Collect, customise and combat masses of monsters in this creature feature
Compared with its spiritual predecessor, Darkspore is a very different kettle of mutant fish creatures.
The 2008 title Spore was an ambitious ‘God game' that saw users designing their own life forms and guiding them on their evolutionary journey from the primordial gloop right through to intergalactic civilisation.
Darkspore has a narrower focus in terms of both premise and gameplay. It's effectively an action role-playing game in which you control one of 25 customisable creatures designed to combat an outbreak of genetically-engineered monsters that have taken over the galaxy.
The storyline is fairly minimal and not well told. It's mostly narrated by a rather dull-sounding computerised voiceover. Gameplay, too, can be somewhat samey. Most levels involve ploughing your way through hoards of evil monsters and scavenging for loot.
On the plus side, some of the environments are beautifully designed and there is a lot of fun to be had from taking the bits and pieces you collect on your travels and using them to modify your characters. This part of the game is directly descended from Spore's creature creator. Collecting all 25 of the ‘hero' characters also helps maintain interest.
We wouldn't recommend Darkspore as a single-player game, as it can feel like a bit of a grind at times.
It's much better played in co-operative multiplayer mode, either with friends or random online allies. Working together with others adds a more strategic dimension to an otherwise highly polished but repetitive experience.
It's worth pointing out that an internet connection is required regardless of which mode you play.
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We wouldn't recommend Darkspore as a single-player game, but it's much better in co-operative multiplayer mode
Some attractive levels; loads of customisation options; fun when played in co-op mode
Story can be uninteresting; gameplay got repetitive, especially in single-player mode
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