Deadly Creatures Hands-On Preview
Friday, February 13, 2009 3:47 PM
Deadly Creatures features a unique gameplay experience that reincarnates you into an unlikely pair of protagonists: a Tarantula and Scorpion. I was pleasantly surprised by the game when I took it for a test-drive at THQ.
Developed by THQ's critically acclaimed Rainbow Studios, Deadly Creatures marks a new chapter for the team; departing from their previous racing games to explore a new thrilling world that's mostly been ignored by video games.
You'll begin Deadly Creatures by overhearing the muffled voices of two Arizona men digging for money, or a dead body, or both. These two characters, played by Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper, add a convincing side-story and you'll hear them scuttling above you throughout your adventures.
Your first foray in the venomous desert is as a stealthy tarantula; somewhat of a ninja, it crawls on walls and imprisons enemies in its web. This contrasts with the game's other protagonist, the armoured scorpion; he's more of a brawler and you'll swap roles every other level in a Western-style dual between the two.
Deadly Creatures is very brown, but the colour Rainbow Studios have managed to drag into the desert is sufficient enough to present an immersive environment. The combination of the intuitive motion controls and the vastness of the dwarfing environment - you'll be scuttling in and out of logs; discovering a buried broken mobile phone; or a smashed garden gnome full of black widows - creates a unique and freakishly immersive gameplay experience.
The brawling between other insects is relatively enjoyable, becoming more enticing as you familiarise yourself with the motion controls and build up a significant move-set by increasing your kill count, but due to simplistic A.I. the battling might begin to weaken in its appeal.
At times the Wii controls can become messy, such as when trying to dig and dash intermittently - the moves consist of the same basic action, so unless you've got a solid and detailed grasp of the motion's minutia, you may get stuck.
Moreover, the game's brown façade and the at times confused camera means you might be prone to getting lost; a hint arrow is your only saviour.
Apart from survival, your objectives in the game are unclear. Hopefully the game's side-story will come to the fore later on, since the only extra-narrative appears to come with the boss fights, which do successfully show of the game's unique gameplay experience of being an insignificant insect in a giant's world.
Deadly Creatures is now out for the Nintendo Wii and we'll bring you a full review at a later date. Please visit our Deadly Creatures game page for more information and a gameplay trailer.