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Darkspore

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Darkspore™
DarkSpore Logo
DeveloperMaxis
PublisherElectronic Arts
DesignerThomas Vu
Release date(s)April 26, 2011 (PC - USA) / April 28, 2011 (PC - UK)
GenreSci-fi Action-RPG
ModesSingle-player campaign, Co-op campaign, PvP Multiplayer Deathmatch
PlatformsPC
For the species of the same name, see The Darkspore.

Darkspore is a sci-fi action-RPG with a heavy focus on multiplayer elements that features a much more advanced version of the award-winning real-time character creation and editing technology first seen in Spore. The game was released in North America on April 26, 2011 for Microsoft Windows, and in Europe on April 28, 2011.

Plot Edit

Warning! Spoilers ahead!



The Crogenitors were a race of unrivaled scientists and had built a large galactic empire. They had mastered genetic manipulation and used their knowledge to create an army of genetic heroes, that became known as "Living Weapons". But the discovery by Crogenitor Xylan of the E-DNA, an experimental amino acid that bonds to DNA, changed everything: it was used to weaponize life itself, and it was capable of achieving millennia of evolution in hours. However, the E-DNA was unstable and all of the subjects who came in contact with it were transformed into a genetic nightmare and connected with a hive mind known as "The Darkspore". The E-DNA rapidly turned into a virus that spread all over the galaxy, killing everything in sight. The end result was war. All genetic heroes were slaughtered, almost all Crogenitors were killed, and the Crogenitor empire dissipated star by star. Six surviving Crogenitors were put in cryogenic pods. Xylan was thrown into exile and E-DNA usage was outlawed. In his exile, he injects himself with E-DNA and becomes The Corruptor, master of the Darkspore. Five of the surviving Crogenitors were sent to planets with surviving genotypes, accompanied by the AI network HELIX, and tasked with constructing new Living Weapons untouched by Darkspore. The final surviving Crogenitor was left asleep indefinitely, awaiting the moment when the HELIX network had stabilized the E-DNA. After 1000 years the HELIX succeeded. The 7th Crogenitor was awakened and began to gather the new Living Weapons, strengthening them with the stabilized E-DNA.

Starting with only a few brave heroes, the Crogenitor Insurgency, as it became known, grew to the size of a small army. The Insurgency raided all Darkspore strongholds, discovering more comrades along the way. They grew ever closer to their ultimate goal of purging the Darkspore from the galaxy, moving ever closer to your ultimate goal of destroying the Corruptor.

In the end, the Corruptor's hideout is located on the ruined desert planet of Scaldron. After an epic battle that reflects the other boss fights, the Corruptor, master of all genesis types, is defeated, and he explodes into a burst of white light and his roar of anguish slowly echos away. After his demise, all that remains of him is the mask of Xylan, lifelessly laying on the ground.

HELIX then informs the player than without their leader, the Darkspore forces are splintering; The mutation mines orbiting Verdanth were shot down, the sun finally arose on Nocturna, the energy fields on Zelem's Nexus were restored and repaired, the technology on Infinity was reclaimed by the natives, who proceeded to eraditcate the remaining Darkspore, and the ice that has been plaguing Cryos for centuries is finally starting to melt away. The game then zooms back down to Scaldron where Xylan's mask lay dormant on the ground, but one of the mask's eye holes flickers red before the screen fades out.

Characters Edit

In Darkspore, there are many characters. This is a list of all the known characters.

Heroes Edit

'Heroes' are members of the Crogenitor Insurgency, a team of individuals fighting against the Darkspore under the command of the few remaining Crogenitors. Their unique powerful abilities, skills, and talents set them apart from others, and are singled out as prime candidates for certain enhancement through E-DNA, and incorporated into the prime class of the Crogenitor resistance force.

There is a total of 100 heroes. 25 of these heroes will be completely unique, but each having 3 "genetic variants" with one different ability, and altered stats and appearances. Their ranks are Alpha (the hero's base form), Beta, Gamma, and Delta.

Enemies Edit

In Darkspore, your heroes will have to battle legions of adaptive and unrelenting enemies to complete a level. As they play, fighting these enemies will get increasingly tougher to fight, making it more important to upgrade heroes as they progress.

The following is a list of the known enemies that will be encountered in Darkspore.

Minions Edit

These enemies are encountered on several planets, very often. This category forms the bulk of the enemies in the game.

Quantum

Necro

Plasma

Cyber

Bio

Lieutenants Edit

Lieutenants are stronger than minions, and are less common.

Quantum

Necro

Plasma

Cyber

Bio

Bosses Edit

At the end of most missions, a powerful 'boss' character must be fought. Each boss has its own name and title, and a host of unique and dangerous abilities.

Crogenitors Edit

This category refers to Crogenitors, those are neither Heroes, Common Enemies, Bosses, or Agents.

Character Classifications Edit

The game features creatures of Five different DNA types. This means that the creatures that the players can play as are all split into 5 separate types: Bio, Cyber, Necro, Plasma, and Quantum.

The heroes that the player collects throughout the game are also split up into Three different classes: Ravager, Sentinel, and Tempest.

Each hero has its own specialized abilities, affected by its type and class.

For the full article, see: Darkspore Classification

Planets Edit

As heroes progress, they will visit a series of planets to engage in new missions. Each planet has a number of 'sections'.

Each planet is associated with a Genesis type, which is its "theme". Most minions will be of associated type.

Gameplay Edit

Darkspore gameplay is similar that of other action-RPG titles, such as Torchlight and Diablo, with a top-down third-person viewpoint, 'click-to-attack' and 'click-to-move' controls, and special abilities.

Darkspore has highly-rendered modern graphics and textures, and visceral gameplay that moves at a slightly calmer pace than most other 'hack and slash' games to aid its strategic edge. The player can collect up to 100 heroes, made up of 25 alpha heroes and 75 other variants, of which each player can choose a squad deck of three heroes of to take into every mission. Each of the heroes have 4 variants: Alpha, which is the original base hero, followed by variants Beta, Gamma and Delta, which are of the same type and class and wield the same weapons, but have their own unique look, attributes, and in addition to the 3 abilities which are universal across every variant of the same hero, each of the 4 variants have one separate ability of their own that is replicated from another hero of the same type. The right selection and combination of heroes is vital, as their abilities should complement each others' combat effectiveness, and their types and classes should be selected so as to counter resistances according to the enemies being faced. The player may only control one of the deck at a time, though is able to swap freely between the three. Switching is useful for protecting heroes that are low on health or energy until they can be healed or re-energized. Every hero has its own 'squad ability', an ability which can be used by any of the heroes in the player's deck at any time without switching.

The game's three primary pillars of gameplay are Collection, Customization and Combat. Players will rise to the challenge of collecting new heroes and many special items, customize and improve those heroes in the editor using the collected items, and then take their selection of the best heroes for the job planet-side to engage in strategic combat and reap the spoils of victory. Darkspore replayability, and is designed to be played over again several times. The game features a procedural AI Director that dynamically controls enemies, an assessment system that encourages players to redo missions to do better and earn better loot, and a 'Risk versus Reward' system that gives players the option to push their luck rather than cash out in a risky but exciting gamble, by choosing to decline taking the loot reward currently on offer right away and, instead voyaging straight on to the next mission for the chance of earning the loot reward currently offered, plus an assortment of new loot and a very special reward for successfully cracking the gambit. However, if the player chooses to push their luck but fails the following mission, all will be lost.

Multiplayer Features Edit

PvP Multiplayer Deathmatch Edit

Darkspore features an online Player versus Player (PvP) feature, a component that allows players to pit their customized heroes that they have collected in normal gameplay, against other player's heroes, in a multiplayer deathmatch arena. Like in the campaign, the player will have a deck of three heroes each that the player can swap control of using a universal ability to balance their health, energy and abilities. The game supports 1 vs. 1 and 2 vs. 2 battles, letting up to four players to join a match.

Deathmatch battles are much more challenging and tactical than that of certain other similar games, as defeating an opponent requires players to use all manner of heroes, abilities and techniques to eliminate all three of the opponent's heroes, which are likely just as powerful as their own three.

Online PvP features online matchmaking, ranking and leaderboards. Players are able to bet parts and heroes they've unlocked on these PvP matches.

Co-operative Campaign Edit

Darkspore's co-operative multiplayer campaign is the main focus of the game. Up to four players, each with their own squad deck of three customizable heroes, can join in on a campaign game, battling enemies together, forming team tactics, and trading loot as they explore Darkspore's story.

Hero Editor Edit

Darkspore features a specialized version of the renowned Spore Creature Creator for editing heroes.

Development Edit

Darkspore.com Edit

The official Darkspore website, Darkspore.com, [1] contains information about the game, including the heroes, planets, enemies, news announcements, pre-order and beta details, screenshots and videos, and an active forum.

Darkspore: Limited Edition Edit

Darkspore LE Boxart

The box art for Darkspore: Limited Edition

On /11/03/10/, the main Darkspore website was updated with new, drastically different graphics and layout, a Tumblr feed, and an offer to pre-order a limited edition of Darkspore that immediately unlocks a powerful Quantum character, Maldri, along with 3 exclusive stat-boosting armor parts. The art for Maldri and the exclusive parts are found on Darkspore.com's Tumblr feed: http://darkspore.tumblr.com/post/1528512030/pre-order-darkspore

This offer expired on January 31, 2011: http://eastore.ea.com/store/ea/html/pbPage.dark-spore?resid=LBhxdwoBAlcAAFflQ4EAAAAb&rests=1288825935781

San Diego Comic-Con Edit

   
Cquote1
6:00-7:00: Video Game Reveal: Maxis Studio— Maxis Studio (The Sims and Spore video games) has just announced their next project, a brand new, Sci-Fi Action-RPG based on the DNA of Spore. Join key leads from the dev team, Thomas Vu, Paul Sottosanti and Lauren McHugh, for the first game reveal to the public! Room 3" [2]
   
Cquote2

Darkspore was officially revealed at this place, time, and date.

Beta-testing Sign-up Edit

On /11/03/10/, the Sign-up for the Darkspore newsletter feature on Darkspore.com changed into a Sign up for the Darkspore Beta application. This was first mentioned by Mike Perry at the PAX Expo. There is currently no known release date of the Darkspore Beta, which is causing many players to become anxious. On February 10, 2011, the first batch of invites to the beta server were sent. The beta downloader was only available through e-mail and only a selection of players were picked for the beta testing runs. Since this was only the first run-through, it is not known if the beta testing group was cumulative, meaning they invite the same testers over and over in addition to new ones, or if the previous group was wiped away and a new one was picked out. The beta is no longer available.

Future of Darkspore Edit

In a recent interview, Michael Perry, the Executive producer for Darkspore, announced that as time goes by, expansion packs for Darkspore will be released. The only confirmed content obtainable from these addons so far are new planets, and likely with these planets, new enemies to fight and new heroes to unlock.

Notes Edit

Trivia Edit

  • The Darkspore logo is similar to the Warhammer 40,000 'Imperial Aquila' logo.
  • A few NPCs found in the game, particularly enemies, are actually inspired by creatures from Spore that were submitted into online contests and won. Players who inspire NPCs in Darkspore will receive exclusive achievements.
  • An ARG called Help eDNA exists, in which players must solve puzzles given by a mysterious character in the events leading up to the game. The ARG's plotline is finished, but the domain is still running at: http://www.helpedna.com.
  • The whole game has similarities in gameplay with Ultimate Marvel Alliance.

System Requirements Edit

The system requirements were released on the Darkspore forum and are as follows:

FOR WINDOWS XP

  • 3.0 GHz P4 or Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 2GHz or equivalent or faster
  • 2 GB RAM
  • A 256 MB Video Card with support for Shader Model 3.0
  • The latest version of DirectX 9.0c
  • Microsoft Windows XP Service Pack 3
  • Up to 10 GB of hard drive space
  • Broadband Internet Connection Required

FOR WINDOWS VISTA

  • 3.0 GHz P4 or Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 2GHz or equivalent or faster
  • 2 GB RAM
  • A 256 MB Video Card with support for Shader Model 3.0
  • Microsoft Windows Vista Service Pack 2
  • Up to 10 GB of hard drive space
  • Broadband Internet Connection Required

FOR WINDOWS 7

  • 3.0 GHz P4 or Intel® Core™ 2 Duo 2GHz or equivalent or faster
  • 2 GB RAM
  • A 256 MB Video Card with support for Shader Model 3.0
  • Up to 10 GB of hard drive space
  • Broadband Internet Connection Required

Note that there are no system requirements for mac as the game was not announced for mac, but there still is a way to play Darkspore on the mac - Mac Port Here.

Controversy Edit

Creation Edit

Controversy regarding limitations within the Darkspore hero editor arose when it was announced that the system was totally rudimentary.

Blood and Gore Edit

Shortly after gameplay videos and screenshots were revealed, players-to-be could see the relatively copious amounts of blood and gore that existed in the game. Many began to complain that the game contained "too much blood". Ironically, before Darkspore was announced, many Spore players complained about the near-complete lack of blood in the game, on grounds that the gameplay in Spore felt a bit lacking in accessibility to gamers with a taste for more realistic violence.

For players who do not like the gore in-game, Maxis implemented a blood switch that can be turned on and off. When players turn off blood, enemies will explode into clouds of E-DNA instead.

Release Date Edit

Multiple forum members were growing increasingly worried about Darkspore's release date, due to a seeming lack of response from Maxis. Multiple release dates had been found online; they ranged from February to March 29th/31st to even April and July. However Maxis eventually announced these were wrong and the game would be released on April 26, 2011 (USA) and April 28, 2011 (Europe).

References Edit

  1. The official Darkspore website
  2. From Comic-con Website

External links Edit

Darkspore Wiki
  • DarksporeWiki - A wiki for Darkspore.
    • Founded on Febuary 2nd, 2011.

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