(THQ for Wii)
By Mike Delano
First off, thumbs up to THQ for taking a chance on such a unique concept, especially in the face of a tough economy and legions of gamers who’re too often hostile to games that don’t fall within today’s proven money-making genres. Deadly Creatures tells the story of (bear with me here) a scorpion and a tarantula crawling around the desert under the feet of two rednecks (voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper) who’re searching for buried treasure. While you live out the cutthroat existence of the titular creatures, biting and stinging your ecosystem rivals via Wii Remote, wagging and outsmarting bosses like rattlesnakes and swarms of hornets, you’ll see and hear various snippets of the bumbling adventures of the towering humans above. It’s not a game that translates too well into screenshots or brief demos, mostly because the developer took the time to create an engaging atmosphere for the game, one that balances stretches of lonely, awe-inspiring nature exploration with starkly violent creature vs. creature beatdowns. Deadly Creatures is an experience, not a list of features or a hollow graphics showcase or anything that can be neatly categorized. Given that it’s an experience on the Wii, it should go without saying at this point that the gameplay is a trade-off: You get the satisfying feel of actually striking and disabling your enemies with motion controls, but you’re saddled with the built-in imprecision of motion controls, so save your progress often. Deadly Creatures would be impressive on any platform, but given the dearth of polished, original content for the Wii these days, this little game stands out in a big way.