Spore Hero First Look

The cute and creepy creatures of Spore evolve onto the Nintendo Wii, and we've got a first look at our budding hero.

Spore has been a topic of conversation for so long that it's hard to think of a time when people weren't talking about it. The PC version was released in the fall of 2008, and though it was praised for being a great game, it was ultimately too simple for many PC players. According to Will Wright, Spore was designed with a more "casual" audience in mind. Now that a new game, Spore Hero, is heading to the Wii, it might find the audience it was intended for. At an Electronic Arts press event last month in San Francisco, Lucy Bradshaw from Maxis gave us a first glimpse and walk-through of Spore Hero, an open adventure game built from the ground up that puts you in the shoes--or webbed feet--of an ever-evolving creature.

The opening scene of the game was shown at the event and vividly described how your character ends up on a new planet. Blazing through the sky on a blue meteor after your own planet explodes, you eventually crash-land on a strange world--intact, amazingly enough, considering that you start off in an egg that hasn't even hatched yet. A red meteor is also heading in the same direction, a hint that you're not the only one who has found a new home and that there's probably going to be trouble. A giant yellow eyeball is one of the first things you'll encounter as you shake the remote and try to break out of your shell. Luckily, the eye belongs to a friendly creature, who helps you get accustomed to your new surroundings.

Your nest is where you'll access the creature creator, in which you can evolve your two-legged hatchling with new parts that you'll find. The creator is more streamlined on the Wii, making it easy to point to and select which upgrades you want to make to your creature. You start off as a plain-looking nub with legs and two eyes, but as you explore your new environment, make friends, and defeat foes, you'll collect an assortment of body parts that will give you new abilities. The tutorial system will prompt you if you're not sure what you're supposed to be doing, but if you're familiar with the PC game, you should be able to easily navigate the screen.

How you decide to go through the game is up to you. Creatures with an exclamation mark over their head can be interacted with, so you can socialize or sing with them, fight them, or just ignore them. In our demo, we saw early on that you can slap on a vicious mouth and practice biting with your new friend. Once you initiate a fight, you're taken to a separate screen in which you can maneuver freely and exchange blows. Your character is like a puppet, so every time you add a new part, you'll gain a new ability and eventually be able to do combos. The battle can be stopped whenever you want, especially if you're low on health, so that's when you tap out to go find some delicious fruit that builds up the health meter. If your creature does meet an untimely end, you'll respawn at the last nest you found.

We watched as our bulbous friend explored his surroundings, helping the locals with a bully problem and assisting in a makeover so that a beast could attract a beauty. These quests can be completed in any order, so as you wander around, you can decide whether or not you want to be a good Samaritan. In the beauty-and-the-beast scenario, a sad-looking dinosaur-like creature wanted to be more visually appealing to his lady love, so to accomplish that, our hero had to talk to the beauty and find out what she likes. After doing some research, our Maxis rep used the editor to remove the spikes on the beast's back and replaced them with pretty flowers and a pair of wings. Changing the beast's pallid complexion to bright purple seemed to seal the deal, because that was enough for the beauty to change her mind.

Explore exotic new locations in Spore Hero.

After matchmaking, our hero wandered to another area, and we watched him race uphill in a brief minigame. Using the analog stick to run, we made our little guy vault over logs and other obstacles to reach the big hulking monster waiting at the end. We were told that there will be other similar minigames in Spore Hero to break up the gameplay, but since that was the end of the demo, we'll have to wait until next time to see more.

The build we saw was pre-alpha, so there's still some work that needs to be done to spruce up the visuals. The procedural animations have been migrated over, so your creation and the other species will have their own unique personalities that can be conveyed through their actions. Spore Hero is described as an open adventure and feels like a simplified role-playing game, mostly because you're running around completing quests with an overall goal of saving the world and finding ways to continuously upgrade and evolve yourself. The game does retain the charming personalities of all the diverse creatures, and we'll keep a close eye on the development as time goes on. Spore Hero is set to be released in the fall.

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Discussion

37 comments
Huntsman456
Huntsman456

does any1 no if u stil get to make a civilisation if not its gonna b crap

bcroger2
bcroger2

meh doesn't look that good at all.

kmoore296
kmoore296

i think it might be an innovative and interesting game, but what ticks me off is the fact that they want a more "casual" audience, so they go to the wii. WHY US???!??!?!? again, i have no problem with the game spore

srbbnd
srbbnd

Hmmmm...got bored with the PC one pretty fast but good game. Will give this one a try.

ApolloAegis
ApolloAegis

Eh I was hoping it would be more independent solo type game play not more childish.

ikkante
ikkante

graphics seem to be a bit over the usual wii ones, but i don´t think this will be an enjoyable title

Phoenix6359
Phoenix6359

i liked spore but the space stage was all that kept me interested

Mr_Versipellis
Mr_Versipellis

Meh... Looks like an even more casual version of Spore. but it'll probably sell like hot cakes.

Patous
Patous

I'm not too sure. Spore was amazing even though it was simple.

megadisc
megadisc

looking forward to it when is it coming to malaysia ?

SaruKenshin
SaruKenshin

This seems to fix a lot of the problems that I had with Spore, I just wish it would come out on the PC.

felix19194
felix19194

it looks cool, if you dont like wii and dont like spore then do not comment, plain and simple i think it is going to take a lot of advantage of the wii motion controls.

bigethan
bigethan

@Nomad0404 One animated creature and some still images qualifies as a beta? You must have low standards ;-) I like it every time there's a wii interview and they don't talk too much about the motion controls. Whenever they say "The controls are fun" you know it's gonna be trouble.

CamiKitten
CamiKitten

I never got a chance to try this since my pc isn't good enough to handle it. Mebbie I might give it a chance on the Wii, which could serve a good purpose since my Wii never gets any action in the first place lol.

svaubel
svaubel

Spore had its chance with the original release. It was the biggest disappintment ever. Im not buying into the series again.

Nomad0404
Nomad0404

"pre-alpha" my big fat behind that looks more like pre-beta or beta code to me.

pancreasjuice
pancreasjuice

I know its a big ask since its already such a big game, but the original spore really needed more detail, it was fun till a point, but got old pretty quick. I think it could have really done better if it added a bit more carnage, death and guns, guns make all games better. That said i think it sounds perfect for the wii, i might just look into it when it comes around

Feld0
Feld0

That already looks gorgeous, but according to Sophia (the author of the article), the graphics still have a long way to go! Kudos to EAxis for making a game that looks good, both in terms of visuals and gameplay! BTW: Look for me on the Sporepedia and Sporum. I've got the same name there. (Feld0)

theta-omega
theta-omega

I'm looking forward to this, it looks like the creature stage except deeper and wider than the original stage was. I think i'll create a creature from one of my planets if i can. I hope that they'll introduce some of the new abilities and features soon.

yohmaru
yohmaru

I wanted to get the original for my PC, but my PC kinda sucks so im glad that this one is coming out, it looks nice

dareough
dareough

Have not got the original yet but a hope this is an actual representation of the original game.

Hungry_Homer111
Hungry_Homer111

Haven't played the original game on the PC (my PC is bad for gaming :P), but it looked pretty good. I was hoping to be able to play a somewhat faithful representation of that game on another platform. I do wish that they had kept some of the other aspects of the game, to make it feel more like your creature is progressing into a huge civilization. However, with the way that this game is, it does seem to flesh out the "Creatures" aspect more, so hopefully it will be worth checking out.

Pyroninja42
Pyroninja42

Spore Hero? Would it happen to be made by Neversoft and published by EA? :D

rino321
rino321

the one for the pc was good but got boring after the first time through, hopfully the wii version is better

Jhraxlin
Jhraxlin

I might get it, my PC can't handle Spore, but my Wii can.

Tikicobra
Tikicobra

How many Spore games are there now? Like, 20?

The10thRider
The10thRider

Sounds similar to an Adventure RPG, something that Wii lacks.