Spore promised to let us micromanage a species from the very moment of its inception; starting with micro-organisms through tribal stages and ultimately reaching an intergalactic scale. This was great in theory, but arguably each individual stage wasn't fleshed out as much as they ought to have been. Then again, half baked is another man's'accessible. Casual players will find a lot to love- if only the fact that they can design their own crazy critters.
If you ever sat down and watched The Tree House of Horrors episode where Lisa creates an advanced civilisation out an old tooth and some cola and thought I wish I could do that, or perhaps you're a scientist with dreams of creating a brand new species with intelligence to rival our own, then you'll probably enjoy Spore.
You can get hold of a copy of the game for £7.99 from Cool Shop UK, which is pretty good value for money and should save you almost £2 on the next best offer of £9.93 coming in from The Hut.
Spore lets you guide the evolution of your wily little critters from their humble beginnings as microscopic organisms, to complex social creatures who's civilisation'll eventually extend across the planet's surface, until they finally build vessels that allow them to traverse the vast expanse of space.
As you progress through the game you get to add traits to our creatures that'll help them in later stages and both the appearance and bonuses provided by them'll depend on how aggressively or passively you've been playing.
There are a number of objectives and tasks for you to complete in each stage, for example the key to civilisation stage is capturing rival cities and during the space stage you can abduct other creatures and transport them to neighbouring planets in order to test their habitability.
With a massive range of creatures to construct that'll almost certainly be different each time you play through the game, Spore's definitely worth a go.
Thanks to millarcat @ HUKD
EA Maxis have been fairly quiet about the Spore franchise for some time, but new information from the Comic-Con website indicates that they're adapting the series into an action RPG.
That's pretty much all we know at this time, but it's possible that this title will emerge to be Darkspore which was trademarked back in March. I'm not entirely convinced that Spore universe really deserves to be fleshed out even further- and that tightening the focus isn't going to be a step backwards for the franchise- but I'd be happy to be proven wrong. We'll know the details when EA Maxis unveil the game later this month. [via BigDownload]
GAME's generous trade-in deals for the new Xbox 360 SKU have been getting a lot of attention both on Hot UK Deals and here at Dealspwn... but apparently, they've decided that it's a little too generous.
They've dropped the trade value of an older console to £60 as opposed to £80, meaning that it's no longer anywhere near as competitive as before. GAME intend to honour currently held pre-orders, but otherwise you might be better off looking elsewhere.
It's been a while since we heard anything from the ongoing ex-Infinity Ward vs. Activision lawsuit, but some new allegations have come to light from the aggrieved developers. According to new information from the 40+ plaintiffs (discovered by Kotaku), Activision made their working life resemble a nightmare scene from 1984.
Activision allegedly subjected Infinity Ward employees to "secret" interrogations that couldn't be discussed on pain of immediate dismissal- which were apparently used to 'manufacture' a case against creative leads West and Zampella. Security guards on all exits... and of course there's the small matter of their well-deserved royalties being held to ransom. When employees mustered up the courage to tentatively complain, they were apparently told to "get over it" by callous CFO Thomas Tippl. Infinity Ward devs described the conditions as an "Orwellian Police State."
These new charges form an entirely new suit against the company alongside the case for withheld royalties. A judge will rule whether to combine the two lawsuits early next month.
For the sake of balance, however, it's important to note that this is just one side of an argument. Exaggeration and hyperbole frequently win court cases- so it's important to reserve judgement until we hear from the other side. Considering how much the trial will cost, I'm personally a little surprised that Activision hasn't just paid some royalties and settled things up by now. [Kotaku]
When I was younger someone once said to me, “If you want to have a good party never introduce the topics of sex, religion and politics.” I’m beginning to think that perhaps we need to add video games to that list and keep it separate from religion and politics. Don’t even let the words touch one another in a sentence; it could be a lethal, and explosive, combination.
Recently I’ve discovered that religion in video games is quietly rearing its head once more. It’s a steamy topic that’s making a lot of people very, ahem, cross. Writer Julian Murdoch, in a feature for Gamespy wrote that he “encountered a wall of fear and paranoia when [he] called around, asking developers to talk about religion in gaming.”
Some were happy to talk about it, others refused point blank. It’s just too hot to handle and if one person says the wrong thing with the wrong inflection then it could be all out pandemonium. A PR nightmare. Littlebigplanet from Sony had to delay the game in order to remove music with texts from the Quran as lyrics. It's that tricky.
So what is the role of religion in video games? Is it even necessary? I thought it would be interesting to take a look at some of the titles and genres that have incorporated religion to a greater or lesser degree, and see if it made any difference at all.