Darksnore Trailered

Whoops, bit of a typo in the title there. I’d better fix that later.

Yes, here’s first footage – well, sort of – of EA’s Spore tech-based Diablolike. So far, I’m a bit worried about this one. I suspect there’s a lot more to see – how it plays, specifically – but I can’t help but feel someone needs to pull their fingers out as to why we should be excited. The silly name and this rather bland teaser don’t get my joy-o-glands jumping. I’ve definitely always got time for a Diablo kinda thing that isn’t Diablo, but it seems a shame that this one isn’t a bit more playful. On the other hand – totally customised characters. Most RPGs strenuously (and irksomely) avoid that these days.

It’s Spore! It’s dark! It’s… Darkspore!


  1. Guildenstern says:

    Oh look, a turd with teeth.

  2. Spacewalk says:

    If by “totally customisable” they mean “make a man out of willies” then consider my interest peaked.

  3. Agamo says:

    “totally customised characters.”

    Perhaps not.

    • The Dark One says:

      That doesn’t look any less customizable than Spore, where the design of your creature had exactly zero impact on its stats as long as you stuck the right kind of appendages on its limbs and enough leaves on its back.

    • Jerricho says:

      I once made a Jabba-the-Hutt look-a-like in the creature phase, i.e. it had only hands as appendages. I eventually stuck a single lvl5 foot on it so it was a really good dancer so I could impress one of the rogues. I think at that point any remaining respect I had for Spore died.

  4. BaronWR says:

    I for one can’t wait to play a “Quantum Ravager from Zelem’s Nexus”.

    I’m sure there are interesting things that can be done with the Spore technology (for instance, a game that started with randomly generated creatures and then used a genetic algorithm to select for more efffective ones would be pretty cool) This is not it, however.

  5. Mac says:

    Why do the coming soon characters from Agamo’s link look like splashes of jiz?

    • pipman300 says:

      that’s my fault sorry for that.

    • myros says:

      I was in a wierd mood today, thanks for that it … gave me the giggle factor I needed :)

    • Urthman says:

      I guess we shouldn’t expect any sort of interest in scientific verisimilitude from the people who demonstrated in the first game that they have no idea what evolution is or how it works.

      But come on. Just do a Google image search for DNA and the first page gives you plenty of examples of more realistic visualizations of the atoms in a DNA molecule.

      I guess maybe you could say the DNA animation is just a stylish progress bar that scientists in the game see on the monitor of their creature-making machine.

    • Urthman says:

      Yay! My very first reply fail! Can I get a key to the clubhouse now?

  6. Decimae says:

    This trailer looks so stupid; they totally neglect science. A creature starts to exist because some metal “crawls” over DNA, which is smaller then the boundaries of the DNA? I’m pretty sure it’s hard to find blocks of metal/dust that are sized bigger than a few atoms. The end result looks uncool too(to me).

    • Rich says:

      Ugh, and their representation of DNA. I suppose the crystallising might be meant to represent the carbon in DNA being replaced by silicon, but it still looks stupid.

    • Rich says:

      People are probably going to think we’re being picky, but if you’re going to put in fake science, you might as well put in believable fake science. You won’t catch me watching CSI for that exact reason.

    • pipman300 says:

      it’s a video game. if you only played video games with real science in them you’d play nothing at all (besides peggle, thats the only game founded in science)

    • Shrike says:

      Science fiction is most interesting when it *could* be real science. It’s a bit rubbish when you know from day one that nobody put any thought into it. It’s not like it’s particularly difficult to make up science that could actually be real one day either, just seems plain lazy.

    • pipman300 says:

      make up some science that could be real one day. right now.

    • tome says:

      I think the point Decimae and rich are about to make is this: if you’re going to make shit up implausibly, at least call it magic, (or the equivalent).

    • PHeMoX says:

      While the representation of DNA is totally wrong, I don’t think that ‘metalish’ stuff needs to be metal. It could be something alien. Anyhow, yes this was done pretty lazy.

      Also.. why does this point to the wrong video and not the one with gameplay in it?

      As for the game itself, not impressed so far ( GRINDING for upgrades seems to be the big thing) but the setting does look a lot more interesting to me than the original SPORE so they might be on the right track.

    • MWoody says:

      Just because something looks like it’s from the future and/or uses robots doesn’t make it science fiction.

    • Arglebargle says:

      Any sufficiently inept science is indistinquishable from magic…..

    • jsdn says:

      The fact that Spore was advertised as a teaching tool for real science makes these incredibly small crystals just that much harder a slap to the face. Darkspore is proving to be insulting more than anything else.

  7. Imperialles says:

    Anyone else think this looks rather like DotA? The top-down view, four-ability-setup and focus on specific “heroes” seem to indicate something along those lines. I could be mightily wrong, though.

    • Burningpet says:

      First things first – horrible trailer. and to think that all it needed was to show a goofly cute creature at the end to turn this all into a nice parody on starcraft2 trailer! heck, even if it is supposed to be the most dark gritty oh my god turn on da lights themed hardcored PROZ rpg ever, that spin still would have worked.

      and as for the reply. Well, i thought that too, seeing the 3 main attributes in the editor section of the website and the 4 skills each of those creatures has.

      and you know what, i think it could actually work, Dota style gameplay still hasent reached its potential in terms of evolvement in my opinion, demigod was clearly on the right track, but failed. LoL is a very bad example of how to make a Dota style game, but however, a good example of how to incorporate persistent elements into it. and HoN has zero creativity what so ever regarding game mechanics.

      I began to imagine a system much like LoL where you as an avatar could aquire various body parts as battle tropheys and blend them with the pre built creatures to participate in dota style games. would have been a hell to balance this system, tho, but provide endless combinations and depth.

      however, all of this is just empty talks, as the gameplay has already been detailed:
      link to 1up.com

    • StormTec says:

      It does kind of look like a more customisable Demigod

  8. vanarbulax says:

    I just wish someone reminded Maxis that Spore was meant to be a sim game, not a fetch quest sandbox :(

  9. Adrian says:

    i dont know why they had to put the name spore on this. spores customization was pretty much all about appearances and had no impact on the gameplay (every creature with a level 3 jaw bites with the exact same strength no matter how big you scale a mouth or how big the creature is). So this kind of customization is like useless for a diablolike game.

  10. Araxiel says:

    Yes, I’m one of those creatures that actually enjoyed Spore…altough the actual gameplay was

    So I’m really looking forward to this. And I hope that they keep a good portion of the editting and some non-crucial sandboxing. but mostly I hope that this time it’ will actually be a game.

    • Raum says:

      […]altough the actual gameplay was lame.

      So, what you meant to say was that you like to draw penises with legs.

  11. Jimbo says:

    When I first saw it my reaction was the same as everybody else’s, but the idea is growing on me. Body parts as loot could be a great concept if they execute it well enough. Your character design needs to have a meaningful impact on the gameplay though – if it’s mostly just aesthetic (like Spore) then forget it.

    • Clovis says:

      Come on, do you really think that they could possibly do that?? Your abilities are going to be the sum of your body part’s stats. I’ll eat my internet hat if I’m wrong.

    • Jimbo says:

      Now I’ve seen the gameplay video, I’m not even sure if there will be body parts at all. To me it sounds like you’ll just pick up a stat boost and apply it a set of predetermined set of characters.

      For what it’s worth, yes I do think they could do that, if they had the will to do it. In fact, your own suggestion would be half-way there. If the body parts affected stats (as you suggest) then they wouldn’t be purely aesthetic would they? The rest would just be a case of making it a little more nuanced – ie. certain abilities requiring two or more specific body parts together, or a certain stat level (derived from the body parts), whilst limiting creation so you don’t just have the “more shit = better” that Spore had.

      It wouldn’t exactly be unimaginably difficult to take it even one step further than that and have (just as rough examples) ‘hit strength’ derived from the length/size of the arm, or run speed derived from the leg mass : total body mass ratio and so on. Simply have a ‘Biomass’ resource or something that you pick up as loot, and use it as a limiting factor during character design.

  12. Freud says:

    So that’s where the Teenage Mutant Ninja/Hero Turtles went.

  13. P7uen says:

    Can we call these ‘Diabolikes’ for ease of tongue?

  14. BAReFOOt says:

    It’s not Diablo-like. Because it has a gigantically important difference to Diablo: It’s not fantasy!

    Which means you don’t have to be able to stand the retarded superstitious “spirituality” bullshit, and can play it with a fully enabled brain, without having to constantly cringe.
    Or in other words: It’s playable by people who don’t have a high risk of becoming infected with religious schizophrenia and similar diseases.

    And as you can guess, this is key for a good game. (Which Diablo can by definition not be.)

    • pipman300 says:

      because if there’s one thing fantasy games Are known for for it’s religious supersition.

      D&D is the favourite game of christian fundamentalists they liked it so much they even made a comic about it called dark dungeons.

    • Seamus says:

      But then there’s other Christian organizations who consider D&D to be satanic…

    • PHeMoX says:

      This game has mirrored the usual classes though, mages, rogues, melee fighters.. it’s all there. When it comes to ‘magic’ and other weapons, same thing.

      So really, even if it’s without mana potions or spells and devilish pentagrams.. I don’t see why this prevents anything from being a potentially good game.

      Don’t forget you weren’t exactly playing with Jesus in Diablo either, so I think you’re tripping a bit when it comes to the actual ‘spiritual elements’. It was more about good versus evil, than religious versus non-religious if you ask me.

    • pipman300 says:

      instead of health potions you drink stem cells

    • Fumarole says:

      Everyone knows Diablo is about loot.

    • Antsy says:

      Superstitious “spirituality” bullshit loot, naturally.

  15. Mondomau says:

    Obvious troll is obvious.

  16. Daniel Klein says:

    I said one word at the end of that trailer. The word was “what”. Was this supposed to get anyone excited? Interested? Why didn’t they just point a camera at a grey wall for 2 minutes? That would have had the same effect, only it would have been ART.

    • PHeMoX says:

      Yeah, same thoughts here, but not because of the admittedly quite dull art and non-defined setting. Moreso because of the incredible standard gameplay. They better throw in some more innovative stuff or it’s going to be wrecked because of a way too shallow gameplay.

  17. Seamus says:

    Well, the music was kinda nice.

  18. Adam Luttman says:

    Seeing this made me install Spore again, and remembered why hate that game so much.

  19. Taillefer says:

    It looked like he was getting ready for a game of Bloodbowl…
    There’s an idea.

  20. GHudston says:

    I feel a sharp pain in my chest whenever I am reminded about Spore and what it COULD have been.

    After they dumbed the game down and left only a hollow shell of what was, once, a brilliant concept; I thought that Spore was the limit of how much a publisher could shit on my dreams. Then the expansion came out. (did anyone actually buy that?!)

    Now it’s obvious that they’re trying to save the franchise that they pumped so much money into. But what bright spark thought that THIS was the right idea? JUST MAKE THE GAME THAT WE ALL WANTED IN THE FIRST PLACE!

    *cough* Sorry about that. It’s a bit of a sore spot for me. ;)

    • Stromko says:

      I bought the expansion, and yes it too was a wretchedly incomplete shell. You could not make missions that were not 100% linear. No divergent endings, no choice, no interactive dialogue, no loot and a terribly simplistic, content-poor and yet grindtastic progress track.

      Either A) It’s a quest builder built by someone who has never played a good adventure or RPG, or B) It’s intentionally crap and overhyped so we buy it, get sick of it, and proceed to buy more shit from EA out of boredom.

      Really, much the same could be said of Spore. Some pretty whizbang technology that’s actually hype-worthy, coupled with gameplay that is intentionally shallow and lacks any real choice or variance.

  21. Fumarole says:

    Coming in 2012: Edgyspore.

  22. Raum says:

    I don’t get it.

    Spore was one of the biggest failures of the industry, and they continue with the Spore universe?

    I get that the EA suits originally jizzed all over the business plan Wright presented them with, you know, with the franchising and all, but really, it doesn’t take a genius to see that the Spore universe is complete and utter rubbish. On top of that, you make a ridiculously hyped up snore-fest of a game and you STILL commit to the original plan?

    EA seriously needs to snap out of this. Spore is digital excrement. It’s worth less than nothing. Get on with your lives! Force Wright to make Sim City 5. Make another series of sport games. Flush money down the toilet. Anything other than continuing with Spore will be a better course of action.

    • Jimbo says:

      Spore wasn’t very good but it sold well enough. And Will Wright doesn’t work at EA anymore.

  23. 1stGear says:

    “We could take all the criticism and compliments leveled at Spore and make a sequel with the intent to bring the game more in line with what was expected and wanted…”

    “Or we could make an action game who’s only defining feature is being set in the Spore universe.”

  24. JohnnyMaverik says:

    Huh… well that was… O.o

  25. Jimbo says:

    There’s a 4 minute gameplay video of this up on Giant Bomb. It looks bad. They seem to have missed the fact that the character creation was the only good thing about Spore.

  26. Zwebbie says:

    Spore was bad, but at least it wasn’t cliché. Science fiction and action RPG? They’re cliché. Now all it needs is quick-time events and sewer levels, and it’s the worst game possible. I’m excited!

    • Tei says:

      Sewer levels are the HIgh of most RPG’s. Specially if you are low level. You can found anything there, from lost gods, gel cubes, lost citys… people lost *everything* in the sewers, and as a low level adventurer, you want to collect as much junk as you can. Sewers and Mage turrets are A+++ in RPG terms.

  27. pipman300 says:

    i better be able to make a weapon that looks like a dong or i won’t buy it

  28. Angryinternetman says:

    For once, I’d love to see the good guys have spikes, flame and glowy eyes… oh and dark corridors… and saying grrrrr all the time.

    • Wulf says:

      Would be a bit of a change, wouldn’t it? But then, I’ve always been a proponent of that switcheroo, the kindhearted Dragon versus the decidedly dickish Poncy McFancyPauldrons.

      I think most proprietors of entertainment are too worried by the possibility of such role-reversal blowing the average gamer’s mind, and triggering revulsion in the process, and thus they stick to the safe and the familiar. Sigh. There really aren’t enough games really where the ‘good guys’ actually don’t look at all like what the average person might expect a ‘good guy’ to look like. One or two, yep, but they’re so rare.

    • Thants says:

      One thing I liked about Dead Space is that the player looks like some kind of techno-gothic monster.

  29. Matt says:

    Darksnore, how middle-school-clever of you. You know, like people call someone named Welch “Belch” instead of their name to be bullies. Because we all LOVED people like that, right? We should emulate them online, right? For the love of God get these middle school level antics out of your fucking brains and start real reporting.

    • P7uen says:

      I hated people like that, I was always too busy trying to be friends with the sport-spoiling fun-nazi of the class instead.

      By the way, do you want my mars bar? It’s ok, I’m full anyway.

    • Thants says:

      The terrible title-puns are a running gag. They have nothing to do with middle-school bullies. I think you may have misread the situation.

    • Jimbo says:

      You tell ’em, Fatty Matty!

  30. Firndeloth says:

    I haven’t watched the gameplay video because I don’t really have high expectations for this product. I love the idea of a complete character customization, and the amount of fun I had with the Sport character creator says a lot for entertainment value of pure creation. The biggest problem with Spore was that the gameplay was static, possessed of no agility and responding to your creative endeavors by copying and pasting your creatures all over the planet. I don’t know why everyone keeps bringing up penises … I never felt the urge to draw any, and most of what I saw on the community website was distinctly lacking in penises (I suppose it was probably censored). Was there some infamous video I missed or is this just an internet thing? Anyway, slice-and-dice action gaming is sort of a step backward in the world of interactivity, and unless they do something unimaginably clever I assume Darkspore will suffer from the same issue no matter how much it manages to differentiate itself from other action games (probably not much, at that): the game will not respond to your creativity. The pure creation will exist in a vacuum, bleakly contrasting your free character creation with a world that rewards you for limiting your creation to use specific types of body parts to gain stat boosts and offering the same gameplay no matter what your creature looks like or moves like or should behave like. Until I hear otherwise, I’m not the least bit interested. Yet another great gaming “What If” tied to Will Wright’s intellectual fruits … most likely another equally exasperated one.

  31. pipman300 says:

    oh wait they’re calling it darksnore because it’s boring and sounds like darkspore i get it now!

  32. Alec Meer says:

    The awful snore gag only refers to how dull this particular teaser trailer is. Meant to be playful, not trolling. YOU’LL KNOW WHEN I’M TROLLING.

  33. KillahMate says:

    I take back my statement that I’m interested from the previous Darkspore post. This ‘teaser’ has convinced me not to give a damn anymore.