Spore: Galactic Adventures First Impressions

Maxis showed off some of the tools and features in Spore's first add-on pack, and it looks like the universe is going to expand with some crazy user-generated adventures.

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Considering Spore's universal success, it's no surprise that the evolution didn't end there. A range of new Spore offspring have been revealed by EA, including Spore: Hero for the Wii, Spore: Hero Arena for the Nintendo DS, Spore: Creature Keeper, and Spore Galactic Adventures. All of these games will be arriving this year, with Galactic Adventures expected to arrive first in March.

Galactic Adventures is an expansion pack that lets Spore owners create their own adventures, in the same vein as creatures, which they can play and share with their friends and the online community via the Sporepedia--providing that they've reached the space stage of the game. In the same way that the creation tools were the highlight in Spore, it looks as if the same will be true of Galactic Adventures, which will give you greater control of not just the creatures but also the universe around them. You can build and edit new planets from scratch and pollinate them with life. Flora, water colour, day length, climate, and sea levels can all be customised, and this ability has evolved from the team's in-house development tools. You'll also be able to tinker with land masses to create mountains and hills, continents, islands, oceans, lakes, valleys, rivers, and roads to give your planet an individual touch.

Once you're happy with your planet, you can populate it with creatures, which effectively become cast members in your production. You can create teams of creatures, stances (for example, two opposing groups), and set awareness ratings for each character (how close you can get before it will notice you). You can easily add objectives to complete, such as talking to a specific creature, collecting an object, and so forth. Once you've added enough goals, you can move on to a second act, up to a total of five that will support branching storylines. You don't have to do an epic adventure alone, either, and with 64 million creatures on Sporepedia, you should be able to find a few extra party members if you don't want to create your own. There's also a bunch of items that Maxis has created to make quest creation easier, including bombs, keys, exploding barrels, jump pads, and other typical items that you'd expect in quest-based games.

In addition to actors, you'll naturally need to build a story for them to work within, and you'll be able to add text for each character and basic cutscenes. When you're creating adventures, an onscreen meter will tell you how complex your adventure is, and this will fill up as you add more items until it eventually reaches its limit. To create and play in the new adventures, you'll need to purchase a copy of Galactic Adventures and get to Master Badge level 2. Maxis has bundled in 20 "really good" missions to get you started, although we didn't get to see them at the event, and if you'd prefer to create an adventure for fun, you can remove goals altogether and roam at leisure. The game is currently still in alpha, and the team is looking to include yet more features before launch, such as the ability to edit other creators' adventures, a classification system in Sporepedia for adventures (difficulty, age rating, type of adventure, that sort of thing), and possibly the ability to drive vehicles in the game.

Spore: Galactic Adventures will be let loose in March on the PC. For more on Spore, read our full review and stay tuned to GameSpot for more on Galactic Adventures as the game approaches.

Discussion

130 comments
trg_564
trg_564

Spore is a very good game and I would've happily paid extra for all the add-ons to be in the main game. The only reason EA is asking us to buy the expansion packs is so they can get more money, they did it to Sims 1, 2 and every single Simcity ever made, they will certainly do it to Sims 3 and now they are doing it to Spore. I seriously don't see any popular reasons to make the expansions packs, unless you are the EA Games CEO and want more money.

Lucavix
Lucavix

Dilbert3k, it could also be that EA has their goons all log on and support their products. EA has an actual department dedicated to promoting their products in the public sphere online. An entire building of people work towards that end, posing as consumers, chatting on message forums and commenting reviews, always trying to promote sales. It's no conspiracy theory, everything's public. Hell, why should EA try to keep it secret when they know that most people will remain ignorant of it anyway?

DarkfallWaaagh
DarkfallWaaagh

Spore was a fun game until you realized that it was all the same repetitive crap over and over again with user created creatures. I'm personally Boycotting Spore Galactic Adventures because EA ruined Spore. Will Wright considered Spore his masterpiece and it was finished roughly 2 years ago, but EA decided it was too complicated for gamers and took the hatchet to it. Will Wright never had a choice but to support EA's decisions, he's contractually obligated to and he can be punished if he says anything bad about EA. Besides everything in Galactic Adventures should have been in the original, EA cut so much stuff out, GA is just one of the chunks they cut out and put on the shelf for the next season. EA sold you an unfinished game and now they're charging you extra for a finished game. Don't give them your money, EA doesn't deserve it. Only 1 in 10 EA games are even any good, EA doesn't care about quality because they know if they advertise something enough most people will buy it no matter how bad it is. Stop supporting EA they're dumbing down and ruining the gaming industry.

SuperMarioDude1
SuperMarioDude1

Spore is a fun game. There's no doubting that. Spore is one of, no, THE most robust DIY game the world has ever seen. Galactic Adventures only expands on that-- a good move, since most of the world seems to agree with me. On the other hand, though, Spore, as a game, was quite shallow. Despite the new level editor included with GA, it will likely remain this way, since it adds very little in the way of strategy. The only true strategy in Spore existed in its short-lived Tribe stage. I was really hoping that GA would add some depth to the tedious combat and repetitive treasure hunting that is the Space stage, but it does no such thing. Now, I love level editors as much as the next guy, but they shouldn't come at the expense of actual gameplay.

Szeiden
Szeiden

I enjoyed Spore for a while... However, given that the main point of the game is supposed to be creating your very own creature, it came as somewhat of a disappointment to me that after the tribal age (or perhaps even as soon as the creature age), your "special" creation had little impact on the rest of the game. Sure, in the space age there is a portrait of your creature, but does that mean much? No. That is the main reason that, despite my initial enjoyment of the game, I quickly lost interest after colonizing a few planets and gaining access to most of the ship tools. There really wasn't much to do in the space stage... This expansion looks as though it will remedy my problems with the original game so I am looking forward to it with much anticipation. As clarification, I am not saying that Spore was a bad game, just lacking in some aspects.

Unetteh
Unetteh

Dangit! Now we have to wait until june for this. :(

Megaship
Megaship

Spore is awesome, but it can get boring after playing in the space stage too long. Galactic adventures should bring some interest to people again. The way that theres only one space ship exploring the galaxy and controlling the entire Empire seems kinda lonely.

googlrpoxer
googlrpoxer

@Slig0 Spore is not an old game it was released September last year and will definitely run on a 4870X2

Slig0
Slig0

I hope it will run on 4870x2. But i doubt. It's too old.

Outer_Raven
Outer_Raven

I'm buying this for sure. I already have a few ideas for adventures too.

AgentPix
AgentPix

I hope they better and new cheats for space stage that stop the deasasters, pirate raids, and so on..

Valek1394
Valek1394

On the one hand, I'm psyched to breathe new life into the game for me - on the other - I got bored with it months ago and it was wiped out with a fresh install late last year. While the thought of reinstalling it with this new expansion appeals to me... I worry, am I STILL going to have to deal with virus outbreaks, pirate attacks and the ever tedius spice collecting and selling all on my own? All that nonsense really made the exploration very limited since you had to keep going back to fend off all these different things. So whats to keep all that from interrupting the quests constantly?

Dilbert3k
Dilbert3k

chaintm, thats why I like the player reviews so much. Sure we get some developers acting like players. But it gives you a good overall view. I find that by looking for the lowest player reviews I can find the things that are annoying players, and get a good idea if it would annoy me as well. That with the positive reviews gives you a good picture of the game. The downside being you must wait a few weeks after release to get a useful review of the game.

chaintm
chaintm

why do these previews read more like adverstiments now? Oh, it could be because this was a cut and paste from another preivew of yet another preview threw the other preview that was taken from the offical release announcment of EA. Wow, call it what it is, an advertisment. All these sites have lost any integerity to real reviews or previews for that matter. Sad day for gamers.

Dilbert3k
Dilbert3k

Kinda funny looks like most of the posts here are negative. Yet the negative posters are getting large numbers of thumbs down. Guess it makes the Spore lovers mad when people come in here and point out they don't like the game.

Valyndir
Valyndir

wow cool, something else we were supposed to get on release now released as an expansion, thank you EA!

Inconnux
Inconnux

universal success???? DRM crap collection of subpar minigames. Keep the EA boycott up

MaxieWaxie
MaxieWaxie

I am having mix thoughts about this new edition to Spores. To be honest, the game was sort of short. But then again, the game wasn' that bad (as long as you didnt rush). So hopefully this game offers more than just a few "new" stuff.

TheDere
TheDere

I wasted £30 on spore, for 5 hours of fun... I learnt my lesson the 1st time, and will avoid this.

JrSlacker
JrSlacker

I gave up on Spore as soon as I got to the space age, game is too short and over rated...

paullywog
paullywog

i knew it. first of all, i would like to say i refuse to install this on my system, and after i get back from a trip next week, i am putting spore on amazon for 15 bucks. but anyways, i knew EA would build spore up to be the game it was hyped to be with a bunch of overpriced expansion packs. i expected from the get go options to play online with friends and create universes for your buddies to explore. i wanted to customize planets, terrain, weather, and flora and fauna both. those things didn't happen despite EA's huge hype. i should know better by now. i'm officially boycotting EA. except for maybe one of the battlefields coming out...

Megaship
Megaship

This is going to be very exciting for me, it'll give a little bit more of creating our own stories in Spore, plus I can see they made it like the creature stage since it was the funnest. If only it could happen in civilization and tribal stage too

Megaship
Megaship

This is going to be very exciting for me, it'll give a little bit more of creating our own stories in Spore, plus I can see they made it like the creature stage since it was the funnest. If only it could happen in civilization and tribal stage too

AgentPix
AgentPix

I'll buy it when I can find it on sale :D

The_Fat_Zebra
The_Fat_Zebra

The problem is that I found Spore too shallow at all stages to be interested in this. I never got interested in the whole process of shaping a planet since I found it had little impact on gameplay so I never bothered. Spaceship and creature creation were fun, but only for so long, again given the limited impact on gameplay. I won't pick this up because of lack of depth.

Joesocwork
Joesocwork

My children, 8 & 10, love the creature stage and still play it. I kind of liked the space stage for a couple of weeks until the other races became too stereotyped for me and there were limits to any kind of conquest. I guess I was hoping for an open-ended space version of Civilization with more complex dynamic relations between the space civ's and room for one's own race to grow. The expansion pack sounds like that it's rather about the astronaut interacting with the creature stage instead. As a long time player of all kinds of TBS/RTS/RPG/FPS games, I love complexity and I really want to be immersed into the game maker's universe; I don't see that happening here... Oh well, maybe my kiddoes will like it.

MaZe321
MaZe321

i'm in...just say spore and i'm there.. best game i've ever played... This should be fun...and worth waiting...

Don111
Don111

Sounds Great, more power to the player as they say Making Planets should be interesting

Evilhen88
Evilhen88

Sounds Really Good It would be even better if you could make scenarios like air raids and you have to find shelter.

SpunkyB0B
SpunkyB0B

100% agree with teh person below me

Windowsflagman
Windowsflagman

this is a great idea and should add some depth to the game, but what they really need to do is add to the things they already have, each level of the game is shallow, so instead of making more new things the should make what they have, worth our time

astralislux
astralislux

Wright said from the very beginning that Spore was never meant to be a game, just an idea and an experiment with developing games. People pushed him to make this into a game but he should have stuck with his instinct.

Megaship
Megaship

This sounds interesting, I'm excited they're releasing expansions for Spore, as long as they live up to what they say and aren't more expensive than the game itself.

darkness91111
darkness91111

just dont crash every 5 mins in space again yeah?

fiend116
fiend116

spore was fun for about one go then when i got to the middle of the galaxy i got bored. this expansion pack should add more fun yay.(:

Talos_II
Talos_II

Looks like it may add more needed complexity into the game. I like Spore, but its a little linear.

Helloiseeu
Helloiseeu

I think EA thinks Spore has the same mass appeal as the Sims series had and wants to flood this game with millions of expansion packs that will be released every month. But, they will probably never live up to the Sims popularity because Spore is complete garbage and Sims isn't.

Perfeck_RocK
Perfeck_RocK

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

steelydoctorwu
steelydoctorwu

Maybe the Gaming industry has decided they've done about everything they could do and so with Games like Spore they are using promotion to try and sell a dumbed down Game so they can go back to the beginning and start all over again. If you consider the sales I guess it's working.

zzodr
zzodr

One of the greatest let-downs in modern gaming.... 5 expansion packs are not going to un-fu** the god-awful mess they heaped on us.

core5
core5

Sounds like this should have been included in the original game. It sounds basically like a mission tool set. It might be good if some groups of people put some hard work into a good story line or something.

chappy_man
chappy_man

sounds like a good idea, i am not sure how many of the casuals out there would want to make a branching quest line style of rpg with their creatures, but i can see it working to make some good playable stories, and a fun time assuming they don't make us pay too much for the expansion pack.

shadowkeeper05
shadowkeeper05

I think I can see why there are two difinitively passionate and yet different followings to this game, you either love it or hate it. While the premise is universally groundbreaking, Maxis created this game with the intention that gamers could become personally attached to their own creations with a sense of "ownership." But the idea of expansive sandbox gameplay doesn't cater to every player. Spore borders on the realm of imaginitive gameplay, where the game itself doesn't have as much inherent value as is given to it by the players. Truly immersive games, (like Crysis) contain prefabricated content from the developers that has its own innate value and can be appeciated in its own way. It really comes down to how you want to experience a game. Gamers with exceptional creativity and patience for the pace of spore may find it quite engaging. Personally however, I found the overall experience quite shallow, and while the concept was expansive, I felt that the cell, tribal, and civilization stages were (like the progress meter) very linear and contained too few variables. To this day I'm still confounded by WHY this is, because in theory the game allows you to take vastly different approaches, whether "good" or "evil" and offers different consequences for the playing style. For some reason though, I felt like the early stages of the game were lacking in depth. Still, my excitement for the space stage quickly waned when, after visiting so many stars, I got the feeling that I was just reliving the same experiences over and over with different faces. That, and the fact that there's no way to turn off the pirate attacks and annoying global pandemics meant that this game ended up in the bottom of my playlist. But to each his own, I'm going back to play Crysis Warhead.

zuesian
zuesian

Spore is ausome, they did not con anyone out of their money. It is an amazing game and the expansions (new games coming out) are going to make big sales too, Oh if nintendo is helping make it I think it will be bad, maxis needs to make a pc expansion for spore not more games on different sytems

delrio_gw
delrio_gw

"Considering Spore's universal success" hmm, based on sales possibly, but i played this game precisely ONCE before wondering how they hell they managed to con me out of my money with such a pathetic game. the premise is great, but it's implemented in such a simpleminded way that it's almost as bad as 'mysims' i agree with a previous poster that this is definitely a kids game, or a game for non-gamers, and whilst they're obviously attempting to re-create the cash cow that is The Sims i'm not sure people are THAT bothered about buying new stuff for this. if this game had had a demo, the sales would have been pathetic and whilst it's obviously going to appeal to certain people, as a 'gamer' i hate this game with a passion - and i was so looking forward to it. peggle it ain't :p

LionBeast
LionBeast

I start to drool as i read this this will add some more meaning to space stage. I have to agree when you reach it you are already bored to death. With the things i saw here this will change. Keep up the good work guys!!!