Eurogamer – Darkspore review

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This system is clearly intended to promote strategy and diversity as well as risk-taking, but all too often it means sighing resignedly, returning to the Editor and laboriously upgrading your squad or assembling a new one. As the game progresses, you unlock the option to have additional squads to hand, which mercifully frees things up, but it leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouth. Is the game artificially withholding key features like this (other ‘upgrades’, play modes and even player-versus-player are treated similarly) until several hours in, purely to create a veneer of evolution?

The solo campaign is compulsive enough, built as it is upon the perennial allure of splatting monsters and collecting items with bigger numbers. But as the game wears on, it increasingly feels like a treadmill. There’s some aesthetic variety to the levels, and a slow trickle of huge bosses fitted with interestingly brutal powers of their own, but behind that it’s the same experience recycled and not blessed with the sense of escalation and place that helps the Diablo games rise above their simple mechanics.

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