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Customer Review

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Spore is a great game - time will tell, September 8, 2008
This review is from: Spore - PC/Mac (Video Game)
The average person doesn't read a review to hear about DRM or technology - I know all about it, I hate it, but initially I just want to hear about the ACTUAL game. And the actual game is a brilliant, engaging, atmospheric, and (in spite of what the so-called "hardcore gamers" are saying) DEEP entertainment experience.

It might not be for you if you consider yourself a strategy wizard and you're used to screens of options and tweaks to micro-manage your civilization to glory. If, however, you're someone looking for an entertaining experience where the joy comes not from fiddling with a control system and screens full of stats but from engaging in a creative and stimulating joyride with the world's most advanced toy, then you will find that Spore lives up to the hype.

I think the early reviewers have been a tad short-sighted in their reviews. With time, hopefully Spore will rope in the casual players and those hardcore gamers looking for an entertaining experience that doesn't take time and effort just to learn the interface. It'll still take weeks or months out of your life xD but the time you spend goes into your own creative engagement with the atmosphere and spirit of the game; your focus is taken by the engaging graphics and animations while you tacitly pick up a broader understanding of the greater concepts behind the game itself (evolution, intelligent design, the impact of social, cultural and economic considerations on history and human development, and other far reaching concepts that sound a lot less pretentious when you're just taking them in by osmosis xD)

If you want to show your "hardcore game-ness" you can always play through the game and work out exactly where and how Will Wright has taken the deeper mechanics from Sim City, Sim Earth and his other classic games and turned them into a more usable, streamlined experience; one in which their relevance is still understood and enjoyed but their complexity kept from unnecessarily intruding on the atmosphere of fun, creativity and exploration. You might find you appreciate it more.

Rock, Paper Shotgun has a better way of looking at Spore which is pretty spot on for clarifying the problem with most of the early reviews from fans and professional reviewers. The early stages of the game may, upon later reflection, appear to be a lot less deep, complex or broad than first impressions (or expectations) precisely because the Creature Creator and other aspects of the gameplay are so enjoyable and can take a protracted amount of time. But ultimately, they're not intended to be all that 'deep', per se - they're there to introduce some of the core concepts gradually and to give you an attachment to your 'race' and a more overarching and deeper understanding of how they're built. The real game is in the end game - the Space Stage - at which point you discover that the game is ultimately a god-sim / strategy management game and the stages before have been preparing you for it. This, of course, only makes you want to go back and play it from the start later on, making different choices in the construction and nurturing of your character/creature/race. But if you're a casual Casual Gamer ;) none of that matters anyway - you can just enjoy the stage of the game that gives you the most fun.

Hopefully I've been clear to anyone looking for a review of the game: Spore is an awesome experience, well worth your time. I gave the game itself 5 stars.

As for the DRM... enough people have gone on about it here so I'm just going to say I agree and that's why my review of the game overall is 1 star. I bought the game because Will Wright is a great game designer but I won't support EA in any way beyond that, thanks to their clear contempt for us as paying customers. EA's filthy DRM takes all the beauty away from Will Wright and Bioware's artful creations and drags them through the dirt of corporate greed and classic bottom-line-only blindness.

I rebuild my machine fairly often so it's going to be very interesting to see how well EA handles my call to reactivate the product. The problem is, if it's superfast, completely painless and effortless it's STILL not good enough because it's going to be an inconvenience either way.

What a great way to show how much you despise your customer base, EA.
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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

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