Darkspore Open Beta

Having finally got my copy of Dragon Age 2, I am periodically playing that.  I love Dragon Age, I can sit for hours playing it, but sadly I have been distracted lately by Darkspore.   A small flyer in DA2 box, reminded me, that I had been sent a Closed Beta code.  With it being Open Beta now, I decided to load it up and try it.

Darkspore is being developed by the same people that brought us Spore (Maxis/EA).  Yep the game that everyone slated and critisised the DRM.  Perhaps taking the critique on board, they have developed a pretty good game; in the same vane as Spore.  Customisable creatures, set in deep space; fighting the Darkspore.  While the in game graphics are standard fare for side scrollers, its the customiser that really make this shine.  3d models of your base creature, which you can then add upgrades to……anywhere on the model.  Anyone familiar with Second Life, will see similarities with the editor controls. Add in a renderer, to decorate the skin of you’re creature; it add something special to this game.

There is perhaps only one other game that I have seen, that matches the customisation features of Darkspore.  Having played Champions Online, this was at the time; the best one I had seen.  However, where Darkspore beats this. Is that even from the start, you’re creatures (Genetors??) will be unique to you’re own designs; as you have no fixed points where upgrades go (except weapons).

So game play is basic side scroller, viewed from above a fixed point.  I haven’t yet found controls to move the camera, which is annoying; though you can zoom in and out (mouse wheel).  Main control is through the mouse, with left clicking to walk and attack.  Special abilities are accessed through the bar at the bottom, or through numbers 1 – 6.  It does require online access, for patches and updates; though there will also be a PvP facility coming shortly.

Overall I really like it, the missions can be a little boring with similarity; but then this is the beta. However, what has really got me; is the creature editor.  This is the feature, that I think will sell this game to gamers.  With player content (mods) being a future feature, this could well make up all the badness from Spore.  I’d certainly like to keep playing it, perhaps even online PvP; which I detest with a vengence.  Playing PvP online, isn’t usually skill that wins; it’s good old analogue money.

If you want to try it, head over to http://darkspore.com/ .  If you sign up, look out for Gore_The_Celt; yep Goreshade’s Scottish Cousin lol.


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