I didn't know very much about THQ's Wii-exclusive Deadly Creatures until now, but after seeing a fairly early build of the game at the publisher's spring and holiday preview event today, I'm looking forward to learning more - and tickled gleefully squeamish, too.
THQ's Rainbow Studios, known for the Cars game and the MX vs. ATV series, developed Deadly Creatures as a "labour of love," according to the rep, since the studio's based in Arizona, where its team was inspired by the desert crawlies native to the warm region.
As such, in Deadly Creatures, you can play the action-adventure game either as a venomous scorpion or fabulously gross tarantula, and the different strengths and weaknesses of each animal mean that navigating the game's areas and defeating its bosses, which include a rattlesnake, a gila monster and a horned lizard, among others.
After watching the rep demo it for me, here's what stood out:
First of all, if the title didn't clue you in, you play as - and against - dangerous creatures.The tarantula's animation was spot-on and cringe-inducing, as spooky as a real big, hairy spider can be. The tarantula, it was shown to me, is more agile than the scorpion, who can climb walls, leap gaps, and wrap hostile creatures in its webbing. I didn't get to see the scorpion, but the rep told me that the scorpion is more of a "tank" character, able to do damage with his venomous stinger and burrow underground.
Your creature of choice navigates the level in its own unique way, gradually opening more areas of the forbidding landscape as it defeats bosses and accomplishes objectives - gameplay blends action with problem-solving and exploration. The rep told me that gameplay would gradually expose a backstory leading up to the creature's confrontation with its ultimate predator (drumroll), mankind.
Getting up close and personal with the more dangerous aspects of Mother Nature by controlling fiends we normally find repellent is a really cool idea - I was actually reminded of how much I loved to play as the hive-devouring spider in Sim Ant back when I was young.
The graphics look good, too, in full 3D with a 360-degree camera, letting you see all the creepy crevices, gross bugs and spider leg hairs you can stomach. The rep told me that Deadly Creatures is aimed at Wii users who have been waiting for something a little more mature to play than the usual brightly-coloured fare, and this sure looks like a fun choice - especially if you're as vaguely sadistic as I am and love watching things eat each other on National Geographic.