With the upcoming release of Spore making just about every gamer's mouth water, I couldn't help but wonder if the game will be the greatest of all time.
I understand that it's premature to even suggest that a game we haven't ever played will somehow be the best game ever, but with the hype surrounding it and those that are "in the know" saying it's really that great, it's easy for all of us to get caught up in that kind of hype.
Daniel Terdiman, who writes the over at the Gaming and Culture blog here on CNET, recently interviewed Will Wright to discuss Spore and delve deep into the inner-workings of his mind and his creation.
After reading through that interview, a number of things stuck out in my mind. Does Will Wright truly believe that Spore will best the Sims franchise? Is Will Wright the industry's premier innovator and the one man that will be able to propel it forward into a new era? And most importantly, will Spore, after the dust settles, be considered the greatest game of all time by the majority of people?
"Spore is a hybrid," Wright told CNET, referring to whether or not it's a "Massive Single Player" title. "There's huge unexplored space between single-player and multiplayer games. With multiplayer games, there's tremendous design limitations: Nobody can peak, nobody can pause time, no one player can be super powerful. These limit the experience you can give someone. But there is a huge benefit of getting a million people collectively building an interesting world. So our hybrid model aims for the best aspects of a multiplayer game without the worst drawbacks."
That was about the most Terdiman was able to get out of Wright before the interview ended. It wasn't because the questions weren't asked well, but because it's blatantly clear that Wright is trying to stay close to the vest and let the game speak for itself.
But will it be able to speak for itself? Countless columns have been written by countless authors discussing whether or not Spore can truly live up to the hype and be the first game to transform the way we play games.
According to those close to the title, Spore will take us on a journey through the history of video games and make gameplay simple towards the beginning and more complex towards the end. It will capture a new form of gameplay and try to break the rules that conventional wisdom has put in place. But most importantly, Spore will try to be the first trend-setter in a long time that aims at shaking the entire video game industry to its core.
Will it succeed? There's no way to know. No one has been able to get their hands on EA's game and they probably won't for a couple weeks. But once that happens and reviewers and consumers start living in Spore, the reviews will trickle in and we'll find out if it lives up to the hype or if it fails miserably.
But until then, it's not so bad guessing. So let's hear it: Will the majority of gamers view Spore as the greatest game of all-time when the dust settles? My money is on "yes."