I aint’ feelin’ the love
It’s dark, it’s raining, it’s foggy… it’s London of course! Home of Jack the Ripper and other fine gentlemen, and now the home of Nightmare Creatures. What could be more mysterious than London in the early 19th century? This ancient incarnation of London is just seeping with atmosphere, a perfect locale to freak you out – and that’s exactly what Nightmare Creatures does.
After being destroyed some 150 years ago, the evil Brotherhood of Hectate is making a comeback. Adam Crowley is picking up where his dead predecessors left off, by creating mutant sicknesses to spread throughout London. The result? Untamed monsters running throughout the city causing mayhem. Your job, of course, is to clear the city of them. You can choose either Father Ignatius Blackward, a priest who fights with a staff, or Nadia F., a fencer. Beginning is simple: once you’ve picked your character, you’re all squared up and ready to go.
This game, like I’ve said, is oozing with atmosphere. London, in the fog, at night, is a perfect setting for any game that aspires to be frightening. Whether you’re traveling the streets wading in a sewer with water pouring in, the sense is fear and suspense in Nightmare Creatures is only surpassed by Resident Evil. That said, the graphics for the levels are pretty darn good. The textures look surprisingly realistic, and the various nooks and crannies are well modeled. On the other hand, the characters themselves seem to have fairly low polygon counts. This results in blocky looking characters. Don’t get me wrong, you can still tell when you rip a werewolf’s head off, but were not talking about amazing looking enemies. The music and sound aren’t obtrusive and just add to the atmosphere of the game, with spooky background noise and disturbing growls.
As for the in game action, it’s all here with a dynamic camera that works surprisingly well. The camera moves much more than Tomb Raider, performing zoom outs and other tricks to make the game look more like a fighting game. It does it surprisingly well, it was rare when I encountered a point where the camera obstructed my view. For the actual fighting scenes, there are quite a few combos for each character – combos that if used appropriately can cause some serious damage. The combos are revealed only as you progress throughout the game, which is a refreshing change – you’ll always have a new maneuver to attempt. Unfortunately, it’s not really necessary to use more than 4 or 5 of the 20-odd combos for each character. Still, the game is pretty fun. Besides a few frustrating levels, you’ll get your dose of blood curdling ass-whoopin’.
This game received a “Mature” rating from the ESRB, and it earned it well! You can break off any limb of any monster – a gore engine unsurpassed in any game. After turning on the “berzerker” power up, you’ll literally be a walking chainsaw. With a stroke of your sword (or staff) you’ll send legs, arms, heads, and torsos flying across the level. It’s a beautiful sight.
Nightmare Creatures is a fun game that is comically gory. Despite a few frustrating levels and a couple of blocky characters, it’s a jolly diversion and a chilling ride. Grab your weapon and steel your nerve, there are monsters out there.