Publisher: Cenega Publishing
Developer: Mithis Entertainment
Release Date: February 2005
Originally announced during October of last year under the title Animal Planets: The Clan Wars, Czech Republic-based publisher Cenega has since rechristened their upcoming 3D cel-shaded Worms-style turn-based strategy combat game under the moniker of Creature Conflict: The Clan Wars. Creature Conflict comprises one third of the in-development titles that Hungarian developer Mithis Entertainment is currently working on, all of which are strategy type games.
Creature Conflict takes place in a galaxy inhabited by four warring animal clans. Three of these clans are known to us but the fourth clan is a secret and must be unlocked in the final version. There is a clan known as ‘The Pack’ that consist of bi-pedal wolves; ‘The Frets are a group of mutated insects; and ‘The Techies’ are trigger-happy simians. Each animal clan is out to dominate all 16 of the planets in the galaxy. Naturally, there is friction between these clans.
This is where you come in. You’ll saddle up as one of the four clans and maim your way to the top using a wide assortment of weaponry such as baseball bats, magic wands, bio rockets, mortars, toxic incense, shotguns, bazookas, SMGs, atomic grenades, Molotov cocktails, TNT, monkey wrenches, sabers, multiple types of air strikes, a vaporizer, and imaginary megablasters in deformable 3D environments while working under strict turn-based time restraints.
Basically, you begin the game by forming a team from the available characters from your chosen clan. Then you’ll have the option to buy armaments. Once the match begins you are given around 30 seconds to move your character around on the mini-planet and position yourself in range of an enemy. At this point you can unload on the enemy with your equipped weapon or access the Worms-esque weapons menu to select another weapon to use on the foe. Once your time is up it will be the enemy’s turn to strike. This repeats until one side or the other is demolished. Additionally, single-player missions include objectives that you’ll need to complete within a set amount of time such as destroying a warp gate or defending a particular area.
The environments in the preview build we played weren’t that impressive, with each of the 16 planets sharing essentially identical and sparsely decorated surroundings. There is a noticeable lack of slopes and chasms, basically relegating the strategy of war to attacking and retreating as you attempt to position your character as far away as possible from the character you just attacked before the time for your turn runs out. This means you won’t be able to actually witness the enemy sustaining damage or flying through the air after an attack with a delayed-trigger payload such as grenades or TNT since you’ll be too busy looking in the opposite direction of the destruction as you run away. Powerful blasts such as those from the aforementioned weapons will slightly deform the terrain, leaving a shallow pit in the wake of the weapon’s explosion. You’re not able to tear away large chunks of your environments ala Worms, but explosions will often leave a pool of water behind that can temporarily stifle enemy retaliation.
The preview build of Creature Conflict that we received was far from finished, which was evident from its noticeable lack of in-game sound, some pretty spotty AI, and reoccurring to-desktop crashes. But even in this unfinished state Creature Conflict seems promising.
The environments are a bit on the uninspired side as it currently stands and the weapon aiming system is far from precise, but Mithis Entertainment recently delayed the game until early 2005 in order to “produce the game everyone is hoping for” so there is a good chance that these things won’t be an issue in the end product. In any case, if you’re a fan of Worms and would like to see what playing something similar to that would be like except in full 3D (but for some inexplicable reason don’t want to simply play Worms 3D) then keep an eye out for Creature Conflict: The Clan Wars when it hits retail next February.
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