Deadly Creatures... I'm impressed.

It's Impression Time Again

Scorpion on scorpion violence.
Scorpion on scorpion violence.
About a month ago, Deadly Creatures was released to some fanfare... not a lot, but just enough for the game to be included in the hardcore revival we've seen this winter on the Wii.

At the time of release, I was still skeptical and was waiting for the journalism community for their input and thoughts before diving in.  The gaming community gave the game pretty solid marks, but other than a small handful of sites and magazines, Deadly Creatures is considered to be just good, not spectacular nor terrible.  AAA this is not, but it ain't no shovelware, either.  And with that, I was expected to wait until it hits a budget price, but then Giant Bomb does a Quick Look.  Despite Jeff's queasiness, I was sold at that moment.  Now the only question left unanswered is whether it's as good as advertised or is this another rushed piece of mediocrity.  It's all on Giant Bomb's head since they're solely responsible for the recent purchase.

Like I did on Friday, I'm bringing the bullets.

  • Lots of atmosphere.  It's wise to just look around and just soak it all in.  It's very much like Metroid Prime except they shoved all the ambience into an abandoned gas station in the middle of nowhere.  It's visually stunning for (you guessed it) a Wii game and you'll want to see what's next over the next hole or fallen tree or cliff.
  • Deadly Creatures features some great audio that suits the game perfectly.  The music is great and compliments the surroundings well, the sounds of buzzing hornets and crunching grubs feel a little too real for those who can't stomach them.  To top it off, Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper do a fantastic job, although the limited amount of cutscenes is disappointing and feels like they were somewhat underutilized.  They do pop up occasionally in the actual game and you'll hear them (and sometimes see them) above ground, a nice touch.
  • There is an interesting backstory which seems unrelated to the spider and the scorpion, but I've only played through 3 chapters and the story isn't totally fleshed out just yet.  The two human characters are searching for treasure while the two non-human characters are just trying to survive.  It almost seems like a wasted opportunity considering the voice talent they got, but the story is still pretty solid and I'd like to see how the above-ground and underground intertwine later on.
  • The level design encourages exploration to a point.  Completists like myself will want to collect all the grubs and crickets you can, but most will stick to the more linear gameplay.  Both creatures have the ability to climb walls and it you will get disoriented at times.  Despite the linear approach, there is some Metroid influence in the design which is always welcome.
  • The gameplay is pretty good and although there are few moves you can use early on, your characters learn all sorts of nifty moves as you progress.  Switching between the spider and scorpion adds to the variety as well.  The moves range from basic stinging, pinching, and biting to the spider's less than realistic spin attack to the scorpion's crazy finishing moves, which are performed using old-fashioned quick time events.  The camera can get a bit wonky and a lock-on system is sorely missing.

Overall, I am enjoying what Deadly Creatures has to offer and there's nothing quite like it anywhere.  It has its shortcomings, but it's been a great experience so far.

I give it a solid 8 Shoemakers.
I give it a solid 8 Shoemakers.