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GoNintendo 'End of day' thoughts - Deadly Creatures is dripping with atmosphere

by rawmeatcowboy
13 February 2009
GN 1.0 / 2.0


I’ll have to give this early-morning start another chance today. I would have much rather been working on the site at the start of the day instead of saving the warehouse from falling apart! This morning should prove to be a lot calmer…keep your fingers crossed! I’ll see you guys in a few, short hours. It’s Friday, gang…we made it!

P.S. - In addition to the regular schedule, we will be doing our podcast this afternoon. The live-stream will kick off sometime around 6:00 PM EST. We hope to see you watching!

Since the first news of Deadly Creatures, I have been dying to get my hands on the final copy. The idea seemed so original and fresh to me. I know that there were a few other titles in the past that tackled the idea of insect gameplay, but I don’t feel that any of those approached the subject matter in the same way that Deadly Creatures does.

From artwork to interviews, trailers to behind-the-scenes mini-docs, Deadly Creatures looked like a title that was dripping with quality. That’s why I set aside some time last night to pop the game in, and I was absolutely floored with what I played. Quite frankly, I think Deadly Creatures presents a level of atmosphere that hardly any other games have even come near.

I am blown away by the audio in Deadly Creatures. When I saw that IGN scored the ’sound’ in Deadly Creatures a 10, I knew it was going to be something special. I can’t gush enough about just how well the sound has been designed. There are very, very few games that really make me believe their surroundings. While the level design reflects real-world environments, it’s the sound that makes them fully believable. The ambient noises and other subtle audio cues really put me into the game.

For instance, when you are outside running around in the desert-like environment, you can hear all the sounds you’d expect on a blistering hot Summer’s day. Hearing various bugs like the Cicada scream Summer to me, and the way they are used within the background noise is perfect. On top of that, you can hear the dry wind whipping across the landscape, as well as little bits of sand tumbling across rocks and other hard surfaces. The sound in Deadly Creatures actually drags you into your surroundings…you’ll feel as if you are right there in the game.

Equally impressive is the soundtrack, which also follows an ambient path. You won’t find any tracks that you’ll be humming to a week later, and that’s because the songs don’t seem to follow any predictable loop. The music in the game is barely there, and it’ll creep along with you as you scurry about in the darkness. The music couldn’t gel any better with the gameplay and overall atmosphere of the game. The use of music is spot-on, and some of the locations actually gave me goosebumps while I was listening. I’d just stand still to let the sounds and music mix together…it really is that good.

I can’t forget to mention the sounds of the actual insects themselves. Various bugs fill the game world, and you’ll hear them jumping, walking and slithering about. I found myself walking very slowly just to hear the sounds that each independent spider leg was making. A very slightly muffled thud, which is exactly what I think the spider legs would make. Just listening to the legs shuffle about, picturing all those tiny hairs slide off one another, it’s enough to make your skin crawl.

You’ll also hear the hisses and cries of other bigger enemies. You aren’t always going up against bugs…you’ll be taking on lizards and other animals that you wouldn’t want to mess with. Some of the audio cues for these guys are so damn good that they actually made me jump. I’m not freaked out by the bugs and other creatures running about, but when you hear them screaming before an attack, it can really get your blood pumping.

All of this audio elements come together to create one hell of a compelling game world. I can’t even remember a game that conveyed its surroundings with such convincing audio. The atmosphere that’s created by the ambient soundtrack and creature shufflings is staggering. Trust me, you need to just stop playing from time to time in order to take it all in. Spin the camera around slowly, look high and low, and realize just how convincing this auditory presentation is.