Impossible Creatures
Genre Strategy -> RTS
Today's Rank 0
Date 2003-01-07
Date 2003-02-28
North America Retail Box ArtUnited Kingdom Retail Box ArtIn the 19th century authors theorised about the creation of new hybrids from different creatures. That's the goal behind the real-time strategy game Impossible Creatures. The story concerns adventurer and hunter Rex Chance and his skirmishes with a mad scientist bent on world domination through animal engineering. Rex has to gather DNA from animals and combine it in his Creature Lab, giving rise to such oddities as Shagles (shark eagles), Eleph-Ants (elephant ants), Bull-o-Diles (bull crocodiles) and whatever else you want to come up with. The missions of the single player game are linked by a pretty good tale, nicely flavoured with touches straight out of the adventure serials of the 1940s. But the game's limitations are also clearest in single player: it's just a regular old real-time strategy game at heart. The creature gimmick is cool, but once you figure out what critters you need, it becomes dull. Multiplayer is a different story. In multi you can load up to eight creatures into an army and those are the beasts you can use in the match. If you load the wrong beasts your opponent can swarm all over you. The fun comes when you start working out how to beat your enemy's army with the Creature Combiner interface. The only problem here is that to get that point you have to play the same person more than once. That's not an easy task, thanks to a lacklustre multiplayer matchmaking service (as compared to that in, say, Age of Mythology). It would be better if you could customise armies during the game, but real-time pacing precludes that. The graphics and audio are great and you can't beat the concept. It could be a better game, and there are better real-time games out there, but none of them let you make a Skant (skunk ant) or a massive Sperm Grizzly (sperm whale grizzly bear) and who wouldn't want to spend time doing that? --Andrew S Bub
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