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Over at GameFAQ’s, a member snatched up a copy of the lates PC Game magazine from the UK.  Inside, it contained a detailed review on Spore.  Below is the post from that member:

So I got my copy of PC Gamer today, they give spore 91% with an over all summary of:

Best. Acid trip. Ever.
-Annoyingly adorable

Its Not
-Easy enough on easy
-Hard enough on hard
– Normal

Despite this reading through they mostly praise the creators but not the gameplay. The review even starts off saying “Spore falls a little short of its promise at every stage…”.

The review mostly focuses on the tribal/civ/space stages. They even call maxis’s creatures pathetic and that they tried to ban them from their game (which they couldn’t). They also say that despite EA/Maxis’s best effort there are still quite a few disgusting things around they point reference at a naked zombie woman with no legs crawling around on their hands with sores on their breasts.

They talk quite a bit about some of the creations they found i.e wheel chair grandpa’s, chairs, living sniper rifles, ball of fish mouths etc. Its mostly positive stuff about the creature stage. One thing they comment on is the unbalance in some stages on how much of a toy and how much of a game they are, they call the cell stage an elegant blend of toy and game. Creature stage an awkward conflict between game and toy. Tribal all game no toy. Civ all toy and not enough game. Then space which is a huge game with lots of little toys incase you get bored.

The review then does a run through of all the stages starting from cell talking about how you start off as a blob etc, stuff we’ve all seen and they talk about the size of the creatures around you and that there’s even stuff which will have eyes bigger than your cell creature. They do comment that the combat is physics based i.e you bump into something it will hurt them, theres no combat moves.

One thing they do comment on overall is that there is a battle between what looks good for your creature and what “performs” best, i.e social creatures wont get far with low levels of sing, aggressive wont get far without bite etc which limits you to the ugly bin.

[I didnt see anything new or that interesting for the next couple of stages so…]

Skipping on quite a bit to the space stage (theres not that much on civ or tribal review focuses mostly around creature cell and space). They levy quite a criticism at the game here that the first 2 times they played it they got complete a****les due to the galaxy being randomised. Kinda things like war being declared on you for trespassing into their territory, not giving them money that you often dont have, even before you’ve even met them.

Apparently they tried the space stage the first time on easy and still got absolutely hammered. They ran into an enemy race and got attacked, they fled, enemies followed, etc and it took 8 hrs of misery to find out there is no way out of it. You are utterly screwed. To win they would of had to hand over 1.5mil spore credits which was an impossibility due to the enemies wiping out your colonies/civilisation OR annihilate the enemies worlds and ships all together, again another impossibility. They say that the whole idea of playing a single player game on easy is so that other people dont come along and piss all over you but thats just what the AI does… And this is something they say shouldn’t happen on any difficulty (but it happens anyway). They say if you get into a war before you are ready for it you have no chance theres no escape and that its spores biggest, dumbest, most easily fixable flaw and its going to put people off the best part of the game.

They talk about mining planets/colonies/trading, etc and how you cant mine unless the planet is habitable if it isn’t you need tools from your ship to do so to tweak the atmosphere and using abduction rays to import stuff from other planets etc. They briefly comment on the “main quest” and say the center cluster is owned by enemies of the toughest kind, they dont say whats in the center but they say its a pleasant surprise and they weren’t expecting it.

They talk abit about space ship combat and different strategies to do with it, one they took (since they where traders) was to bait enemies into a tight cluster whack on an invulnerability shield and fire a 200,000 anti-matter missile at them.

They end the review on something which is quite disturbing considering there where quite a lot of issues with it for the creature creator. You NEED EA Download to patch the game, yes, I know, Its horrible and somewhat sucks regardless of if its spore or some other game. Personally I had issues with the CC and had to uninstall it, not to mention the annoying fact it starts up when you load the game and doesn’t exit when you close the game. They even criticise it themselves with similar sentiments, that and EA support is terrible. They also said the game crashed 4 times out of their 50hrs of play time and that there is NO AUTOSAVE and they’d like it patching.

The last feature they comment on is subscribing to peoples sporecasts to get their latest creatures automatically in to your universe. Then it ends.

As you can guess I had to cut it down, it was mostly a detailed account of personal experience using the game but an interesting read none the less, better than that other review by far which was more like a preview. Its a good 8 pages long, i’ll see what I can arrange regards to scanning it, I might have to photo it (don’t worry camera is at least 5mp ive done it before and you can read it fine) unless someone else scans it first. Anything specific you want me to pull out until then?

This review upsets me a little bit.  What, are .exe files for patches too hard for the users?  Why do we need a stupid Download Manager to update the game?  I’m practically screwed on this because the damn EA Download Manager screws up my main PC that I play and crashes…even after a fresh uninstall & reinstall.  I also refuse to put the dang thing on my laptop.

Definitely one of the points I’ll address at the Community Day event today.

GameFAQs – PC Game UK reviews Spore, 91%