Upon first glance, Powerslave sounds like a halfway decent game. And at heart it is. Using a first person (and sometimes 3rd person) perspective, it is up to you to conquest through Egypt and stop the forces that be from desecrating Ramses' tomb. While this is all fine and good, this game has a mortal flaw and a few other minor ones that really detract from the premise.
As previoulsy mentioned, at heart, Powerslave is a good game. For starters, the level design is quite good. The mapmakers did a great job in creating believable Egyptian worlds. There are all kinds of tombs you go through, dark caves and pyramids with hieroglyphics, etc. This is always a key element in first-person shooters: creating a feasible world in which the game is based after. In fact, some levels are so detailed that they feature pottery and all sorts of various statues and fountains. Sometimes, these things will be blocking certain paths and you have the option to move them out of the way. There are also dangerous chasms and other hazards you must jump across, which brings me to my next point. While most of the game is played in a first-person fashion, you are given the option to switch to an external, third-person view. If you have difficulty lining up your jumps, you can use this view to aid you.
The bestiary and weaponry are also decent, another key element in games such as these. Because you're in Egypt, you can expect to fight all sorts of desert like things. You'll run across scorpions and other bugs as well as mummies, pharaohs and some monster-type creatures thrown in for extra measure. Fortunately, you will find weapons to fight these things along the way. Armed with a machete at the beginning, you'll run across machine guns, magical staffs and even a flame-thrower.
Just when you think everything is fine and dandy, in come the flaws. That mortal flaw mentioned earlier is this: saving. You cannot save your game anywhere you want, like other games. Instead, you must find save points strewn about in the various levels. Guess what happens if you reach one of these things and want to quit and play later? You'll have to restart that entire level when you come back. See, you can only save once you finish a level. This wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that some levels are pretty darn hard and very large. On top of this, controlling the game can be a pain at times. Strafing is very slow and there is no option to auto-run. Instead, you are always walking and you have to manually hit a key to run. This grows very tedious and will only annoy you once you walk through the same level for the thirtieth time.
Powerslave had promise but it really pales in compares in comparison to all the great games this genre has to offer. If you are hurting for a new first-person action game to play, then you may want to try Powerslave. It can be fun at times, but the saving and a few control issues just about kill the entire experience. What a shame, it could have been a great game.
Graphics: The texturing and visuals look really good and capture Egypt nicely. The game engine is well executed and the frame-rate is excellent.
Sound: Bland Midiesque music combined with uninspired monster and sound effects result in an overly disappointing sound experience.
Enjoyment: All of the enjoyment in Powerslave is about destroyed because of the saving feature. Had it let you save anywhere rather than forcing you to play the same level over and over again, it would have been a world of fun. But if you can look past this (which is very hard to do), there is an enjoyable game to be found here.
Replay Value: Some players will get frustrated very fast because of the incompetent save feature. There is Internet play available but it isn't much to write home about.
In this First person shooter, you're an armed forces specialist sent to investigate strange happenings at the ancient Egyptian city of Karnak. Soon you learn that alien invaders with a penchant for mummifying humans alive have taken over the place. You have to fight your way through increasingly difficult levels with an unbelievable cast in order to finish it.
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