Darkspore is a sci-fi Action-RPG by Maxis Software, published by EA.  The player takes charge of squads of genetically mutated heroes which come in five types: Plasma, Bio, Necro, Cyber and Quantum, and fights to save the galaxy from the nightmarish Darkspore.. a hive mind of mutated creatures which are a result of genetic alteration gone mad.

Tim pointed Darkspore out to me a while ago, after seeing a rather nice trailer.. I signed up for the closed beta and had some fun with the first levels, using a couple of the heroes and messing around with the character editor a little.. though not creating any phallic creatures for which the original Spore was known 😉

I’ve been waiting for this to enter open beta so I could play with friends too, and so I was pleased to see it arrive on Steam this week.  Last night we got together to play the first two levels.. and for once it was me who was running off, using Blitz’s rather cool teleport ability to get right into the fight.

Of all the heroes I’ve tried so far, Blitz is my favourite.. look at those claws!  His teleport ability, ‘Ride the Lightning’, makes up for his lack of ranged attack, and he cuts through enemies fairly quickly.  His shield also comes in handy, zapping enemies who come too close.

During the closed beta, I unlocked Arakna, a Necro hero who collects the souls of downed enemies with one ability, firing them out around her in a rapid burst, where they then explode with another ability.  She would have been my second squad member, but my heroes were reset with the start of the open beta, and this time I decided to unlock some different ones, starting with Vex.

Vex is a Quantum Hero, with time-travel abilities.  The Chrono Blink reminded me of Blitz’s teleport, but seemed to use more energy, and I felt that his melee attacks were rather slow.  I replaced him with SRS-42 the Missile Commander, a Cyber hero who uses ranged explosive weapons.. can’t go wrong with that, huh?

SRS-42’s abilities include a Missile Barrage, which brings down 15 missiles in quick succession on a location of your choosing.. best used on a slow moving target, or on a unit stunned or incapacitated by an ally.  His other abilities are more for self-protection; one removes all status effects, while the other detonates enemy projectiles on-route to SRS-42.

The open beta is available via Steam until Monday 4th April.. I hope to get some more time in on this before it finishes so I can try out more heroes.. and I also want to try out the PvP 😉

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