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Game Reviewed: Deadly Creatures
Developer: Rainbow Studios
ESRB Rating: T
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Having lived in the Southwest for almost 5 years now, I can say that I have met my fair share of the resident insect life. I am definitely not a bug fan, and two of my least favorite insects are scorpions and tarantulas. When I discovered that the protagonists of Deadly Creatures were a scorpion and a tarantula, I just had to play the game. Not because I like those guys, but because I was curious to see how they could possibly be the “good guys.” Deadly Creatures is an action game where you control this pair of insects as they squash their enemies and avoid being lunch for larger, nastier animals. The “plot” of the game is essentially survival of the fittest. Your insects must defeat their enemies or become lunch. The plot also takes place around another story of two men who are searching for a stash of gold coins. These men, voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper, search around the desert for the other half of a map revealing the location of the gold and then ultimately for the gold itself. As they search, they are generally oblivious to the insect drama taking place around them. In that sense, you get to witness the story as a literal spider (or sometimes scorpion) on the wall.
The game has a lot of visual appeal that is usually lacking from Wii games. The insects are realistic, especially those that appear in the opening menus. The scenery is very realistic, especially in the game’s portrayal of the Sonoran Desert. Gameplay takes advantage of the Wii’s abilities nicely, although some of the abilities of the tarantula and scorpion are a little far-fetched and reminiscent of a Jackie Chan movie. The player controls the insect’s fighting with motions that are easy to do. Combos are trickier to pull off, helping the game to avoid becoming too much like a boring “hack-and-slash” effort. The story is well written, particularly how the adventures of both insects and the humans are weaved together.
What Parents Need to Know
Deadly Creatures is full of realistic insect-on-insect “violence.” Spiders are seen munching on their helpless prey. Many insects are swallowed or crunched by larger foes. Enemies die realistically, convulsing and stiffening as they die. When the insects you control hit enemies, blood splats on the screen. The blood is yellow for other insects and red for some reptiles and small mammals. The tarantula you control has the ability to “feed” on an enemy you have flipped over, damaging them and restoring your health in the process. The scorpion makes good use of his stinger, plunging it into enemies with accompanying gushes of blood. There are some moves you can perform with your insects that kill enemies in slow motion with deadly efficiency. When rats, for example, are dispatched in this manner with the scorpion, the scorpion will throw the rat, stinging him in the neck in mid-air, then knock the rat over and plunge his stinger in the rat’s head, finishing him off with a large splat of blood.
SPOILER WARNING - Towards the end of the game, one of the human characters whacks his buddy with a shovel, leaving him in the desert and taking the treasure. The final duel in the game is the scorpion crawling down the surviving human’s pants to sting him. The human then attempts to kill the scorpion with a shotgun.
2 uses of “G*d d**n”
1 use of “b**ch”
1 use of “a**”
1 use of “hell”
2 uses of “b***ard”
The bad language in the bonus interviews are censored.
There is no sexual content in the game.
The only remotely spiritual content in the game is a comment in the opening cut-scene about the possibility of what happened to one of the human characters being due to a curse on the gold they found.
At one point in the game you are crawling in a set of coffins, which is an exceptionally creepy thing to do. You crawl over human skeletons with what remains of the victim inside, such as their cowboy boots or metallic objects left after their clothing disintegrated. There is also a part of the game where the humans have a conversation about a story involving a scorpion crawling out of a toilet and stinging someone in the butt. Their conversation also involves discussing how bad someone’s “balls” would swell if stung there.
For those who enjoy insects (a foreign concept to me), you will appreciate this foray into the world of desert life and those critters that are hearty enough to survive there. Even for those of us who hate bugs, Deadly Creatures offers a fresh idea, distinct from anything else out there, that really utilizes the best the Wii has to offer. I can say that this is not a game for anyone who really fears insects and for those who dislike seeing blood. The violence and language are also important factors to consider. The game is violent, even though the majority of the violence is directed at insects.