If you were looking forward to the release of Maxis' offshoot title DarkSpore, chances are you've either already been part of the closed beta, or you're just a huge fan of the idea of an multiplayer action-RPG with Maxis-level customization and unique elemental skills. Regardless on which side you fall, the publishing gurus at EA have charged the disappointment ray and let it loose on the population of fans, since the game has been officially delayed until April 26 (or April 28 for Europe).
Since our first look at it, DarkSpore has had a promising showing, with some of the fun Spore-engine creation tools thrown amid 3D dungeon-crawler action. From the public demos, we've also seen a three-hero swapping system as well as a way to share powers between your active creatures. EA and Maxis have been pretty generous with the closed beta invites for those who have signed up, but for those who've been left out so far, there's good news: in addition to some more beta periods for those already invited, April will include periods of play for the uninitiated. Yes, that means open beta!
The 'free-swim' portion of DarkSpore's public QA doesn't have a date yet, but interested parties should know that the beta periods are usually in short bursts - no doubt to help with stress-testing and to focus the chance of finding a multiplayer game. If that sounds like something you're into, then dropping by the beta or newsletter signups will make sure you're well-informed of when the lucky weekends will start.
It's a bit more to wait, but pushing the title back indicates the developers are appreciating the feedback from their public beta so far. It's always a treat for players to get to play early as well as help the folks behind with their next big game-crush, so look forward to opportunities to add polish to DarkSpore!