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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

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Spore Galactic Adventures Hands-On Preview
6:00 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

GameSpot has published a new hands-on preview of Spore Galactic Adventures. The expansion for Will Wright's evolution sim will offer the ability to beam down to planets, an equipment editor, and an Adventure Creator that will allow players to create their own missions and share them with others.

The collection mission let us choose a custom captain from our Sporepedia, and thankfully, many powerful heroes were available to play (heroes can advance to a maximum level of 10). We chose a tough customer with a jetpack to go on a treasure hunt for a golden llama idol (longtime fans of Maxis' other games, The Sims and SimCity, will get the reference and the joke), which was hidden in a ruined temple. In order to reveal the location of this wondrous treasure, our captain was required to collect several bundles of blue crystals scattered on the ground and guarded by enemies. These enemies included giant spiders and other creepy, crawly critters, as well as a gigantic (and invulnerable) boss monster guarding the llama itself. Fortunately, our hero was tough enough to soak up the attacks of lower-level enemies and make a mad dash for the crystals and the llama before hightailing it out of there with his jetpack. Just like in the original Spore, in Galactic Adventures you'll use the W, A, S, and D keys to move your character while using your mouse to rotate your view and aim, though you can lock on to individual enemies to target them should you decide to fight.

The combat adventure we watched was crafted to allow only that adventure's prebuilt captain character to play, and it required us to take a space-armor-wearing, jet-pack-flying alien captain through a teleporter to take out an alien mothership. This mission was described to us by a commanding officer character who stood right in front of us just as we began our mission and who debriefed us in a letterboxed cinematic sequence. We watched our alien hero fly behind enemy lines and do battle with alien boss monsters using various combat abilities that were hotkeyed to keyboard numbers 1 through 4 (you can also bind an ability to your mouse's left button, then left-click your mouse to repeatedly attack your targetted enemy for a more Diablo-like experience). After dispatching the guards and hopping through a teleporter, our heroic captain ended up on board the enemy mothership, dispatched the guards and final boss monster, blasted the reactor, and then scrambled to safety to beat the countdown clock before the mothership went up with him inside.

All these components--the enemies and their abilities and behavior, the layout of the maps, the size and shape and look of the buildings, the cinematic cutscenes, the countdown clock, and every last line of dialogue--were hand-built by a designer at Maxis, and the studio expects that enterprising users will do as good as or better than the Maxis designer once the expansion ships. We took an updated look at the adventure editor, which seems extremely powerful, packed to the gills with content, and also pretty easy to use. Maxis estimates that truly enterprising users may want to take a weekend or so to create polished content, but even younger users should be able to dive in and create adventures relatively quickly.
Visit the page below to read the full preview.

Gamespot: Spore Hands-On
Electronic Arts
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Other Mac Games News for Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Elven Legacy Reviewed6:00 AM
Hollenshead Discusses Rage, id Tech 5, Doom 46:00 AM
Playing Chess With The Terminal6:00 AM
• Spore Galactic Adventures Hands-On Preview6:00 AM
View all of the Mac games news for Tuesday, April 14, 2009 on one page

Mac Games News for Monday, April 13, 2009

Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 Reviewed6:00 AM
Diablo III: The New Look For Skill Trees6:00 AM
Spore Galactic Adventures Previewed6:00 AM
Tom Chilton Discusses Upcoming WoW Changes6:00 AM
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