Let’s be honest right from the start and outright say that, as far as the long-term appeal of Spore goes, the game was a disappointment for most hardcore gamers.
It sold well, it scored well in our Spore review and it was an undeniably important game, with staggering significance for the future of player-driven content...but it was also a bit of a letdown.
Years of hype and expectation were slammed down into the primordial ooze the moment you realised exactly how easy and samey the game was. We actually feel bad for saying that sincethe folks at EA Maxis are really nice people, but it’s true.
Luckily though, we don’t need to be all sad-faced and depressing for very long, because the peeps at EA Maxis aren’t just friendly and chatty, but also clever and good at listening to their online community. As the studio’s success with The Sims franchise has shown, they’re also pretty good at turning content around quickly when needed, too.
So, when fans of the game start complaining that the game starts to feel a bit empty and repetitive, the Maxis design team is quick to assemble like a group of nerdy superheroes having an emergency meeting and tackle the problem until they find a solution. Thus, EA has presented the latest (and first major) Spore expansion pack, Galactic Adventures.
Built to capitalise on the strengths of Spore’s almost evilly intelligent editors while also tackling the fundamental flaws many people find with the end-game, Galactic Adventures’ main new feature is a new creation tool that lets players craft their own adventures.
In typical Maxis style it’s ingenious to the point of ratty dastardliness and, if successful, the expansion will give casual gamers something new to play with, while also re-littering the game with more complex and unpredictable quests for the hardcore gamers.
To a certain degree it’s the hardcore that are being targeted by Galactic Adventures too, as the quests that users create are automatically seeded into the games of other Spore players, just as happens with other player-created bits, like aliens. Specifically, the quests are seeded into the Space-game section and come bundled with a bunch of other game content. For gamers, this is the area that needs the most expansion, so this is the area that gets it.
Meanwhile though, those out there who are more like my little sisters and just prefer to have cool editors to play with so that they can make cute and cuddly animals, well they get that too. Everyone’s happy.
Or, at least, everyone should be happy. In reality it’ll mainly depend on how well the new adventure creator works...