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Deadly Creatures Review

Scared of spiders? Well, you best look elsewhere...

We're a bit torn with Deadly Creatures. On the one hand, we applaud THQ for trying something so bold and original as making a mature adventure game in which the protagonists are revolting little creepy crawlies. On the other, we're tempted to hold our heads in our hands and whisper "what were you thinking?" Putting the future of THQ's hardcore Wii offerings in the hands (or, rather, pincers) of some of the most revolting, unlovable protagonists we've ever seen in a videogame smacks of insanity. Will anyone be able to stomach it? Well, we sure hope so, as THQ have delivered a genuinely interesting and really enjoyable experience.

Deadly Creatures has an intriguing set-up. In alternating levels, you take control of a tarantula or a scorpion in turn, as they traverse their way through a desert landscape populated by all manner of starving predators on the look out for a bug-shaped snack. Giant lizards, wolf spiders, black widows, enormous wasps, rattle snakes, blood-thirsty rats - if it's gross, it's in here. In a neat twist, our two 'heroes' aren't exactly on good terms and you'll actually face off against each other throughout the game.

Click to view larger image

Hidden Treasure

So what's their motivation? At first it's not entirely clear. Every now and then you'll catch a glimpse of two men (voiced by Dennis Hopper and Billy Bob Thornton) searching for buried treasure. Could your mission be to protect your habitat's bounty? Suffice to say, all is not as it seems. It's a really novel, engaging way to tell a story and it had us gripped from start to finish.

In terms of gameplay, Deadly Creatures is a fairly standard beat 'em up. You'll battle your way through all those critters with the help of some good old-fashioned button mashing and a few motion sensitive gestures. At first, you'll only have a standard attack at your disposal but you unlock more moves as you progress, allowing you to build some impressive combo attacks. It's all very intuitive - for instance, when playing as the scorpion, a downward motion with the Remote initiates a stinger strike. Quick time events also make up a good slab of the gameplay, especially during the larger boss set-pieces. It's standard stuff but slick, imaginative and well-implemented.

Visually, this is one of the Wii's finest looking games and you can tell that a lot of care has gone into polishing the title. The game's dank tunnels, slimy bugs' nests, spiky cactus-filled canyons and run-down shacks present a unique setting for a game and the environments drip with atmosphere. Rainbow Studios have absolutely nailed the sound design too. Everything is spot on, from the skin-crawling pitter-patter of your tarantula's feet as it scuttles around, to the sickening crunch of shattered beetle shell as your scorpion gets stuck in with its pincers. This game takes massive pleasure in grossing you out.

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Creature Features

On the downside, the environments can get a little repetitive, especially during the first half of the game as you slog your way through the desert. Things don't really hot up until you leave the natural world for man-made structures and the plot kicks in.

The gameplay is a little uneven, with the tarantula levels being much more enjoyable than those featuring the scorpion. The spider is much lighter on its feet, has a greater variety of moves at its disposal and there's more variety to the gameplay, thanks to its web-slinging abilities. In contrast, the scorpion feels heavier, clunkier and its levels are more of a slog.

It's no classic but Deadly Creatures is a really enjoyable, original title that deserves to do well. We can't help but feel a little concerned for its future though. With all those repulsive critters scuttering about, we can't see it finding an audience outside of bug-loving teenage boys. We really hope we're wrong...

Comments

28 comments so far...
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  1. Falcon1991 Thursday 12th Feb 2009 at 12:54

    I'm going into town on Saturday to buy this. :wink:

  2. ACRID Thursday 12th Feb 2009 at 13:03

    Pleasently surprised by this review, I think I'll pick this one up.

  3. Icarus_Kid Thursday 12th Feb 2009 at 15:09

    Creeps my out to much to buy it, damn spiders...But I am getting House of the Dead tomorrow =D

  4. thecoop Thursday 12th Feb 2009 at 17:36

    Damn. I didn't know this was out tomorrow as well. I may as well get this when I get HOTD:O. My bank account won't be happy though.

  5. Euphoria Thursday 12th Feb 2009 at 17:43

    24.99 on amazon.co.uk guys. support it

  6. bengrim Thursday 12th Feb 2009 at 18:25

    I wasn't expecting much from this game but it looks really interesting and I might just go and get this at some point in the next few weeks.

  7. Bongo-Bongo Thursday 12th Feb 2009 at 18:40

    I'm going to get this on my lunch break tomorrow. Sadly, when it comes to sales, I think it's going to be a flop. I can see it being like Zack and Wiki and Okami and being pretty much forgotten about.

  8. Wario-Man Thursday 12th Feb 2009 at 19:29

    Having not read the review but watched IGN's video review I can say this game is definently worth a rental. :D

  9. jinzo64 Friday 13th Feb 2009 at 10:30

    i've been looking forward to this one it looks realy good. hopefully it will be well received and will bought by the bucket load(very big buckets :D )
    i didn't know it was out to day if i find a copy i will definatly pick up a copy i might need to sort some trades out low on cash.

  10. Heroofhyrule Friday 13th Feb 2009 at 13:45

    Having not read the review but watched IGN's video review I can say this game is definently worth a rental. :D

    ONM should do video reviews, much more entertaining to watch a video review rather than read through a review.

  11. jip100 Friday 13th Feb 2009 at 17:02

    Whats with the word 'samey' in the review. Its not really a word :lol:

    Still its not as bad as GamesRader when they called KZ2 to 'Gamey'.

  12. FrederickONM Friday 13th Feb 2009 at 17:27

    Whats with the word 'samey' in the review. Its not really a word :lol:

    Still its not as bad as GamesRader when they called KZ2 to 'Gamey'.

    From the Oxford English Dictionary:

    Samey adjective Brit. informal Lacking in variety

    Gamey adjective (of meat) having the strong flavour or smell of game when it is slightly decomposed and so ready to cook

  13. TWRoO Friday 13th Feb 2009 at 18:00

    As already proved, "samey" is a real word....I wouldn't have thought "gamey" was, but I have been shown to be in the wrong.

    As for the game, I am definately buying it, but from some forum reactions I don't think it will sell hugely well, I didn't realise so many people were actually "grossed out" by insects and arachnids. I mean I wouldn't want something like that in my hair, but I could say the same of sticky dried blood, bu that doesn't stop many of you playing gory, blood-filled games.

  14. venda Friday 13th Feb 2009 at 18:50

    This game looks great. Hopper? Billy Bob? Jokes! Shame ONM's always late on news and reviews. I buy the mag every month for £4 and its poor that other websites get all the stuff before this website. As someone else said, IGN's video review came first and is better. Also ONM use pretty much the same words and phrases as IGN for both this and Overkill, hmm. Before, they only had the most basic info in lame small previews.
    They push the popular games and largely neglect titles like this (in my opinion). Look at thier minimal Madworld coverage- a massively anticipated game for mature gamers. I mean where was the review for ManHunt 2!? (Whatever you think of it). They went on about it gettin postponed etc. but then no review once it finally arrived!
    Anyway, rant outta the way- but sort it out ONM, the mags well thin recently too! Still a good read on the train though.
    Game looks like its got solid production values, and at £25 on hmv.com & play.com, those of us that long for games other than 'wii play' and 'guiness world records' etc. We gotta support it!

  15. FrederickONM Friday 13th Feb 2009 at 19:37

    This game looks great. Hopper? Billy Bob? Jokes! Shame ONM's always late on news and reviews. I buy the mag every month for £4 and its poor that other websites get all the stuff before this website. As someone else said, IGN's video review came first and is better. Also ONM use pretty much the same words and phrases as IGN for both this and Overkill, hmm. Before, they only had the most basic info in lame small previews.

    Well, we publish our reviews online the day before the game hits the shelves (if they haven't already been published in the mag). We're not 'late' - that's just how we do things. Any suggestion that we might be plagiarising IGN reviews is, well, outrageous and I can assure you completely and utterly false. This particular review was written before any others had been published online - and that is almost always the case. That's how the production cycle works.

    Anyway, enough of that - enjoy the game, it's a good 'un.

  16. lminett Friday 13th Feb 2009 at 20:44

    got the game, played the game, instant classic! scary but of so fun! more of this please

  17. bazmeistergen Friday 13th Feb 2009 at 22:40

    Superb game. Surprised at the lowish score. I guess it doesn't have as much replay as House of the Dead, which also rules.

    The Scorpion is cooler in my opinion. Good stabbing move!

  18. Ryu5 Friday 13th Feb 2009 at 23:14

    Having not read the review but watched IGN's video review I can say this game is definently worth a rental. :D

    ONM should do video reviews, much more entertaining to watch a video review rather than read through a review.

    well they are a MAGAZINE and making a video for every reveiw/preview would take ages...maybe some detailed blogs would be great though...

    I always knew this game was gonna be awesome, but I'll be buying House of the edead overkill so a want be allowed to get both probs...

  19. Euphoria Friday 13th Feb 2009 at 23:30

    Having just finished the game, here are my thoughtsÖ

    I generally hate Beat-em ups and wasnít going to touch this game at all until I saw IGNís video review. After convincing myself that I should buy it despite being terrified of spiders I have no regrets. The game plays like a mix between Metroid Prime 3 and No More Heroes (and its better than both) with the exploration and the vibe from the former and the combat style from the latter. Itís the most atmospheric game Iíve ever played and the audio is spectacular.

    The gameís story is presented and executed in a sublime manner and I absolutely loved the way it ended (gave me goosebumps), each of the ten levels progressively get better as the game goes on and the title sports amazing level design (wait Ďtil you see the truck). The combat is brilliant too and the spiderís stealth move is probably the best move Iíve ever seen in any game ever. I have one problem with Deadly Creatures, its only a small niggle but those mid-level load points are annoying, itíd be ok if the music wasnít temporarily muted while it happened.

    Iím gonna go all out and say it, not only is Deadly Creatures, in my opinion, the best third-party game on the system to date, its also a contender for game of the gear as far as Iím concerned. Buy this game, right now, seriously, the bosses are epic the graphics are the best Iíve seen on Wii with the exception of Galaxy and Corruption and the presentation is superb. Iíd give it a 94% as itís by far the best action game I have ever played and innovates in every way possible.

    If you want more quality third party games on the Wii, support the quality we already have.

  20. Super_Sonic96 Saturday 14th Feb 2009 at 10:10

    great. Thanx guys, now i want to get this too! I'm skint as it is!

  21. thecoop Sunday 15th Feb 2009 at 11:28

    Well I've just finished level 4, and I'm loving this game so far! I love watching the animation of the characters - that spider's scuttle is kinda hypnotic, yet creepy at the same time. As others have said, the sound on this game is sublime. I can't wait to explore further. I'm so glad I bought this! In fact, I've played this more than House of the Dead Overkill so far! (Only really because you can save mid-level, and the stages in HOTD:O are quite long and I only had a short window of time to play before work last night.) Deadly Creatures 2 please!!

  22. lminett Sunday 15th Feb 2009 at 20:17

    I generally hate Beat-em ups and wasnít going to touch this game at all until I saw IGNís video review. After convincing myself that I should buy it despite being terrified of spiders I have no regrets. The game plays like a mix between Metroid Prime 3 and No More Heroes (and its better than both) with the exploration and the vibe from the former and the combat style from the latter. Itís the most atmospheric game Iíve ever played and the audio is spectacular.

    I bit of a bold statement to say that its better than MP3 and No more heroes which are both rather brill games, but fair enough. Im enjoying this game alot, i hate spiders and i hate being freaked out in games, but all i can say to this game is, what a breath of fresh air to be able to play somethat dosent involve running around with a gun!

  23. NintendoWiiNath Sunday 15th Feb 2009 at 23:31

    Got this in asda for £20, its good, i like it i would go as far as giving it 85%.

  24. gils Monday 16th Feb 2009 at 11:27

    i got this game for 24 quid and honestly if your looking for a haunting experience get this, the music and the graphics are incredible, at some points i couldnt believe its a wii game, i also love the idea of seeing the story throught the bugs eyes. The only annoying thing is some mid level loads points (up to 3-5secs lag) but other than that i've had no problems with the game, it certainly deserves more than 81% more like 90%

    Go buy it and support 3rd party mature/great efforts for our wii system

  25. Onna76_NL Wednesday 18th Feb 2009 at 12:56

    Can someone explain to me why Wii games always have such major differences in reviews. I only trust reviews from sources like ONM UK better than multi platform junk sites like 1UP, but its strange that the one gives this game only 40% whil ONM UK gives it a 81%. The hate for the Wii from the other side must be that huge I guess.

    I'm not gonna buy this game, sorry, its just not my type of game. When I said "buy Okami" or "buy Zack & Wiki", only a few listened to me.

  26. TWRoO Saturday 21st Feb 2009 at 02:25

    Can someone explain to me why Wii games always have such major differences in reviews. I only trust reviews from sources like ONM UK better than multi platform junk sites like 1UP, but its strange that the one gives this game only 40% whil ONM UK gives it a 81%. The hate for the Wii from the other side must be that huge I guess.

    I'm not gonna buy this game, sorry, its just not my type of game. When I said "buy Okami" or "buy Zack & Wiki", only a few listened to me.

    Onna!
    Are you one and the same.
    Unless you are afraid of bugs I would say find this game cheap somewhere, and I only say cheap because it is a short game (although many 1 player games seem to be now, Okami is a massive exception of course)

    Also, for those that buy it, don't start on easy, because any reasonably competant gamer can finish it in about 7-8 hours on easy (probbaly quicker if you don't get as many of the collectable grubs as I did)
    After completing on easy, I have however skipped straight to "deadly" difficulty, and it is fiendish, perhaps even as cruel as Zack and Wiki. I died 5 times in the first battle with the snake, and a further 5 against the white beatles (an enemy I didn't even realise was any more difficult than black beatles on easy mode) and a total of 12 times on chapter 1 already.
    The deadly difficulty is making it last twice as long even though thistime I know where I am going.

  27. Rgaveglia Monday 16th Mar 2009 at 19:24

    Can someone explain to me why Wii games always have such major differences in reviews. I only trust reviews from sources like ONM UK better than multi platform junk sites like 1UP, but its strange that the one gives this game only 40% whil ONM UK gives it a 81%. The hate for the Wii from the other side must be that huge I guess.

    I'm not gonna buy this game, sorry, its just not my type of game. When I said "buy Okami" or "buy Zack & Wiki", only a few listened to me.

    You really should buy it because my younger bro who is a bug keeno asked me to go out and buy it with him because its a 12 rated game so he couldnt buy it on his own so i went and got it and left him to play it but when he went out i had a little go and it was really good especially when you are a spider and you have to defeat a huge rattle snake but im not a buggy person either but it was still really good! :D

  28. wazlon Monday 6th Apr 2009 at 20:10

    Can someone explain to me why Wii games always have such major differences in reviews. I only trust reviews from sources like ONM UK better than multi platform junk sites like 1UP, but its strange that the one gives this game only 40% whil ONM UK gives it a 81%. The hate for the Wii from the other side must be that huge I guess.

    I'm not gonna buy this game, sorry, its just not my type of game. When I said "buy Okami" or "buy Zack & Wiki", only a few listened to me.

    I brought this game for £15, knowing it was short but got good reviews from NOM and IGN. I'm really disappointed with the boring, repetitive environments and the clunky combat. The camera gets really jerky and irritating and spoils the experience. The music is poor too and sometimes you can hear your Wii working which is also annoying :(

    It's a shame because the controls work really well but it's just a really, really boring experience :cry: I wouldn't recommend buying it.

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