|Distribution||1 Nintendo optical disc|
The two creatures have different playing styles, with the scorpion's levels featuring more action-oriented gameplay, while the tarantula is more stealth oriented, with less linear levels. The Wii Remote and Nunchuk are used for both movement and attacks, with motion controls incorporated for special attacks and finishing moves, while the tarantula also utilizes the pointer function to shoot webs. New abilities are also gained as the player progresses through the game.
Along with dispatching common arthropods such as pill bugs, crickets, beetles, and wolf spiders, most of which can be devoured to regain health, the player also faces bosses including a Gila Monster, a rattlesnake and eventually a human. The clashes between the creatures are described as similar to monster movies, with a similar impact to battles in King Kong and Jurassic Park albeit on a smaller scale.
Two humans, George Struggs and Wade (voiced by Billy Bob Thornton and Dennis Hopper), are looking for a location in the Sonoran desert where they believe gold from the American Civil War has been buried. The story is told from the point of view of both a tarantula and a scorpion with both creatures often seeing the same thing but from a different perspective, both also being stalked by a rattlesnake that the tarantula battled in the first level, as well as continuously fighting each other. When Struggs and Wade finally find the civil war gold, Struggs turns on Wade, knocking him out with a shovel and taking the gold for himself. On his way back to his gas station, he finds the tarantula and rattlesnake and keeps them in glass tanks; the tarantula is able climb out of the tank, with the rattlesnake escaping as well. Meanwhile, the scorpion finds its way into Struggs' gas station and "battles" him by stinging his crotch three times. Outside, the tarantula is attacked by the rattlesnake and the two fight on one of the station's gas tanks. Struggs chases the scorpion outside and is startled by the rattlesnake. Both the tarantula and scorpion are able to flee, and Struggs shoots one of the gas lines by mistake, causing the gas tank to explode, either killing the rattlesnake or sending it out into the dark. Wade's narration at the beginning of the game implies that Struggs survived, having gone into a coma due to the explosion and being bitten by a Gila Monster during his battle with the scorpion, now muttering about "deadly creatures" in his sleep. Wade believes that the only "deadly creature" around is Struggs himself due to his betrayal. The scorpion and the tarantula manage to escape the explosion and meet each other once again, but instead of fighting this time, they decide to simply leave each other alone. The game ends when a piece of the Spanish gold coin flies toward the screen and lands on the ground.
Warrior beetles: Red beetles that are fierce warriors with sharp fangs. They are worth 75 points.
Soldier beetles: Yellow counterparts of warrior beetles, these ones fire poisonous acid from their abdomens and are also worth 75 points.
Wolf spiders: The weakest enemies in the game, wolf spiders are fast-moving gray spiders often seen in groups that squeak and attack whatever they can. They are worth 50 points.
Scorpions: Two different types of enemy scorpions appear in the game, a yellow one, most likely a desert hairy scorpion, and a black one, an emperor scorpion, actually native to Africa. They are worth 100 points.
Spiders: Two enemy tarantulas appear, a small silver subspecies and a Mexican redknee tarantula which are seen in pairs. They are fierce and are worth 100-125 points.
Black widows: Small but very venomous spiders that live in groups and build webs to trap the protagonist scorpion and tarantula. They are blue but red black widows, most likely males, also appear. They are worth 125 points.
Tarantula hawk wasp: Large flying wasps that can kill with one hit of their painful stingers. They live in cactus hives and are worth 150 points.
Lizards: An unidentified species of lizard appears in the game. They are fast, big and powerful. The first vertebrate enemies. Some are red and blue others brown. The scorpion can kill one with a sting to the mouth and breaking the neck. They are worth 200 points.
Horned lizards: The largest enemy, aside from the bosses. These lizards can fire blood from their eyes and covered in spines. They are worth 250 points.
Mantises: Large insects that are red or green. They are deadly enemies that can slash their blades and devour what comes near them. They score 300 points.
Grasshopper rats: Large black rats that are found in junkyards. They are possibly the most powerful non-boss enemies and score 350 points.
Mites: They can be killed, but need to be avoided. Little blood sucking mites drain life.
Diamondback rattlesnake: The tarantula's boss and the antagonist of its levels. This huge snake is the largest non-human animal enemy and fights the tarantula twice. It is presumably killed in the gas station explosion.
Gila Monster: The scorpion's boss, two of these are encountered. One is killed when Wade shoves his spade into its back and the other is taken by to the gas station and is killed by Struggs after biting him.
Human (George Struggs): The most powerful enemy, the antagonist of the game itself and final boss only battled by the scorpion protagonist. Struggs is a deranged man who works with Wade to find a chest of American Civil War gold in Sonoran Desert. However, when they finally find the gold, Struggs knocks Wade out with a shovel, saying that there "just ain't enough gold to go around". He later captures the rattlesnake and the tarantula and places them in glass tanks in his gas station, but they manage to escape. He then proceeds to look for the rattlesnake while armed with a shotgun, not realizing that it has escaped outside. The scorpion, having found its way inside, proceeds to climb into Strugg's pants and sting his crotch. After doing this three time, during which Stuggs is bitten by a Gila monster, the scorpion flees out through the door. Struggs follows it and sees the rattlesnake on top of a gas tank. Panicking, he shoots at it, igniting the gasoline and causing an explosion. The narration given by Wade at the beginning of the game reveals that Struggs survived but is now in a coma.
Cricket: A small brown cricket that acts as a health restorer.
Leaf cricket: A rarer green cricket which restores full health.
Grubs: 400 appear in the game and can be eaten to view concept art.
The game's concept was inspired when lead designer Jordan Itkowitz had a dream about using the Wii Remote to control a snake, slithering through the grass and striking a mouse. In brainstorming, the idea of the snake and other creatures were left on the cutting room floor, leaving the scorpion and tarantula.
For promotion, Rainbow Studios released a fake "behind-the-scenes" video dated from January 2008 revealing a motion capturing session involving a scorpion. However, the video shows a computer generated creature from the game itself with motion capturing dots on its body doing tasks.
Deadly Creatures received mostly positive reviews. IGN scored Deadly Creatures an 8/10, praising the game's refreshing premise and its "uncommonly provocative" storyline, tight controls and impressive soundtrack and graphics, but noted occasional framerate and camera problems. GamesRadar praised the combat and level design, but also had issues with the camera. Eurogamer criticised the camera, combat and collision detection, and praised the game's premise, animation and environments. They scored the game with 4/10. Gamespy scored the game 90/100 and found that the clever level design and the variety of traversal techniques (burrowing, web-grappling and wall-crawling) presented both a great challenge and a nice diversity in activities for the game. Edge had a similar reaction to Eurogamer, scoring the game with 5/10. Zentendo responded very positively, and scored the game with 90/100. The game won the "E3 Best On Show '08" runner-up award at the E3 gaming conference of 2008.
- IGN: Introducing Deadly Creatures
- IGN: Hands-on Deadly Creatures
- Gamesradar: Deadly Creatures - first look
- Deadly Creatures Nintendo Wii Video - Game play Trailer - Voice Talent Reveal
- Deadly Creatures Nintendo Wii Video - Making of Featurette with Dennis Hopper
- Interview: How Rainbow Studios Dreamed Up Deadly Creatures
- Deadly Creatures - Motion capture doc
- IGN review
- GamesRadar review