Spore Preview
Spore box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Maxis 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: Electronic Arts 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sept. 7, 2008 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+ 3.5 - 3.9 = Good

June 25, 2006 - Will Wright wants you to play God. He and his development team at Maxis have been responsible for some of the most involving life simulators ever released in gaming, including Sim City and the Sims. Now, Wright will be giving you the opportunity to create a lifeform of your own and evolve it from single-cell organisms in the primordial ooze to space travel and exploration.

Spore, named so because it begins with the smallest order of life and spreads outward, will feature gameplay that promises to eclipse the scale and creativity of all Wright’s previous efforts. Instead of managing a human existence, from managing a career to managing a bathroom schedule, Maxis will put you beyond the realm of known life and allow you to create whatever creature you desire and make their world your own.

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To begin, you will obviously choose the features of your new life form with the aid of an incredibly intuitive creature creator. Virtually anything one can think to create is possible, from a six-legged giraffe with purple skin to blue bi-pedal canines with scorpion tails. What’s even nicer about this creature creator is the intuitive scheming and coloring that is achieved with the different skin types, from scales to fur or just plain hide. As you tinker with the various features of your creature it will affect different statistics from intelligence to strength and agility, all very necessary attributes in the early survival in your new world.

These new creatures will then be advanced through five different stages of existence: Cell, Creature, Tribe, City, and Space. At E3, Wright previewed the title by showing the Creature and Space stages of existence, highlighting various gameplay elements such as evolution and exploration. During the Creature stage, we witnessed the demo illustrate mating and food consumption as ways to attain evolution points, which could then be used to add new features and attributes to the next generation of the fledgling civilization. If survival is an issue early on, adding defensive mechanisms such as sharp claws will work to ensure the next generation will stand a better chance against predators. As you continue to evolve these creatures, the objective is to attain enough intelligence that they will begin forming tribal units and organizing more efficiently, leading you to the Tribe stage.

Ending the preview, Wright showed off the final stage of evolution in Spore. Space exploration will be attainable late in the creature’s development, and limitless possibilities are present, especially given the game’s natural tendency to build community. Getting your civilization in space and you can visit other created worlds via an internet connection to see what other creatures are out there and how they treat the rest of the universe. User-created spaceships will be available to build as your own if you wish, but real space explorers will be the ones crafting their ships for journeys in diplomacy or supremacy across the cosmos. With healthy community support, Spore’s possibilities and replay value could be outrageous.

Assuming this title is a hit when it releases, millions of PC gamers across the world will be blazing their own paths in their user-created existences and populating the virtual world with creatures that are as bizarre looking as that “Ugliest Dog” champion. Be prepared for it when Spore releases to PC late this year.

By Patrick Evans
CCC Former Staff Writer

Screenshots / Images
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