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In a cross between Resident Evil and Fighting Force, Nightmare Creatures thrusts players into the incredibly dark and gory world of 19th century London. Taking the role of either Ignatius the monk or the sword-wielding Nadia, the gamer faces a fight to the finish against an array of monsters, which appear in a variety of 3D environments filled to the brim with monsters. Nightmare Creatures does an excellent job of combining tension and evil with the fighting technique of weapon based fighters such as Soul Blade.
When it comes right down to it, Nightmare Creatures is little more than a game that gives players the chance to duke it out with 15 different, but often repeated, monsters. The formula has been seen many times before, but never like this. The streets and sewers of London are just plain creepy, with enough space between attacks to allow the heart to jump at the growl of a nearby zombie. Add in a ton of gore, severable limbs, a few combos, and a variety of special weapons, and Nightmare Creatures becomes the complete package. The controls are, however, a bit of a drawback. Running around and fighting is no real problem, but lacks the crispness of a typical 3D arena fighter. Movements between the controller and screen are a little jerky, and detract a bit from the experience.
The graphical detail in environments and monsters allows the atmosphere of Nightmare Creatures to form. From leaves falling in the graveyard to zombies struggling to their feet, the graphics scream for attention. There is a noticeable amount of draw-in while watching the game in action, but during actual game play, it detracts very little. The free roaming camera sometimes creates perspective problems that can inhibit fighting, but isn't too much of a problem.
Sounds advance the dark atmosphere even further. The soundtrack falls into the background, but still manages to create a mood that many blaring techno tracks cannot. The eerie music seeps throughout each level without really being noticed, but pulls the tension even further. Moans and groans from the various monsters warn of coming attacks, but often not until a split second beforehand. Explosions and other effects boom out above the action, without pulling the player out of the game.
PlayStation gamers looking for a game along the lines of Fighting Force, but with more tension, gore, and a bit less fighting need look no further. The little details are what make Nightmare Creatures great, such as zombies that need to be cut in half to be killed, and other monsters that take special combos to destroy. This isn't one for the weak of stomach or heart, but those that have always yearned for a gothic fighter are sure to be fulfilled. The adventure elements are minimal, and levels are pretty straight forward, but pull Nightmare Creatures far enough away from the tired scrolling punch and kick game that has become redundant in years past. With an intense atmosphere led by dark graphics and sound, Nightmare Creatures is a gaming experience that few will soon forget.
Written by Andrew Phelan
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Web site: Kalisto Entertainment
PublishersIn North America:
Activision Europe Ltd.,
Web site: Ubi SoftIn Australia and Pacific Rim: