Review on Darkspore by Maxis
This is my review on Darkspore my MAXIS.
If your interest in Darkspore is as a sequel of Spore, you will be disappointed. Darkspore is not big on innovation, and isn’t looking to revolutionize or create a genre. What it is, however, is chocked full of fun.
I think this is a game meant for co-op. Solo can get boring, but 4 player co-op is an enemy-stomping action-packed blast. Luckily, a very straight-forward random matchmaking system makes finding a full group a breeze even when you can’t find any friends online. It also has quite a robust reconnect feature so if one of your players drops out mid-mission, he can get back on pretty easily.
Darkspore’s graphics are good – but not great. Think ‘an action RPG developed by Maxis’ and you’ve essentially got the idea. The planetary environments are attractive and varied, ranging from scyfi space platforms to planetary forests. The monsters are fairly nondescript blobs with limbs (sometimes) for smashing, bosses excepted.
The catalyst system is a great tweak on the format, adding something almost like a puzzle mini-game to the otherwise straight-forward levels. Catalysts are orbs dropped from enemies that will give you buffs, and if you match them properly in a grid you’ll get an extra bonus. In co-op you can mix & match them with your friends to go for the best combination, just one more thing make team play really fun.
In the end, this game is as exciting as you make it. If you choose to only play one Hero, switching as little as possible, and never use any abilities, then yes, that can get dull. If you’re just looking for an excellent replacement for Diablo II or Torchlight, though, this is your game!