Developer: Rainbow Studios
Release Date: 2/9/2009
Available Exclusively On
The Good: Highly detailed creatures, lots of moves to unlock, great combat system, some epic moments
The Bad: Retarded story, bland ugly environments, repetitive, just gets way too hard
I remember talking to my family years ago about a game where you can play as a bug, animal etc instead of a human or some other form of the biped. THQ finally delivered with an interesting concept of playing as a tarantula or scorpion in Deadly Creatures. The game is about some guy who killed another guy and said deadly creatures did it…yeah not very interesting, but Dennis “King Koopa” Hopper and Billy Bob “Major Pervert” Thornton voice as the two hicks in this game, but it makes me wonder where this low-budget game got the money for that.
Anywho, you start out as a tarantula crawling around in a desert trying to find nests of real life enemies such as tarantula wasps and different types of lizards and scorpions. All represent real life creatures and are as gross as their real life counterparts. While you’re skittering around as either the tarantula or the scorpion you can walk up on walls to collect grub to slightly add health while also unlocking concept art. There are crickets and grasshoppers to give you health while bright green ones permanently increase your health. When it comes to combat this is where things get interesting. You can use the A button for your basic attack then combo from here with a wiggle of the Wiimote. You can shoot your web to stun enemies, pounce on enemies, and if you’re the scorpion you can even flip that Wiimote upside to bury underground then turn it up to pop out and attack your enemy. The control scheme is fairly neat, but there were a few moments when the controls wouldn’t respond unless you hold the Wiimote a certain way. Among these moves, you can slowly unlock more by leveling up such as being able to climb on ceilings (passive moves), or the ability to burrow under designated areas. Along with these, you can unlock an “execution move” which will display buttons to press for cinematic camera cuts, and this can be pretty epic.
Some moments in combat can actually be pretty epic such as the rattlesnake and tarantula fight (as seen on the cover). Some moves are button timed sensitive which is used for great cinematic camera cuts. While that sounds like that’s all there is that is really true. The whole game is combat based and there’s not much in terms of variety. The level design is a bit funky since it can be hard to find out where to go thanks to the bland brown environments which make it hard to figure out where to go. There are a lot of invisible walls, and just certain places you can’t climb. You have cacti blocking your path, cracks in walls, and even some collision detection issues where if you move too far to the side of a log underground you creature will just stick to air for a second then fall off and die. There are certain obstacles each creature must overcome such as jumping for the tarantula and digging for the scorpion, but these don’t pose as too much of a problem.
My main gripe about the game is that it’s too damn difficult when it comes to larger creatures to fight. There are no hints on how to beat these guys and it just makes things so impossible and frustrating especially when the guys take forever to kill. The environments tend to be a little cramped and it may take a long time to use every move on the enemy until the right one kills them. Some enemies must be turned upside down, some have to be stunned etc.
When it comes to looks and sounds the graphics are just OK with flat textures, and everything is really brown. The creature models are highly detailed with excellent lifelike animations, but that’s about it in the looks department. The sounds the creatures make don’t seem to sound accurate, but hey this was kind of an experimental game anyway. I really hope THQ makes another game in the series or someone else picks up on the idea. There is a lot of potential here and I hope the idea doesn’t die.