“What’s fairly unusual about this within the realm of action RPGs is that really your character is three characters, because the team you select do not fight together, but can rather be swapped in and out of the fight at will. In certain situations they share abilities, too, so while you might be controlling claw-dude, you also get insect-tree dude’s healing AoE thorns to help you out. It’s a peculiar setup (like much of the game) but it works rather well, especially since you can swap out monsters to take on specific challenges as required.
It works even better in co-op, because the fact that you have three monsters in your pocket means that you can be the damage, or the tank, or the healer at any time. Need two damage dudes and one healer in your group? No problem! More tank, sir? It’s instant, and easy. It’s a splendid take on the MMO notion, but totally versatile and dynamic. This, I would argue, is one of a number of instances of superb design in Darkspore.”
Extract from Jim Rossignol’s musings on Darkspore.
Since action RPGs are starting to inherit and experiment with MMO ideas such as the holy trinity of tank, damage and healer, perhaps MMOs could return the favour and start experimenting with action RPG ideas such as ‘totally versatile and dynamic’ game-play.