Monday, June 23, 2008

Spore Creature Creator Mini-Review (PC)

Here we go again! Yet another 'demo' released for cost and yet again, the debate about 'should we be paying for a tech demo.' Yes, Spore Creature Creator is definitely just a snippet of the upcoming Spore title, but unlike the full edition, Spore Creature Creator is a game that can be enjoyed as a stand-alone and is geared solely for one demographic, the non-gamer, but that's not to say it can be enjoyed by everyone with any sense of creativity.

Spore is the upcoming game by Will Wright, the man who brought the world SimCity and the most popular PC game in the World The Sims. Spore, like his other games, is a 'God' Simulator. This time around you will get to establish a single-cell organism and see it 'evolve' into a full fledged creature. The game won't end there, but we will just have to wait until September to see how things turn out.

The Spore Creature Creator takes the 'second' phase of the game and gives gamers the ability to create a creature from scratch using a variety of 'items' (body parts). Thanks to the various different items available, you have the tools to create a plethora of different possible 'animals'. The possibilities are endless and you can spend hours, upon hours, creating a variety of different and unique life-forms. Unless you stick with the same core pieces, it is highly doubtful you will create the same thing twice.

There are two reasons that Spore Creature Creator was released. The first, and the key reason, was to have people get a head-start in creating creatures for the various planets that will inhabit the full version. In The Creature Creator, once you create something, you are suggested and encouraged to upload your work so that:

  1. others can see it and
  2. if impressive enough, will be featured in the final retail version.

This is a great way for those who put enough effort to get themselves into a feature game. Since the release of the Creature Creator, there have been more than 350,000 creatures uploaded and thanks to the options, the possibilities of creating just about anything is there (edit: There are now more than 1 million uploaded creatures; you can see them here). You name your creature, give it a description or history and tag it and others can search for it. If you do manage to have a popular creature, it will be in the retail version. You won't get paid for your work, but getting credited in the game is something really special. There are a lot of wacky creations already online including an Xbox 360 Controller and famous Video game characters.

The other reason for this release is for the fact that it gives people, who probably don't know anything about this game, a chance to get a better understanding of the title. Yes, a free demo could would have been better, but if you really look at what Spore has to offer, a demo would not be enough. Maxis and EA want to take all the Millions they've made from The Sims and translate it here, but unfortunately, this isn't exactly like creating people and controlling them. Here you're taking a single-cell and creating life, something that is much more complex and may not be such an easy sell. More than likely, you can take this game and it would be enough for most people to enjoy for an extended period of time.

This game is Perfect if have kids between the ages of 8-14 since you can put them in front of a Computer screen and let them play this for hours (please note: it's summer, and kids should be outside). For everyone else, this is a Great title that does exactly what it is intended to do, allow you to experience what will probably be the PC game of the year. The options for creating a creature then filming them (and uploading them onto Youtube, like my clip above) is worth the price of admission. I played the demo first and loved it so much, I felt the 10 dollars was worth getting to try the full creator options. The demo is of course free and offers 25% of the full Creator, so if you enjoy playing it, the retail version will give you 4 times more options. If you're not into God-Sims, then this probably will not change your mind, but again, try the free demo and your perspective may change.

I really cannot find anything wrong with this game. Yes, it does cost money, but 10 dollars is cheaper than a movie, and you'll spend more time with this. I've only managed to create 4 creatures that I really was proud of, not to mention the dozen or so I did just for fun, but I know the more I spend with this, the more I will be eager to start from a cell and see my creatures evolve into something special.

No comments: