My bet is it’s going to be an extremely mediocre experience for “gamers” but an absolute godsend to more casual players. I’m having trouble looking for any real challenge in the way the game is designed, but so far it looks mostly like a wading pool (wide but shallow.) Of course, the sheer fact that I can SWIM AROUND AS A FUCKING MICROSCOPIC ORGANISM AND GROW SPIKES TO EAT OTHER MICROSCOPIC ORGANISMS OH MY GOD THIS SOUNDS AMAZING AND THEN THEY EVOLVE HOLY CRAP means I’ll be buying the game tomorrow.
I am, however, braced for intense suck. What they really should have done was remake SimEarth.
ETA: Oh, and the game’s already been cracked and leaked before release. Hopefully the legitimate antipiracy versions don’t inconvenience me - right now the main incentive to purchase rather than pirate (any software) is one part developer support, four parts instant gratification.
ETAII: If Spore manages even half the innovative gameplay that Black and White introduced, I will be impressed. But I’m expecting something more along the lines of The Sims, Simcity, and Civilization, all brought down to their least common denominator.