This game had me confused at first as I thought it was going to be for the teeny-bopper generation. Well I took the chance after watching some You Tube clips Nd decided to try it out. Very nice graphics for starters. If you like the Diablo style games you really will enjoy this game. There are many characters and you can put them into squads that you control. Now it's not like squads you command as you can only use 1 character at a time but more fun you can bring in any character while you are playing at any time. This makes it possible for you to form really cool strategies as you move through the levels of the game. There's a lot of great equipment and weapons for youth use as well which grant all kinds of skills to your characters. Overall feel is sharp and tight, you get am immersive experience. Beautiful graphics and online multiplayer make you want to play this game a lot. I like it to just sit down and blow stuff up without getting into any kind of story line, which is very cool. Also ifyour in your 30's and early 40's you will enjoy this game as well.
Full of Bugs..
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
I like the game and played it for the first time BUT the BUGS... oh MY GOD..! I can't believe EA released a game so full of bugs. I think the character editor is the best feature and can be improved but the bugs frustrate most of the players. Something such as chaining which relies so heavily on network, players get disconnected, lose all there bonus and sit frustrated. This low score is just because of the premature release and not for the game's design.
The game is the usual hack-slash but if the players get frustrated cause of the disconnects and other bugs, its not going to get more fans in the future.
EA has lacked/shown lack of support for the game as if they are frustrated themselves on making the game!
No one in there right mind would buy the next version if this is how they release their games.
This game tried to start out very ambitiously, but unfortunately, I don't think it's going to last....
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
I guess like many of us, I'm waiting patiently for Diablo 3 to come out, and so when a potential similar stop-gap game becomes available, one jumps at the chance to give it a shot, and thus it was for me with Darkspore.
Ultimately, I found this game (very) disappointing the more I got into it after playing it for about 3 weeks. As usual with reviews I've done, I'll start with what good there may be with it:
- The innovation of using 3 different "heroes" (and that's a stretch, not sure really what's "heroic" about them to begin with...) as part of a squad where one can switch between them (rather than using them simultaneously) when needed is a new aspect to gaming that is a bit refreshing from other action RPG's.
After that, however, the overall game play quality starts to drop off quickly. It just plain seems to me that this game was not that well thought out in concept planning stages. Here are the issues I have with it:
- Fine to have online multi-player and the way that the multi-player is set up is OK, but solo play should have been offline, allowing play where server lag time issues don't affect one's play.
- And, this being a server-based game, there is no excuse at all for the very limited, repetitive and really small planetary (or whatever one calls them...) environs that one has to go thru when grinding up your characters. With an online server-based game, the amount, availability, detail, and size of varying environs should have been far more extensive.
- Repetition in game play is the by-word here. When leveling up your characters between the 17 or so different gaming environs (and each with their own chain of 4 different levels), each increasing in their difficulty exponentially at times where the jump to the next one finds the player initially getting slaughtered at that new level, one finds oneself going thru chains of 4 groupings looking for upgrades to your bank of heroes on an excessively recurring basis, many times. After one has seen the same environs and groups of opponents over and over, tedium starts to set in very quickly.
- Ambient sound is not bad, but graphics are only fair. For being a cutting edge 2011 game (and I own a very high edge graphics card with my quad-core machine), it's very unimpressive.
- The base story behind the game is virtually non-existent. If one were to ask the players found in each of the online game lobbies what the ultimate point of the game is, (i.e., say, versus the Diablo series), one would get likely an answer that would be best summed up by a collective, "Huh??...". There is when progressing thru the game, an annoying female narrator (with a voice that's a cross between Hermione Granger of Harry Potter and the computer of the 1960's TV series, "Star-Trek") that tries to keep you up to date on what's going on as well as maintaining your interest, but it just does not work at all. The game rapidly devolves into, "OK, so what's the next set of areas I need to get thru when killing Darkspore opponents in great numbers??...", and so, who really cares about the story??
- The characters that are available thru-out the game are misleading in that one would think that initially when starting up, there are 100 total different and varying characters available, but when it comes down to it as they are being unlocked, there are really only about 20+ or so different characters that can be really repeated in use, as they are unlocked during game progress. That would mean, I guess that if one loves "Maldri" say, as your favorite character, one can use him as many available slots as possible in your 3 different squads. I'm guessing again that's really the only reason for a limited number of available characters, that really should be increasing in quality and ability in a server-based online game.
- I should mention also that the game-controls are relatively simply to master, however, the Manual (if one can call it that...) that one finds online (there isn't really any single manual in the game box) is disastrously lacking in some of the details regarding game play and what one encounters in the game in total. I found out a lot about the game nuances by just asking newbie dumb questions in the game player lobbies.
- Game play at times does not make much sense compared to other successful similar games of the same genre (like the Diablo series, Torchlight and Fate). Oh sure, there's a lot of clicking in combat and using the abilities of each character (like spells, I guess), and there's melee, ranged and (magic?) based type characters, but in regard to the available healing and power capsules (potions) needed to maintain the characters in battles, it is not well thought out at all, especially in difficult situations. One can only "run over" them to use them when dropped by opponents (and when your health and power are already full, they do nothing and eventually disappear on their own relative quickly if unused...). One cannot pick them up and store them in your inventory for future use, they cannot be purchased from the main Arsenal store and there are no slots for them to be used at your own volition in battles. One can only hope for/depend on them to be dropped by opponents, and then occur only randomly and sometimes a long time between those drops.
- Speaking of inventory, the game starts out promising with things that one can equip for your characters, but the only basic ways to get those equipment improvements is from drops from your opponents and gameplay rewards. The store itself is completely lame, meaning that you can buy some limited (and not initially well-explained) "upgrades" for your characters, but the available equipment for sale is limited to only weapons (that after a time become pretty useless as the game gets increasingly difficult). Everything else for your character can only be relied upon to be furnished by drops from killing your opponents, or the encountered (quaintly) mysterious Crogenitor Obelisks (always 3 per level, never varying) that one finds at random locations, or the random rewards from completing a chain level (and the more one chains together one after the other, the better the rewards). And most of the gear dropped on levels by opponents is pretty worthless, which can be converted to DNA for the inventory store. DNA for me was never a problem for upgrade nor weapon purchase while in the Arsenal Screen. But what does not make sense is why one cannot purchase (similar to those afore-mentioned action RPG games) other equipment (besides weapons) upgrades in the Arsenal store using your DNA? Why is it that only the Darkspore opponents have this equipment on them, and that it's not being made available to you as well? I know this is a fantasy game, but this does not make any game play sense at all.
- Lastly, in regard to game play, why is it that when one encounters similar Darkspore opponents (i.e., one of your characters is Cyber-based when meeting Cyber-based Darkspore), one takes increased damage from them, but the opponent does not from your similar character? That's just plain stupid and silly.
The bottom line for me, is that with all of the above issues put together, the game play (try as hard as I did while playing it) rapidly degenerated from Enjoyable to Tedium, and ultimately verging on Boring. And that, for this long-time computer gamer, is the "Kiss of Death" for a game. I should have guessed something was up when Fry's dropped the retail price of the new game by nearly 50% after the first week of it being on the market. I'll stand by and patiently await Torchlight 2 to come out next. For those of you, however, who want to grind your way thru this game to the finish, more power to you and Good Luck....
BTW - Tried to sell my game on eBay, and based on the actual sale to another player as well as my follow-up contacts with EA Customer Support, I was informed that the game registration account info (i.e., sign email, screen name, and password) can NEVER be revised, I.E., once you've bought the game, you are required to keep it for your entire lifetime and it cannot be transferred to anyone else. And that is not only completely whack, it totally SUCKS! (Conclusion: You really never own the game when you buy it, you just "lease" it forever).
This game therefore, needs to just plain "go away".
The best Hack & Slash waiting for Diablo III with some flaws but a new way to play games
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
Think Diablo but modify some critical elements .
Think hack and slash but instead of one character, you play a squad of three and control one each time.
Think squad but you build 3 dedicated one in a world with 100 heroes.
I love the game, it brings a different perspective to the Diablo like games, BUT some flaws prevent it to be a HIT.
the new mechanics on leveling
- your level does not depends on the skills of your character but the weapons and items you equip. the higher your weapon, the higher your character.
However, there is still a notion of level (cogenitor) that you unlock progressing in the game.
The game is almost impossible to play solo and this is a big flaw because the server system is not perfect. Frequently you end up on a server with only 5-10 people....frustrating when you are looking for dedicated level players who can play with you.
The pleasure of collecting loots and rare items is a bit flawed because the "Purified" item you might find in a level 15 for example will be useless as soon as you reach level 30. So you have to collect more and more of those items and keep changing them.
However, the diversity of weapons, loots, heroes type makes it very fun.
Contrary to a Diablo like, you can not fall in love with a character but have to experience most of them to see which one will better fit your equipment or vice versa. therefore you will change frequently your character and squad. this is difficult to let go..:=)
Best game though as hack and slash waiting for Daiblo III and Contender Torchlight II
Diablo-style combat, plus a Spore-style editor=fun
40 to 100 Hours
The Bottom Line:
"Just plain fun"
I'll start off by saying this: don't listen to the critcism. No matter what those noobs say, this game is great. The Diablo-style combat is fun. It may even have been improved upon. Each character starts out with all their skills unlocked, and collecting heroes moves fast. Every time you complete a level, instead of your heroes gaining XP, your profile does. Later, when you level up, you get to unlock a new hero to customize in the return of the brilliant Spore editor and use them in combat. Co-op is also a joy. The game is completely internet integrated and you can easily form a party between levels. You also get bonuses for completing levels on co-op. Throughout the battles, you find loot to equip in the editor to raise your stats. You also have a chance of getting one piece of rare enhanced loot from a die roll at the end of a level chain. This is definitely a game any Diablo or EA fan should play.