Darkspore official, first trailer, screenshots

EA has formalized Darkspore today, the rumored new entry in the Spore franchise.

Turns out the online sci-fi action-RPG is only ‘in part’ inspired by Spore though, particularly its creature editor, as developer Maxis’ general manager Lucy Bradshaw explains, “but also in large part from the team’s own passion for gaming and prior experience.”

“The team has combined these inspirations to produce a unique take on the action RPG genre.”

The game will have players venturing across different worlds, battling mutated foes through “dynamic, fast-paced action” and utilizing “an arsenal of living weapons — genetic heroes with different combat abilities — and upgrade them with tens of thousands of collectible body parts and armor.”

Playable in single-player or four-player co-op — with three unique classes of five different genetic hero types available to choose from — Darkspore‘s out sooner than you might think: February 2011.

See the trailer above and screenshots in the gallery for a first look.