Progression gripes aside, the gameplay just doesn’t feel that great. Honestly, it all feels very dated and static – far from the “fast paced” tagline that’s been touted. Levels will, as with most games of a similar ilk, degenerate into spamming the attack button, but it’s not that satisfying in Darkspore because there’s no real oomph behind anything that’s happening in the game. The attacks are bland and hardly any of the special moves have a wow-factor about them.
Similar feelings can be applied to the Editor – one of the most exciting parts of Spore in general. But again, it all feels very simplified. Because all of the Living Weapons are set in stone, customisation isn’t that prevalent – there’s never an option to create your own Living Weapon from scratch. All you can do is attach items that you’ve picked up on your travels, and change the colours of things. So, if you go into the realm of PvP and someone has the same Living Weapons as you – there’s not that much that can distinguish yours from theirs. It can be seen as a good thing, as it allows attachment with certain characters and obviously, it makes balancing the game a lot easier. But it’s difficult not to feel disappointed when there’s so much potential which has been purposely stunted – it’s now rather similar to just changing a shield on a generic RPG character. The only difference is that you can change its colour, size and rotation.