expand
Published: October 4, 2012Mediocre reviews for a high-profile videogame? It does happen from time to time, as the new release "Resident Evil 6" demonstrates. Inside, we look at 40 games from the past decade that earned disappointing reviews despite major anticipation.