Sailing the Blue Skies since 2001.
Deadly Creatures (Wii)
Pub: THQ/Dev: Rainbow Studios
ESRB: T/Players: 1
N- THQ's Deadly Creatures is about creatures in a desert, and the gameplay is as straightforward as the premise. You play alternatingly as a tarantula and a scorpion, and you traverse terrain, engage in battles against other various desert life, and generally just try to survive. There's really no motivation provided for you to engage in this cycle other than because it's just what you're supposed to do, but I suspect that that would also be the case for real scorpions and tarantulas.
This is, perhaps, one of those games that's more about the experience than the gameplay. Realistic graphics combined with creepy sound effects and wonderfully moody music create a dark and compelling atmosphere that's usually associated with survival horror. I think this is the aspect of the game that most makes it worth playing.
The gameplay, as stated earlier, consists of moving forward and fighting whatever gets in your way. The path winds around the ground, up walls, across ceilings, through various objects littered (literally) across the desert landscape, and seems deliberately designed to disorient you. The fighting is methodical, and uses a combination of buttons, gestures and IR pointing. Since it focuses on good timing and finding openings in your adversaries' defenses, I think it feels very strategic, and I found it to be compelling.
Being that tarantulas and scorpions don't have much personality of their own and thus can't really tell a story, the developers attempted to compensate for this by adding a couple of human characters named Wade and Struggs that mainly stay in the background. You'll only have brief and infrequent encounters with them as they fulfill their simple story arc, but it does indirectly provide an overall goal for you and your otherwise motiveless arachnids. In addition, Wade and Struggs are voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper, who ensure that their presence is always entertaining.
The game doesn't provide much in the way of artificial replay value, other than unlocking art galleries by collecting grubs scattered throughout each level. Another problem is the game's ending, which consists of a pre-rendered FMV sequence of shockingly bad quality. It's obvious that development of the game was wrapped up in a hurry.
With such straightforward gameplay, Deadly Creatures lives and dies by its high concept. To be sure, it plays well enough, but the real show is its amazing atmosphere and presentation. I enjoyed my time with the game, and if the premise sounds interesting to you, then you probably will, as well.