Spore: Galactic Adventures
The Main Problem with the original Spore was that what people loved to do - use their imaginations to create wonderful and fantastic creatures - was overwhelmed by repetitive gameplay. Naturally then, the public (read "internet moaners") decided to unleash their nerd rage at EA and Maxis, saying Spore was rubbish, there was nothing to do and so on.
Months down the line and the first proper expansion for the game is peeping two goggly stalk-eyes over the parapet, checking that the coast is clear.
The hubbub has quietened down, angergeeks have returned to badmouthing other easy targets, and actual Spore players (who, EA tells us, have created 98 million different in-game objects) can now be left to playing the game in peace. What they'll see in Galactic Adventures may well send them to new levels of excitement, globules of spittle flying all over the place as they whip themselves into a frenzy of anticipation.
As I tip-toed about the game, with my own personal Maxis representative answering my dumb questions along the way, it was obvious that Galactic Adventures would be something special, especially for an expansion. Perhaps the best way to think about Galactic Adventures it is to imagine the Creature Creator, just a lot better, because instead of a utility to generate animalsand objects, you have an entire game-making suite at your disposal. Plonked down in front of a blank world, I got started clicking about and investigating what all the icons did. One thing I discovered quickly was that terrain can be easily morphed to fit whatever crazed plan you have in your head. It all fits together with water levels and such too, so if you create a deep enough depression, it fills with liquid. The water level can be increased or decreased, while environmental effects can be changed. So my makeshift lake could become a frozen ice pond or a bubbling lake of lava. There are all sorts of possibilities in the world editor, although the real fun comes from placing objects and creating your own adventure.
As a fully registered and paid-up cynic, I expected Galactic Adventures to be a gimmicky load of nonsense, but I've got to admit that this could be huge. Just being shown a few of the custom-made adventures was enough to start my mind racing through the possibilities. Large RTS-style battles contrast with harmless child-oriented playing about with cute characters, while platformjumping levels move swiftly on to tiny calculator games, where you hand two numbers to a sheep and he brings you the result of both being added together. Remaining within the boundaries of sanity, if you can imagine it you might just be able to create an adventure about such simple mathematics.
All of these adventures and levels are accessible through the menu or the Space section of the main Spore game. We're not sure exactly how this will work in practice (we weren't shown that bit) but in theory, you'll be able to explore the galaxy with your Captain - an avatar that you'll use in all of the adventures, and who can be levelled up as you complete them - and simply drop down onio wnaiever pianei taxes yuur lancy, and see what's there to play.
The only problems we can see with Galactic Adventures are that most of the user-created levels will be garbage -a logical outcome from letting the general public loose on something. There are also bound to be a plethora of rude or risque planets of levels, although this is less of a problem and more of a shake-your-head-at-humanity issue.
There's also the question of what people who don't really like being creative will get out of it Admittedly,, these people will be the ones who get far less from the expansion, but there is at least the fact that they shouldn't ever be yearning for extra levels to play. After all, with 98 million objects having been created for just the original Spore, there's bound to be just a teensy bit more than a handful of levels and minigames created for Galactic Adventures.
Download Spore: Galactic Adventures
- PC compatible
- Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP