I had a chance to sit through a demo of upcoming Wii action adventure game Deadly Creatures Rainbow Studios in the lead up to E3. The game has you taking turns controlling a spider and a scorpion as they make their way through a hostile desert environment and try to suffer the indignities, and boots of a pair of humans.
The Wii exclusive does a lot of neat things with the genre. First is the fact that while you do take turns controlling both the scorpion and spider in Deadly Creatures, they aren’t buddies. In fact, they’re deadly enemies of one another. You will never actually do combat while controlling either creature, but you get to witness a few stand-offs as the game unwinds.
While most of the action of the game takes place in the desert of Arizona, there is an overriding story that deals with these mysterious guys searching for something. It’s these cut-scenes that sort of tie the entire experience together.
Controlling the spider and scorpion involves a lot of motion control, but the good kind, not the bad one. For instance, while moving the spider around you can target nearby creatures and then strike at them with a sudden flick forward of your hand. This also allows you to do some distant jump attacks. The spider, of course, can also crawl up walls and such, and both creatures regain health by eating crickets. Movement can be just as important as combat in the game too. In one scene the spider had to ditch a rattle snake by tricking it to strike into a cactus repeatedly. The whole thing, from interface, to movement and types of attack, has a very organic feel to it.
Both creatures unlock new abilities, like the ability to spin spider silk to capture creatures, by defeating a set number of creatures to hit predator goals.
Unfortunately, the game won’t include any two-player co-op play. Instead you get take turns playing as the two critters in alternating chapters.
While almost all of the game is about surviving the environment and other nasty creatures, the final boss is one of the two humans in the game, the developer told me.
“I don’t want to give too much away, but it will make you very squeamish”, the developer said. “We do awful things to that poor man”.