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#005: Nightmare Creatures 3: Angel of Darkness


Inzoreno

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Nightmare Creatures 3: Angel of Darkness
Ubisoft
Kalisto Entertainment/Ubisoft
PS2, XBOX, GC
2002 - 2004

Released for the original PlayStation console and PCs in 1997, with a Nintendo 64 port a year later, the original Nightmare Creatures was a remarkable survival-horror release for Kalisto Entertainment. Up to that point the developers hadn't put out anything particularly remarkable in the few years they had been active, but Nightmare Creatures brought them a great deal of attention. One reviewer at Entertainment Weekly compared the game with Castlevania: Symphony of the Night and found the latter game to be quite dated compared to the first Nightmare Creatures. But lightening didn't strike twice. The sequel, Nightmare Creatures II, did not live up to the expectations set by the first game. Neither the version on the Dreamcast, nor the PlayStation reached the same success the first game had achieved, in either sales or critical reception. But despite this failure, Kalisto wasn't finished just yet. 

Nightmare Creatures first surfaced in February of 2002 when it was announced that Kalisto had partnered with Ubi Soft to publish the title for the PlayStation 2, XBOX and GameCube, with a tentative release date of the second quarter in 2003. Prior to this arrangement, Kalisto had partnered with Activision on the first game and Konami the second game, making Ubi Soft the third publisher involved with the franchise. However, it seems that development ran into difficulties early on as very little ever was shown off about the game by Kalisto during the time it was working on the title. Kalisto themselves ended up declaring bankruptcy later in 2002, but Ubi Soft swooped in and purchased the entire IP rights to the Nightmare Creatures franchise, with the intention of continuing development on the third game themselves. But what should have been the saving grace for the game and the franchise as a whole instead only briefly delayed the inevitable. Ubi Soft would never provide any further details about the game and the only news surrounding the game suggested that development had started from the ground up after the acquisition, possibly scrapping everything that Kalisto had managed to produce up until that point. Ubi Soft claimed in 2004 that the game had no been cancelled, but nothing of the game would ever see the light of day and the franchise would only ever see a mobile port of the first game before joining the legions of dead franchises.  

Almost nothing about the game was ever revealed by either Ubi Soft or Kalisto. We do know that the game would have taken place during the 19th century in Europe following a new female protagonist. The heroine was involved in solving some mystery in the city of Prague and was accompanied by a Raven that she could merge with at night in order to transform into a beast. Franchise villain Adam Crowley was set to make his return in the game as well. Beyond that, we don't know anything about the gameplay elements and can only assume they probably would have stuck to something similar to the previous games, though we cannot say if any of that was retained by Ubi Soft when development moved under their watch. In any event, it is disappointing that Nightmare Creatures never had a chance to redeem itself after the failure of the sequel. Certainly the first game proved that Kalisto had a winning concept on the hands, but for unknown reasons were not able to produce a sequel of the same standing. Maybe under the fresh eyes of Ubi Soft the game could have overcome the faults of the second game. Sadly it was never meant to be. 

Sources:
https://www.ign.com/games/nightmare-creatures-3-angel-of-darkness/
https://ew.com/article/1997/10/24/pc-game-review-nightmare-creatures-and-castlevania-symphony-night/

Edited by Inzoreno

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