Gamers who saw the sci-fi movie Stargate might get a little deja vu when they play Powerslave on their Sega Saturn. The same thing may happen when fans of Doom grab the controller for a little Powerslave play.
From what we've seen thusfar, Powerslave is like Stargate meets Doom and like both of them, Powerslave is just as cool. The first thing we noticed when we loaded it up and started playing is that the game has a fast frame rate. The graphics literally flew by.
Something is happening in the Middle East that isn't good for the locals. First, some strange alien creatures are kidnapping and apparently killing some of the townspeople. One of the people from the Egyptian village survived and told the story to the special attack force that plans on infiltrating the infested area. The mission starts but the plane carrying the crew mysteriously crashes-the main character that gamers control is the only survivor.
Players start in the tomb of Rames, the ancient pharaoh. As they make their way through the corridors they face small enemies and a few killer-hawks. The end of the level has the room where Rames' coffin lays. After entering the room, a mystical Rames head appears and tells gamers what their mission is and what they need to do. From that point the long and magical journey begins-the fate of the world is in gamers' hands.
The weapons in the game are quite deadly. Players start with a sword which is effective against weak enemies since it slices them in half with only one slash. Eventually gamers will find the pistol and the M-60 machine gun. In later levels, players find even more powerful weapons like the Ring of Ra or the Amun Bombs. Check out the Gamer's Edge on the weapons featured in Powerslave.
Besides the everyday items players can find [like weapons and ammo and health power-ups], there are many artifacts that they must collect to complete the game. Many of these artifacts are associated with actual gods from ancient Egypt. Check the sidebar on this for more info.
The enemies in the game range from animals like the aforementioned spiders and hawks as well as alien creatures that wear ancient Egyptian garb among others.
The game has a load of secrets. Everything ranging from extra levels, to hidden power-ups. Rumor has it that there are codes that can be entered for infinite ammo and lives. When EGM comes across them, we'll be sure to print them in Tricks.
The maze-like levels of the game will have gamers going back and forth from areas to area finding new secrets and new area to explore that were once inaccessible. Since the proper artifact was found, those areas are now accessible.
The graphics featured in Powerslave are similar to those found in Doom, but much brighter. The realistic landscapes and torch-lit hallways make for great atmosphere as gamers search for new artifacts and pesky enemies to get rid of. The textures on the walls are simple but this doesn't take away from the game in any way. The lighting effects make up for it Powerslave is one of the few first-person action titles on the Saturn that really stands out. Since it combines two genres (the Doom feel and the Egyptian/sci-fi theme) the game should please plenty of Saturn owners. Check the Review Crew in this month for a review of Powerslave.
Powerslave mentions some real Egyptian gods and personalities. Here are only some of them and the artifacts or weapons they're associated with:
Ra is the god of the sun (or fire). He is represented by a man with a hawk's head. His weapon is the Ring of Ra which shoots out fireballs.
Isis is the goddess of motherhood. The artifact she is associated with is the Shawl of Isis. This allows gamers to fly around.
Sobek is the crocodile god. He was worshiped to appease him and his animals. Sobek s artifact is the Mask of Sobek. This allows gamers to breath underwater.
Horus is looked at as one of the most important deities of ancient Egypt. He is usually depicted with great wings. His artifact is the Horus Feather, which allows levitation.
357 Magnum: A good choice for shooting vases and small enemies. The Weapon power upgrade makes this one much more fun to use.
M-60: A mean weapon but uses a lot of ammo. A great choice for getting rid of a large number of pesky spiders and bigger enemies.
Amun Bombs: Guess what these do. That's right, they blow up enemies real good. Enjoy the light show but look out for flying body parts--they'll dirty your clothes.
Flame Thrower: Burn baby, bum. The sun god will be proud as you roast the evil occupants of the many levels. Effective on all enemies but an overkill for the small ones.
Magical Cobra Staff: This one shoots out a magical cobra that is far from being nice. It will seek out and destroy enemies no matter where they try to hide.
Ring of Ra: A spread-shot that is good to use against multiple enemies at once. The fireballs bounce on the ground as they shot out.
Sacred Manacle: Weapons that charge up and have a cool sound to accompany the devastating power are always cool. The bolt that shoots out is the most powerful shot in the game.
MANUFACTURER - Playmates
THEME - ACTION
NUMBER OF PLAYERS - 1
Again we are looking at a game that has been boom from the first-person action womb. Sure, Powerslave is like Doom in certain ways, but the story line of this one is much more interesting. Actual Egyptian gods and cool ancient artifacts (that just happen to give you super-human abilities) make for a game that's a blood test when blowing up enemies, but there's also plenty of strategy involved. The graphics are incredible and so is the music. If you're tired of the mindless first-person action games that have you running around in circles shooting anything that moves, give Powerslave a try since it's so much more than a mindless title.
If you've read my review on Final Doom, then you know my feelings on Doom clones. Sure Powerslave offers a couple of neat features, but it's still the same game at heart. And this 'same game" is getting real old, real quick in my eyes. It's not that Powerslave is a sub-standard game (it's not). It's just that I'm a jaded ex-Doom player. Powerslave does have a great Egyptian motif. This leads to some pretty awesome level designs. The frame rate and graphics show off the Saturn's power beautifully, except for the fact that the sprites and explosions are weak. They are the only black marks on this great-looking game.
Although I sometimes whine about the glut of Doom wanna-bes that clogs store shelves, I really like Powerslave. Sure, the game ain't all that original--it's a first-person shooter plunked down in an Egyptian setting--but it's a very fast-paced, very well-put-together Doom clone. The levels are large and pack more than a few enemies. Fortunately, you get some kick-butt weapons, such as grenades and an M-60 machine gun, to deal with the bad guys. Control takes a little getting used to, since it feels kind of loose at first. The graphics are sharp (with cool lighting effects) and the high frame rate ensures a smooth ride.
Doom clones are everywhere, and Powerslave tries really hard not to fall into the pit of wanna-bes, but I didn't feel a great need to conquer this game. The enemies and traps are a little weak, relying more on your mistakes than your ingenuity. It's a great game for first-person fanatics, but don't expect to see much new from this game. By far the best features are the weapons and the sheer number of enemies that swarm after you. The Egyptian landscapes are nicely done and offer a good setting for the dark mood. One summary that comes to mind is that this is Doom with more keys, some jumping and swimming.
Processor: PC compatible, P-200
OS: Windows 9x, Windows 2000 Windows XP, Vista, Win 7, Win 8, Win 10.
Game Features:Single game mode
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