Monday, April 06, 2009

Spore: Galactic Adventures trailer

I haven't played Spore in months now, but the recent trailer for the Galactic Adventures add-on has me thinking it might be time to play again.

My main complaint about Spore has been that it's more toymaker than game. The creation tools are excellent and offer so much variety. Unfortunately, there's little you can do with them until you reach the Space stage. Actual gameplay is so sparse and shallow (though there are a few fun dynamics in the Creature stage).

Judging from the Galactic Adventures trailer, EA seems to have listened to feedback like that and has offered players something more like an actual game with rules, goals, and progression.

Still, there's another reason Spore quickly lost its shine for me. By the time you reach the Space stage, your design decisions no longer affect anything other than visuals. Gameplay is still personalized to a degree by the order in which you do things like terraform, conquer, and form alliances. But spaceships all work the same regardless of design, and your creature is just a talking picture in the dialogue screens. The Space stage would be more compelling if design decisions really mattered and led to unique experiences.

Spore players would share their stories, and not just their designs, more often and with more enthusiasm if each player had experiences which are truly unique and personal. It's not much fun telling someone a story they already know.

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