This game was oddly marketed. The release was to be October 31, 1997, but it did end up coming a few days earlier. It seems that once November 1st rolled around, Nightmare Creatures was forgotten. I've never seen a game with such a short life span, that is until they release a game based on St. Patrick's Day. (Shudder....)
Now to the point, should this game be forgotten? Well, I for one enjoyed it. It's a straight ahead action game that takes place in a 3D environment with an over the shoulder third person perspective (ala Tomb Raider). You control either Ignatius (The guy) or Nadia (the gal). Each character has their own signature moves, that are sometimes pretty hard to pull off. Most of the time, you just end up button mashing until you pull off something by accident. Kallisto (the programmers) should be spanked hard for that one.
You traverse over many really eerie stages throught 19th century London. And you'll be attacked by many freaky monsters, like Werewolves, Zombies, Giant Spider-like creatures, rats, harpies and yes, even Hanson. The levels are large, very authentic of the time period and not very interactive, save for a few switches, crates and windows. The games use of fog effects helps maintain that "what's around the corner" feeling of terror. I don't mind saying that with the lights out, headphones on and the clock reading 3:00 am in my house, that this game scared me. A lot sometimes. Not in the Resident Evil 2 way, but more in an atmospheric way.
The atmosphere is helped out immensly by the EVIL sound effects mixed in with the music. Much scarier than Resident Evil 2. Honest... Whoever is responsible for the sound effects is one twisted individual. The use of disembodied voices whispering is really creepy. I hated it, and loved it all at once. In fact, I taped it and played it through a speaker on Halloween and some kids actually avoided my house! If kids will avoid free candy, then it must be GOOD.
Getting back to the somewhat lacklustre gameplay, Nightmare Creatures just doesn't mix it up enough for this game to be new and fresh with every new level. As well, this game isn't easy and you will die over and over again. Only the best will see the end. I did, but only thanks to the built in cheat code and level select. Hey, I've got a wife and kid that needs me you know. Another problem, is that very early in the game you begin to realize you are fighting the same monsters. Soon after that, you realize that there just aren't any more new ones. So what's the point of continuing? Another spanking for Kallisto.
The power ups are imaginative and do dish out some monster justice. The freeze spell is especially cool (I won't even remark on that...) which turns your monster into ice, so you can shatter him into pieces. The pistol is by far the most damaging. One shot will take down a werewolf. Pretty firece, or perhaps overkill? Well I liked it. I got tired of kicking their torso's off. On that note, this game is gruesome. Hack off the creatures arms, legs, head....whatever. They still will hobble and try to get you. Be prepared for entrails and blood in this game. Even more so than in Yoshi's Story.
In the end, I recommend a visit with this game, but only if you play it at night, in the dark, with headphones on. Get into the spirit. Playing it on a Saturday afternoon, with a full stomach of Froot Loops just won't cut it. If you do play it my way, let me know what you thought. Maybe I'm an idiot. Only my wife knows for sure.
Kallisto has to be recognized for their fine attempt at this genre. Sure, I'd spank them for a few things but they did get a lot of things right. I'm sure if they look inwards and recognize why Nightmare Creatures didn't become the next Tomb Raider or Resident Evil, their next attempt will be even better.