There were quite high expectations for this RTS. Can it live up to them?
The story is about Rex Chance who searches his father who was missing for a long time. Apparently his father worked on a secret program which involved creating new life forms by mixing animal DNA, thus creating hybrids. You encounter such creatures in the beginning of your quest while they are trying to kill you. As a way to defend yourself and fighting the evil Upton Julius who is the bad guy in this game, you need to do the same and battle these impossible creatures with your own.
Make Rex use his gun to collect DNA from some native creatures and you can start combining those in your creature chamber. You can only mix two creatures with each other, so don’t expect a creature with the head of an elephant, the wings of an owl and the body of a lion with a fluffy rabbit’s tail.
It has been done before, so in that aspect it’s not even that innovative. “Gene wars” made by Bullfrog back in the days was based on a similar concept. I loved playing that game, who wouldn’t, creating your own creatures to fight others… but it had its flaws and the major thing why you kept on playing was because it showed something not done before.
Impossible creatures uses this concept on a better level, more creatures to choose from (a lot more), nice graphics and an easy to use creature chamber showing you instantly what’s the best combination in mixing two creatures. And that brings us to its first flaw. If you are combining two creatures there is generally only 1 good combination, making the other combinations rather useless. There are nine slots available in the creature chamber, so in the end when you get to know the creatures and good combinations, you will be producing the same creatures over and over again making it an ordinary RTS which only involves resource gathering and creating mass units to fight the enemy head-on.
Some creatures have special attacks like a leap attack and stink cloud, but most battles are just a mass conflict with little or no overview, leaving very little space for strategic elements.
This bothered me enormously since I’m playing a lot of Warcraft 3 lately and really being used to micro management and winning or losing battles just because of a unit’s skill. The two games are hard to compare of course with Warcraft 3 having 3 heroes with special abilities giving it some RPG addition.
So when you are done fooling around in the creature chamber creating your units, it’s nothing more than making some ranged attack, some melee attack, some air and water support.
In the end, however great it is to able to create your own units and the amazing amount of possibilities it gives, it takes us back to standard RTS gameplay which is still good fun, but I expected way more from this title. The game is entertaining and amusing, but there are better RTS games out there.