September 17, 2008
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Where did we come from? Where are we going? What is the reason
for life in the universe? If you’ve ever asked these questions, then Spore can
give you the answers.
The new game by Electronic Arts lets players control a
civilization from the very beginning. Swim the primordial seas and take your
first steps on land. Make friends or foes with your neighbors as you discover
fire. Unify your entire species however you want. Blast your away among the
stars to expand your empire.
The highly anticipated game hit stores on Sunday, Sept. 7.
The creature-creator program came out a few months ago, either by free trial
from EA Games or for $10 on the shelves. If you’re going to buy the game, do
not buy the Creature Creator disc. This feature is built into the full version
of the game. The advantage of the creator was so players could have a head
start on their race. Anything that players create is stored in the Sporepedia
for all to see.
Spore starts out like a Saturday morning cartoon. The
single-celled organism you start out with looks very childish and cute. As your
cell collects body parts by eating, you can change the features of the cell. Your
ganglion, nucleus, or whatever you want to call your prehistoric brain
increases in size throughout this stage. Obtaining sentience allows progress to
the Creature Stage.
The Creature Stage is where your cell sheds its primordial
genes and grows legs. Explore the world to discover new body parts to
incorporate into your creature. See the world, meet interesting people, and
kill or befriend them. Carnivorous ones will have to resort to making a few species
extinct in order to eat. The continent does not provide any sort of alternate
food supply for carnivores. Anyone else can go fruit picking.
The Tribal and Civilization Stages are similar in concept. The
object is to make your culture the dominant one on the planet. This is done
through tools and technology, not tooth and claw.
The sky is literally the limit in the Space Stage. Design
your own spaceship and explore the galaxy. This is where the multiplayer aspect
of Spore comes into play. The game is played online, so people around the world
can interact with you. Even better, there is no monthly subscription. Form
alliances with other players or wage epic battles with them.
The scenery is fantastical in a World of Warcraft sort of
way. Plants and trees may be odd colors. Like your creature, Spore is extremely
adaptive. It monitors your in-game decisions and bases your future actions from
the past. The instruction manual provides a few tips on how to go in certain social
directions. Honestly, the easiest way to go is militaristic. Pummel your foes
before they eliminate you. Force them into submission or wipe them out
altogether. How will you spread throughout the galaxy: war or peace? The choice
is yours, make it wisely.