Pharaonic – Average

The simple description of this game is 2D Egyptian Dark Souls, the complicated one is that it’s a 2D sidescroller where sometimes you switch onto a different 2D plane and fight things for reasons that are a little unclear.

The character creation at the start of the game is reasonably good, giving a choice of gender, skin tone, hair and beard, the voice and I found it funny that a male character could be given a female voice.

Plot is a thing that I’m uncertain about because there was some mention of sea people, some mention of Medjay and at one point desert ghouls started attacking by which point I lost interest in whatever it was that was going on. There’s a bit of text explanation in game but I found it all a bit dull.

Unlike Dark Souls the equipment that you found in game actually mattered, yes, you could stick to being naked and using a torch which you get at the start of the game or you could stick some decent armour on, constantly find better armour and find better weapons all the time which could be used to fight enemies. This game allowed you to feel powerful, even if it was just for the time it took you to complete a map.

Combat was reasonably advanced with both light and heavy attacks, healing by drinking, dodging, blocking, parries and shield breaks all being available for the player to use. Running away was also often a valid tactic.

As the character progresses it will level up gaining health and stamina and will also find opportunities to learn new skills which will allow for the use of better equipment.

Fast travel is available from map to map provided you find the shrine to the gods which act as checkpoints and healing stations in the game. Using the shrines or dying will make all the enemies respawn. On the subject of dying, another similarity to Dark Souls appears with the famous ‘You Died’ screen making an appearance.

There are extra quests that can be gained as well as the main quest; merchants appear in the game to sell you things and there are traps that for some reason seemed to be unavoidable.

As for actual issues with the game: the camera somehow managed to cause me problems a few times and once my weapons – and with them my ability to fight – vanished completely, not even just invisible but gone.

Overall, I found the game to be a bit dull. It was challenging and had a nice idea behind it but the difficulty seemed to mostly come from enemies having high health rather than actually having good AI and being good opponents. I can accept that I may have found it dull because I wasn’t in the mood for a brutal game, I liked the graphics and the fact that weapons actually mattered but other than that not much. It’s not a bad game, you just have to be a certain type of gamer to like it, other reviews like the ones on the Microsoft store will tell you that.

 

The art that I’m using as the featured image was found on the achievements section of the Xbox website. It shows the what I can only assume is the main character in big, you can guess that he’s Egyptian but it doesn’t really say much about the game.

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