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Review: Spore Creature Creator - PC - 9.0

06 lipca, 2008

The Spore Creature Creator provides a promising glimpse into the future of user-designed game content and online socialization.

Will Wright is one of the most respected and successful developers of all time. His Sims franchise has recently broken the 100 million mark, making it one of the fastest growing video game franchises of all time. Maxis\' games have a knack of offering deep gameplay mechanics for hardcore gamers while offering appealing aesthetics and ideas for casual gamers, leading to their wide appeal. Wright\'s upcoming Spore looks to be a game that will continue that phenomenon. To help ease our anxiety, EA recently released one of the many creators included in the game, the Creature Creator, as a $10 retail product and a limited, free demo.

Once you boot up the Creature Creator, you\'ll see a round blob floating in the middle of a stage, surrounded by various, simple control panels. From the control panels, you can pick a variety of different parts that you can attach virtually anywhere on your blob to create your creature, including eyes, mouths, ears, decorative parts, etc. What is interesting is what\'s not actually included in the Creator. Each part lends several different characteristics and stats to its creature, such as attacks like Bite, Punch, or mating "techniques." How this will affect later gameplay stages in Spore is left to the imagination, but suffice it to say, we\'re really intrigued in the main game coming in September. You can also modify everything, from sizes of individual joints to their orientation and the basic structure of your creature\'s body. The possibilities are truly endless and its so extremely simple to use. We hope this ease-of-use and depth extends to the full game.

On the other side of the screen, you can access the painting mode of Spore to dress up your creature. Showcasing more ease-of-use, you can choose from a pre-defined set of color schemes, or you can create your own.

Once you think you\'re done with your creature, you can take it out for a "test-drive." You can move it around, have it dance, make sounds, etc. What\'s even cooler are the social aspects that Maxis is integrating into the entire Spore experience. You can take screenshots of your creature and instantly email them to your friends and family. There\'s also a Youtube feature that follows the same type of functionality with videos, but allows you to share worldwide!

As the game is focused towards the wider PC market, it doesn\'t feature a demanding engine or amazing graphical features. However, the aesthetics of the game allow you to create a nearly unlimited range of diversified creatures that can look completely unique from each other.

Spore Creature Creator doesn\'t aspire to be much more than its $10 pricetag lets it be. Its only one small piece of a much bigger game, but it does open a window into showing Maxis\' genius and Spore\'s combined hardcore and casual appeal. The Creature Creator is a great time-sink that can be played by all in your family and offers a tantalizing taste of the full game. Will it be a gaming revolution? We\'ll find out in less than two months...

Gameplay: 9.0 - Amazing range of creature parts and color options. Youtube and photo-sharing objects truly open up gaming to socialization.
Presentation: 9.0 - Minimal, simple, easy-to-use interface allows you to create a creature within a few minutes.
Graphics: 9.0 - While not technically advanced, the game\'s engine is incredibly flexible, allowing nearly unlimited possibilites
Sound: 9.0 - Great music, animal sounds are diverse and are based on the wide variety of mouths.
Value: 9.0 - Great value for $10.

Final Score: 9.0 - A tantalizing taste of Spore and the future of online Web 2.0 gaming.

Marcin Skok
The Gaming Corner