From the other. less solemn end of the strategy gaming spectrum, Creature Conflict: The Clan Wars isn’t set in WWII or in a fantasy kingdom. Nope, CC takes the “how surreal and bizarrely silly can we make a game?” approach, in a similarly good-humoured way as the Worms series or good old Hogs Of War (for the PSone).
CC is a turn-based strategy game where you control up to four characters from a third-person perspective and have a time limit in which to take your turn and to use any weapons you have (or can pick up) to kill the other guys on the map and complete certain objectives. It might not sound too silly yet, but when you see that the characters are all animals (ranging from a Gorilla to a Beaver) and your “objectives” are taking pictures of big-mouthed frogs and slapping “evil” trees you know this isn’t going to be a serious game…
The visuals are pretty nice; being presented in a very child-friendly cel-shaded way that gives the game the feel of a Saturday morning cartoon. Each character has its own different movement animations and feelings of weight; so a Gorilla feels less nimble than a Wolf. And as with a Saturday morning cartoon, the comedy violence is also present in buckets. CC doesn’t have the ludicrously over-the-top weapons of the Worms games, but each character has their own little sayings that adds to the comedy of the game.
Unfortunately CC’s biggest flaw is its audience clash between presentation and gameplay. With cartoony graphics and infantile slapstick humour (and animals - kids love animals) it would appear that the game is being marketing for the younger generation. That is until you start to play the game… Before you even play there’s a quite complicated weapon shop/inventory/reward system that I had trouble working out, let alone a kiddie below double figures in age. Then there are the controls and the weapons themselves…
Being used to playing these types of games on consoles I found the controls quite hard to get used to, especially the default “inverted” aiming, but after a while you get the hang of them. What I can’t see happening is anyone mastering a weapon more complex than the baseball bat - it’s literally impossible! For the gun-type weapons there is no kind of aiming view you can look into, making a typically easy-to-use weapon way harder than it should be. The projectiles (grenades, bazookas etc.) are just as awkward to aim, not just because of the lack of any first person (creature) gun sight view, but also because of the way the levels are designed. Each map is actually a very small planet, so if you fire a rocket you have to plan for the curve of the planet or it’ll fall short/fly off into orbit. This means judging distance is almost impossible (even harder than in Worms 4 Mayhem) and the only option left to you is to move until you’re really close to the enemy, then fire a rocket nearly straight down. Or club them.
As far as options go, Creature Conflict: The Clan Wars has a lot to offer. The large story mode gives you 4 different clans to play through as, with several objectives in each mission (as well as having to kill everyone) helping to keep the game fresh. In theory, the game sounds great but it’s hard to get past the fact that it looks like a kid’s game and yet is so flippin’ hard to play!
At the end of the day Creature Conflict could supply you with 100 hours of gameplay, but it’ll require a huge amount of dedication and patience to get through. The game may look like a Saturday morning cartoon but it plays like a Sunday afternoon hangover...
>Visit the Creature Conflict website here<