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Creature Shock

DOS - 1994

Alt names Creature Shock: Special Edition, クリーチャー・ショック
Year 1994
Platform DOS
Released in Germany, United Kingdom, United States, France, Canada
Genre Action
Theme Horror, Rail Shooter, Sci-Fi / Futuristic, Video Backdrop
Publisher Virgin Interactive Entertainment (Europe) Ltd.
Developer Argonaut Software Ltd.
Perspective 1st-Person
4.5 / 5 - 2 votes

Description of Creature Shock

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Creature Shock is one of the worst games ever made and a poignant example of how shallow gameplay can kill the game despite whiz-bang graphics.

Let's first get the (very thin) plot out of the way: in 2123, faced with a delicate problem of overpopulation, mankind is forced to seek other planets to colonize. Three space ships are therefore constructed, each having a specific destination in the solar system. The first, Myrmidon, will be sent towards Mars while the second, Aztec, will explore Venus. Finally, the third, Amazon, will be in charge of exploring the planets Jupiter and Saturn and also their moons, which (presumably) could support life forms. Near the end of its four-year voyage, the Amazon disappears and leaves only a distress signal transmitted by the ship's probe. In order to understand what exactly happened, you must, with the help of the Lynx FTL Scoutship, go to the last known position of the Amazon and discover what has happened to the ship and its crew.

Rule number one in computer gaming industry: good graphics do NOT a game make. Creature Shock violates this rule right from the start. It has nice graphics. Astounding, in fact, given that it was made in 1994, long before the advent of 3D accelerators. The graphics are so wonderfully textured and smoothly animated that they put most other games to shame. But...that's it. If you don't have a mouse, your out of luck here. Gameplay can be summarized as: point, click, click, click, click, click, point, click, point, click. Woo woo! Excitement! I think a monkey who pointed and clicked at the right things would be rewarded with a nice cutscene every now and then, and can actually finish this game.

Stage one has you piloting a ship that you can't speed up or slow down, that you can't see what your targeting, that you don't know how close you are to your goal. Then, when you blow up some huge thing, a ship I imagine, you get to stage two where you exit the ship, get some nice graphics and then commence pointing and clicking at monsters to kill them. Your targeting cursor is automatically pegged to the alien, so the only way you'll miss your shot is if you can't click fast enough (either that, or you can't find your mouse). I was amazed at the lack of control, the lack of plot and not to mention the lack of thought on the part of the player required to play. Track-based shooters with lots of prerendered cut-shots are indeed the bane of our existence.

I don't even know why I'd upload this game here, other than perhaps the fact that there aren't yet many Real Dogs on the site, and I was itching to blast some games to oblivion [EG]. I warn you now: avoid this Real Dog like your life depends on it.

Review By HOTUD

Comments and reviews

Nos Talgia 2021-11-01 0 point

I find it interesting that this game gets lashed so hard and so often. I owned it growing up and beat it as a kid - nowadays, I'm not actually sure if I have the skills to beat it so easily. I wanted to offer my own perspective on this one as an alternative to hothuds review which I think could have been better and more detailed. Sadly, that review is now the review being used on most websites that host this game which I think doesn't do it justice, despite its flaws.

Creature Shock is an on-rails shooter at its core, split into two gameplay modes: ship combat and on-foot combat.

Ship combat is forward-scrolling bullet hell, and I recall this being some of the hardest gameplay CS had to offer. With multiple dead end paths to kill you and a lot of very tight turns, little health and shield to pad the damage you take and a near endless stream of baddies, this will have you throwing your mouse all the way left and right, and maybe through the screen too - this mode is frustrating, but the reward is sweet once you beat that damned mission after the 100th attempt.

On-foot combat is more like a PC lightgun game with some light exploration elements thrown in. One thing Hothud neglected to comment on is the fact that on-foot missions do a good job of giving the player the feeling that their choices matter, and in some ways they do - knowing (or being able to telegraph via sensor readings) the location of important health, shield and weapon powerups as well as which pathways contain deadly traps and which don't make up the bulk of this mode. You have a sensor readout which very clearly indicates to you (via a rising number, 100 meaning an encounter will trigger) which paths lead to encounters. You have to pay attention to where you've been, where you're going and what is ahead. In some missions you have a timer as well which really piles on the pressure. Memorisation of the maps and liberal use of trial and error are requirements for survival.

Most importantly for me is the on-foot combat. If you've ever played Virtua Cop, Point Blank or similar, CS is basically that, but not as good. Your weapon and shield both draw from the same energy pool from memory (which rapidly regenerates) meaning the combat comes down to three core aspects: memorising enemy attack patterns, learning to block via RMB at the right time for the right amount, and learning when to attack with LMB and where to shoot. Oh, I forgot to mention enemies all have crit points. When you are facing an enemy 1v1, the only way to harm them is to hit their crit points. Again, trial and error are your best friend here. When meeting an enemy for the first time, blocking their attacks and looking for weak point indicators is a sure way of succeeding with a minimum of time wasted.

As for the plot, I mean this game is from 1994, I don't think the game has a good story by any means but I can tell you when playing through this game the distinct lack of explanation made everything a lot more scary and interesting to me. The beginning of the game says to you "ship gone missing, go find ship" so you do exactly that, but it's pretty clear that something unusual has happened to the ship. Because very little is explained at this point it leaves you to question for yourself what is going on. If anything, I felt the end of the story was its weakest point but otherwise was just there to give you a reason to do the things you had to do.

There isn't too much more to say about this game other than it is brutally difficult and pretty much expects you to die a ton of times in the pursuit of the safest path from A to B. If the difficulty were lowered this game would probably only take half as long as it does to complete normally which is a shame. I think the idea was solid but ultimately there isn't that much to keep you invested other than what I have explained already. I wanted to share my thoughts on it because I would love to see this game pop up on halloween streams and think it would make a good fit for that due to its obscurity, atmosphere, retro chunky graphics and its extreme difficulty.

Also you can get eaten whole by a giant worm, yeck.

Trusteft 2021-07-10 0 point

Thank you for the 2 disk upload.

S 2021-04-06 0 point

Man I spent like 20 years thinking I imagined this game and now I find out it's dogshit lmao

admin 2020-05-25 1 point

Uploaded the 2 disk images

TDG 2020-05-23 0 point

I played this many many years ago and like the old HOTUD review mentions; it looks pretty but it is really a dog to play, especially when you have to fight on foot and against enemies one on one.
Hope you can remember their behavior pattern really fast because they eat your health away in seconds.

Am I remembering this wrong? 2020-04-25 1 point

I am pretty sure it was a much larger than 10MB game on that CD.
Also, the game wasn't that bad. Yes it was shallow, but it wasn't more like to make you wow with the graphics than wow you with the gameplay. It was a fun shallow game.

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