The final editor on offer in the new expansion is a new equipment creator that lets players craft new weapons and tools for their race to use when they beam down to a planet.
It was one of the biggest shames of the first game afterall that, although you could visit alien planets in the space age and you were able to hover above them, plaguing and abducting the ETs below, you couldn’t ever leave your spaceship. Now you can do that, but you’ll need special equipment to survive once you land.
Ostensibly, the equipment editor isn’t altogether too different from the creature creator, or any other creator from the original game. It’s certainly not like the multi-faceted adventure editor as it basically involves dragging and dropping certain shapes onto your creature depending on where and what you want the final item to be.
Want to make a ray-gun? That’s easy, just mount one of the special projectile or laser props on your creature's wrist/arm/tentacle/chest, resize it and add some extra decorations onto it, paint it and you’re done. Congratulations, you just made a death-ray!
There are still a few interesting tweaks and changes that have been made to the editor though, such as the way that the new energy meter (which is the equipment editor’s version of the complexity scale) is linked to the size and shape of your creations. It’s also linked to the abilities of your items too – if your ray-gun is too big then it’ll rapidly run out of ammo and be slow to reload.
Nor are freeze-rays and laser-pistols the only things that you can create either – you’ll also be able to make jetpacks that can launch you over mountains and fling you into oceans. Those are handy things if you evolved along such a path that rendered wings redundant.
Really though, while the jetpacks and ray-guns sound cool when taken at face value, we were left just a tiny bit disappointed with them. It’s the same old problem for Spore
as before that all of this great content doesn’t really have any set use. Player-made adventures are the only purposeful outlet for your creations, assuming that you don’t want to repeat the actually rather linear bulk of the game again and again.
The real issue that’s facing Spore
now isn’t really a matter of how advanced the adventure editor is, or how many quests players create and how complicated they are. A fleet of BioWare designers could get addicted to Spore Galactic Adventures
and create enough branching and stunningly deep quests to fill Baldur’s Gate 2
twice over and it still wouldn’t change anything.
The real question is; are gamers, most of whom have shelved Spore
by now, going to be enticed back to the game? Are player-created adventures seeded into your own personal universe enough to make you buy an expansion pack and give Spore
a second chance?
Personally, we’re not entirely sure just yet. The idea
of the adventure editor is certainly a strong one and in previewing it we’ve seen some really clever little things get put together using it, but is it worth paying more just to get at that small section of expanded gameplay in the Space-game?
Really, the only way to find out is to wait and see what we think of the full game when we get round to reviewing it – so keep an eye on the gaming section for more info.
Spore: Galactic Adventures is currently listed as having a PC exclusive release in the first half of 2009.