While Creatures 3 may appeal to many science fiction buffs, it is not without its problems. I found myself frustrated trying to play the game on my own prior to reading the manual, so, even if you are familiar with Creatures and Creatures 2 don't expect to jump right in. Gameplay can even be difficult to understand if you try to read the manual as you go along. This is a complicated game to understand and play and may be more enjoyable if you are familiar with its predecessors.
The premise behind the game puts you in the role as quasi-intergalactic babysitter on a spaceship run by an ancient civilization of creatures, known as the Shee. One day the Shee leave their planet to find a new home but, suddenly, their ship is attacked by the mighty, bright and very evil Grendels. The Shee escape to a nearby planet, leaving their allies, the Norns, to fend for themselves until they return.
This is where you come in. The objective is to raise and assist the Norns while battling the evil Grendels -- quite a challenge. In addition to the Grendels, there are other foes on board as well. The Ettins are a clever nemesis who steal anything not locked down, especially machinery that helps the Norns flourish. Also, there are invisible bacteria that make the Norns ill.
You protect the Norns by outwitting their enemies. The best way to do this is to interconnect machinery and develop warning systems, such as getting a volcano to explode whenever a Grendel is near. Another element of gameplay involves teaching your Norns how to react. You begin the game with either a male or female Norn of breeding age and hope they breed and learn quickly. Alternatively, you can raise one or several Norns from birth, hatching them from eggs and teaching them from the beginning.
There is much for you to learn about and several environments to explore with your Norns, an aspect that contributes to the game's replay value. There are four different terrariums on the spaceship to explore as well as the spaceship itself. These include Norn and Ettin locales, a jungle setting and an aquatic terrarium. The engineering section and bridge are also important to gameplay.
Graphics are very imaginative and run the gamut from beautiful to hideous (such as the Grendels). The game gives you a feeling of being in another world with its diverse surroundings complemented by the sound of unearthly music that can be relaxing. The Norns' high-pitched, too-cute-for-its-own-good language can get on your nerves, however.
All in all, if you are eager to play Creatures 3, the best thing to do is familiarize yourself with the previous games in the series, or at the very least, thoroughly study the manual before playing.
Graphics: Very creative and you will find yourself in awe of the artwork in this game. Both the Ettins and Grendels are the stuff of which nightmares are made.
Sound: The language and high-pitched baby talk gibberish of the Norns made me want to scream.
Enjoyment: The sound effects and baby language of the aliens detract from the
game as well as the difficulty to learn gameplay without reading the extensive manual.
Replay Value: The creatures learn in this game which makes the game different just about each time you play. There are many places to explore and new things to build.
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