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Review by: Brian Pipa
Published: February 26, 1998
When you think of fighting games, the PC does not immediately spring to mind as the platform of choice. Looking at our fighting games demo list, you see that there has been only a handful of games released, and an even smaller handful worth playing at all. Nightmare Creatures from Activision takes a different approach than most — it takes the adventuring and wandering of a game like Tomb Raider and combines it with the close combat fighting of a game like Virtua Fighter.
The story goes something like this: In 1660, a secret society calling itself the Brotherhood of Hecate conducted experiments in live tissue creation. The demon spawn of these experiments gone awry killed scores of Englishmen, but all traces of these early experiments and monsters were wiped out in the Great Fire of London in 1666. Now, 170 years later, the Brotherhood has been revived and the creatures have returned, maiming and killing innocent citizens throughout London.
You take on the role of either Father Ignatius Blackward or Nadia F. The good Father Ignatius is a man of God who travels the world combatting evil. He’s an expert on foreign languages, cabalistic writings, occult rituals, and shamanism. Nadia F. has travelled around the world and is an expert in immunology, microbes, viruses, and their invisible world. She is also a fencer and a gymnast, and can fight her way out of a tight spot.
The game is played from a third person point of view almost exactly like Tomb Raider. You wander the streets, sewers, etc. of London fighting any creature you come across in your hunt for Adam Crowley, the madman who has resurrected the Brotherhood of Hecate. Along the way, you’ll find a variety of powerups and weapons to help you in your quest. Your default weapon is either a staff or a sword (depending on which character you choose) and you’ll be using it for the majority of the time. The weapons you pick up are only used infrequently and generally are single use. You can pick up things like proximity mines, repulsive smoke, freeze spells, dynamite, firebombs, and eight other weapons/powerups. All of these are helpful in destroying the many creatures you’ll meet while scouring the city.
Zombies are the most prevalent monster you’ll find. They have a nasty habit of coming back after you even after you think you’ve killed them — only by chopping them in half will you truly put an end to their roaming. Werewolves are also quite common. In addition to these, you’ll find other demonspawn like Demons, Dockers, (huge) Insects, Harpies, Giant Rats, Hellhounds, and a bunch of others. All of the monsters look really good despite their polygonal features.
You see the world from behind and slightly above your character, much the same as in Tomb Raider, but where TR had problems when up against walls, Nightmare Creatures has a smart camera that moves the view out and around to avoid any camera/wall collision. While this seems good, it occasionally causes problems of its own when you are now viewing the front of your character and unable to see what is attacking you. Lesson learned: don’t get caught with your back against a wall.
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