Creatures, the name alone is enough to conjure up long buried
childhood memories about scary things that go "bump" in
It seems that a rather devious little fellow named Adam Crowley
has been looking to revive a secret society known as the Brotherhood
of Hectate. By way of evil experiments, Adam has managed to unleash
a horde of bloodthirsty creatures onto the streets of 1834 London.
Its all up to you to discover Crowley's secret, stop the
formation of the Brotherhood, oh and to get rid of all those
homicidal creatures that seem to be lurking everywhere!
Creatures is an action packed horror filled adventure game.
and moody; the graphics instill a real feel for an older, past time
England. You find yourself placed in an accurately depicted London
setting, right down to the cobblestone road and gothic styled
buildings. The game designers used actual maps and blueprints of
streets, cemeteries, sewers, etc. to recreate the feel of 1834
London and it works. The graphics give the game a real eerie
ambience that is felt throughout your journey.
At first glance, the polygonal environment may bring the game "Tomb
Raider" to mind. Characters are modeled similarly and the
backgrounds have the same graphic flair. But once you begin the
actual gameplay, you come to appreciate the graphics engine at work
here. Kalisto's proprietary 3-D development tool called LibSys
really does a fine job moving the complex world around your
character. They claim a constant frame rate of 30 FPS is achieved at
all times. I found that number extremely easy to believe. Turn
left, right or make any other movements and the whole environment
shifts flawlessly around. The game moves fast! I can't wait to see
what further tweaking of this engine will produce in terms of
graphical excellence on Kalisto's next project. It shows a lot of
The actual polygon character models are also very nicely done.
Attention to detail is apparent throughout the game. Everything is
animated very nicely, with certain articles of clothing and hair
flowing in the breeze, pieces of arms and legs flying here and
there,nice subtle touches. The overall polygon count per character
doesn't seem to be incredibly high, but it works nicely and enables
the characters to move very quickly around the screen.
The animation of certain environmental elements is also quite
convincing. Leaves swirl around your character, often tricking you
momentarily into thinking that something is coming up along side of
you. Boxes and glass shatter in a very convincing manner as well.
It's this style of graphical flair that adds to the overall
atmosphere of the game.
There is however some polygon clipping and seaming occurring
here and there that occasionally make certain camera angles an
annoyance. A quick flip of the thumb or directional pad instantly
cures this problem though and unless it occurs when you are in a
heated battle it doesn't become much of a problem.
sound effects. The slashing of you sword through monster meat is
very convincingly done,then you have your creature death scream that
is sure to send chills up your spine,ahhh tasty! Background sounds
are everywhere,there's screeching and scratching, creature noises
from way off in the distance, wind whipping by, the rattle of chains
and other spooky effects that are constantly going on. This is a
game that really got the sound effects right,it makes the
environment even creepier than the graphics themselves.
The background music is nice and subtle,the haunting melodies
really get inside your head. Eerie pipe organs bring back memories
of the old classic horror movies and the thumping back-beat is
enough to get your heart racing, raising to a fevered pitch at all
the "right" moments. You won't find any canned techno or
rock soundtracks in this game,just moody, scary music,very nice.
game opens with a very nicely done, albeit slightly morbid FMV that
gives you the background of the game. Get through this and you are
dumped into the menu screen. You have a choice of playing the game
on "Easy" or "Hard" mode. The hard setting is
absolutely not recommended for beginners, but hey it's your call.
The next thing that catches your eye is that the game is compatible
with Sony's analog controller! Music and sound effects can be
adjusted separately to you liking, and then it's off to choose your
Nightmare Creatures offers the gamer two adventurers to choose
from. You can select "Ignatius" the Priest. He is rather
slow, but can sustain a good amount of abuse. He is also quite
powerful and dishes out some pretty solid damage. The other choice
is "Nadia". Nadia is the games femme fatale. She is quick,
accurate and deadly but cannot sustain a large amount of attacks. Of
course, I decided to try my hand at the sword-wielding Nadia and was
then promptly transported to the first of the games 16 levels.
Each level has a specific mission that you need to accomplish
before you can advance in the game. These tasks are laid out at the
beginning of each new level and are part of a continually evolving
story line in the game. This gives each level a certain amount of
Nightmare Creatures takes place in a completely 3-D polygon
generated environment. The game is viewed from a 3rd person
perspective with a highly mobile camera that follows you through the
game. The camera angles are programmed to provide you with the
optimal view of your surroundings in relation to your character.
While this may be good in theory, I have yet to see an optimal
camera setting at all times in any game. This one is no exception.
For the most part the camera accurately tracks your character from
behind, panning and weaving as you direct your onscreen personality.
There is however times that the camera gets in front of your
character or behind a wall and you need to move around a bit to get
your view back. This isn't critical, unless of course you happen to
be in the middle of a battle!
The game is played out in a similar manner to Tomb Raider.
There is some exploring, some puzzle solving and lot's more battles
than the aforementioned title. Your character uses their weapons to
break apart boxes, shatter windows, detonate explosives and of
course to battle the nasties in the game. New weapons are found on
each level, in addition to retaining the weapons you acquired from
the previous rounds. Weapons become increasingly more powerful in
the later levels, this is a very good thing, considering the fact
that the creatures get increasingly more difficult to defeat. The
bosses in particular may at first seem to be an exercise in futility
to put them down, but hey that's part of the challenge of a good,
hard game right?
The monsters have a pretty good artificial intelligence
programmed into them. Even getting by the ghouls at first play is a
chore. When attacked by a group, some monsters will often surround
you, hacking away and then retreating repeatedly. Luckily your
character has a good number of moves to use against them. Besides
the weapons, you have the ability to kick, punch and put together a
good number of combos to help even things out a bit.
Which brings me to my next point, Nightmare Creatures is a hard
game. The monsters in the mid to later levels are brutal! The good
news is that the game is such an enjoyable experience, you will in
all likelihood keep coming back for more. Striving for just one more
shot at the boss. Finding some objects can also be a tough, but not
ridiculously so. Overall, it's just a very challenging game, in a
The creatures in this game are varied and well portrayed. Each
one has it's own attack characteristics and forces the gamer to
apply the proper strategy for each one. A jumping hack/slash may
work wonders on one creature, but it will most likely get you chewed
to bits on another.
Each character has been modeled with per-polygon detection.
What this means is that you can aim for specific body parts and chop
away at them. You can remove arms, legs and even the head, one piece
at a time, and with some creatures that may be the only way to
While all of the levels retain a moody gothic feel to them,
they are well varied and interesting to explore. The game really
captures and focuses on keeping the player at the edge of their
seat. At many points it places forces you to walk down tight,
darkened alleyways with blind corners. You just know that at any
moment something evil will jump out at you, so you need to be alert
at all times. Even walking by a stack of boxes will occasionally
prompt a creature to jump out from behind them or even worse,
attempt to knock the entire stack on top of you!
The only real downside to the game is the control. In digital
control mode, your character is always running form one place to
another. Performing precise jumps can sometimes be a serious
problem. There are places that require extreme care in crossing or
it's lights out. Thank god for the analog control. In analog mode
precise steps are a breeze to pull off, unfortunately the overall
game, especially the fighting, is better suited to digital control.
Luckily the programmers were smart enough to allow the gamer to use
both. On the Sony analog pad for example, both the digital and
analog portions of the controller are active at the same time.
Switching between the two becomes second nature. In my opinion,
without both of these control options the gameplay would suffer
greatly. If you decide to get this game, and you probably should, do
yourself a favor and get one of the new analog pads as well. You'll
thank me later.
I also wasn't crazy about the adrenaline system. The game
forces you to continually move forward and complete the level in a
certain amount of time. Dilly-dally long enough and your adrenaline
vial runs dry and begins eating away at your life bar, and them you
die. I would have preferred to do a bit more investigating or just
enjoy the eerie settings a bit more. Oh well.
Creatures is a very challenging game. The 16 levels are varied and
interesting to play. Couple this with the choice of two completely
different characters and you have yourself a game with some pretty
good staying power.
very well executed game. Nightmare Creatures manages to maintain the
kind of edge-of-your-seat suspense that is rarely found in games of
this type. The only other games that come to mind that compare in
the suspense department is Resident Evil, which is still the brown
trousers king and Clock Tower to a somewhat lesser degree.
The monsters are very challenging and varied in both fighting
style and appearance. The overall setting, graphics and music only
help to draw you further into the game. This is one of those can't
miss titles that will in all likelihood appeal to a broad spectrum