Deadly Creatures


posted 4/1/2009 by Sean Cahill
other articles by Sean Cahill
One Page Platforms: Wii
Rainbow made sure to keep these areas seamless and believable—there are very few video game conventions to distract from the realism. There are no powerups or bonus items; to increase your health capacity, you eat a certain kind of cricket. Unlocking bonus movies and concept art is achieved by eating the grubs pasted all over every level. It all makes sense within the context of the world Rainbow made, and the presentation drives it home.

The voice acting, although a bit sparse for my liking is superb, coming from two accomplished actors. The human plot isn’t too complicated but at least the acting makes it interesting and credible. The rest of the sound work—creature sounds, environmental effects—are subdued but realistic; you won’t have any spiders shrieking like space aliens. The music is mostly atmospheric but still high quality. The battles and boss fights pick up the tempo quickly, and the whole score is orchestral.

It is the graphics, however, that really make the experience. I know it’s ironic, that a Wii game’s visuals are its defining feature, but in this case it is true. Each creature looks, moves and behaves so realistically that I’d swear some of the developers were entomologists (in fact they put out a humorous promo video that showed them trying to motion-capture a scorpion). A few of the finishing moves are a little too dramatic to be completely correct, but overall the accuracy is uncanny.

Deadly Creatures has a subtle, earthy beauty. It won’t wow you right off the bat but its visual accuracy and clever world design will catch you off guard. Don’t be surprised if you spend minutes examining your tarantula’s fuzzy body, only to look off into the desert horizon, shimmering with depth-of-field blur. A few clipping glitches might break you out of the experience for a second or two, but these are easily forgiven when looking at the whole package.

This game is not an amazing high profile blockbuster. It won’t change your ideas about gaming, and it has its fair share of issues; the aforementioned clipping errors, the lack of a much-needed lock on feature, and a poorly compressed ending cinematic. Deadly Creatures isn’t a Wii frontrunner, but a “cool idea game,” and that’s what makes it special. It does something original and it does it well, with quality, effort and high production values. If you are a Wii owner that cares about good games on the console, then buy this game. It will encourage more creativity on the platform and might just get us a sequel. Jordan Itkowitz said he’d like to explore other environments and their resident creatures, and I can’t wait to feel deadly again.

Deadly Creatures is one of those cool, quirky games that you miss the first time around. Its status as a unique collectors item makes it worth the price alone, and inside you’ll find the perfect Wii concept game. It’s easy enough for casual players to get into, but deep, original and challenging enough for hardcore gamers. This game is lurking beneath your perceptions like a hiding spider—buy Deadly Creatures! You’ll thank me later.

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