Powerslave

a game by Playmates
Platforms: PC Playstation
Genre: Adventure/RPG
Editor Rating: 7/10, based on 5 reviews
User Rating: 8.0/10 - 2 votes
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Powerslave
Powerslave
Powerslave
Powerslave

While not as polished as the Saturn version, Power Slave is still a topnotch corridor shooter for the PlayStation.

Using an Indiana Jones motif, you acquire weapons and special abilities while battling supernatural forces. Unlike Doom, you must re-explore previously completed levels. However, there's enough exploding monsters and manic shooting to keep you satisfied.

The light-sourcing effects are somewhat muted, and the backgrounds are still nicely detailed despite the distorting fish-eye effect you get when close to objects. The sound effects are excellent, from the pain-filled screams to the heavy thud of your M60. The music is perfect for each stage with charging overtures and subtle synthesizers.

For the most part, the controls are very responsive. The only problem is the jumps, which are so loose you have to look down to ensure a safe landing.

Corridor-shooter fans will definitely be enslaved by the Power of this game.

ProTips:

  • To get rid of pesky piranhas, get the machete and start slashing; the deadly fish will swim into your flailing blade.
  • Some stages have more than one exit. However, some of these exits can only be reached after acquiring certain magical items.

Game Reviews

Feeling Doomed? Then check out this great 28-level corridor shooter!

Controls

Responsive enough, the controls in this early version tend to slip when you're teetering on the edge of a cliff or step. Looking up and down also takes some getting used to, especially when you need to use this maneuver in a clinch. Moreover, the jump is awkward because you can't see exactly where you're landing unless you take the jump while looking down. Fortunately, Playmates still has time to clear up these hitches before the game ships.

Graphics

The well-done graphics feature smooth scrolling and excellent light-source effects; for example, fireballs thrown by enemies illuminate the walls as they travel. The gore could be pumped up a notch or two--some of the exploding bodies look like breaking statues.

Gameplay & Fun Factor

You have several weapons in your inventory--everything from heavy artillery (an M-60 machine gun and grenades) to magical spells (like a Cobra Staff that fires dragon spirits that zero in and destroy targets). These work wonders on the plethora of nasties you come up against. There are also extra abilities to acquire, like being able to jump higher and breathe underwater.

Powerslave has all the elements of the nearest Doom clone (awesome weapons, traps, huge levels), and more. You can jump, swim, look up or down; in general, there's more than just point-the-gun-and-shoot gameplay. This could be the best corridor shooter since Doom hit the PlayStation!

Power Save is a first-person action/adventure game based in an ancient Egyptian city. Players can play in both first- or third-person and are able explore underwater grottos, ancient temples and the realm of the undead--all of which are fully rendered, 3-D realtime settings. Fans of X-COM might find that Power Slave is right up their alley.

By stealing the remains of the Egyptian king Ramses, unknown powers appear to have thrown modern-day Earth into chaos. When the world's armies begin disappearing as they plumb the mystery, you're chosen to investigate. Powerslave thrusts you into a wacked-out Egyptian land for first-person blast-to-the-last action. Armed with a machete. .357 magnum, machine gun, and other weaponry like the all-powerful Eye of Rah. you're ready to party hardy, but you'll also have to solve block puzzles, thwart projectile traps, and explore underwater regions.

Overview

I remember seeing Powerslave in its infancy, over two years ago. It was just after Doom 2 came out, and the designers of Powerslave were attempting to revolutionize the genre that Doom ruled -- they were working on moving in 3 dimensions -- jumping, swimming, ducking and flying. I remember thinking that if they could pull it off, and soon, that they might have a monster hit on their hands. But that was two years ago, an eternity in the gaming world. There has since been Duke Nukem 3D, Quake, Tomb Raider, and a host of other 3D shooters that have broken the boundaries laid out in id's amazing Doom. Playmates Interactive did what they set out to do, but it may unfortunately turn out to be too little, too late.

Gameplay/Controls

The basic theme of Powerslave is also very similar to Doom -- you are a special forces commando who goes to see what has become of a bunch of your comrades who have disappeared after going to investigate some mysterious goings-on, this time in Egypt rather than in a futuristic space port, though. The rest you can pretty much figure out -- there are a whole host of bad dudes, from pesky 15-pound spiders to piranhas to scorpion-bodied demi-goddesses of destruction 30 feet high. Cool looking opponents, to be sure, but they fall and die like any other ones you may have encountered. Gameplay is almost identical to Duke Nukem 3D in every aspect -- your character even has some witty rejoinders much like Duke. I'm still waiting for a game with a wisecracking tough guy who has the wit of an Indiana Jones, though.

Graphics

If there is one thing that sets Powerslave apart from the pack of 3D shooters, it is its graphics. It's not that they're stunning to look at; it's that they get away from the sci-fi, post-apocalyptic theme found in virtually every other game of this genre. In Powerslave much is made of the Egyptian environment, the pyramids, tombs, and desert plants and creatures. It has a very nice feel about it, and it is obvious that considerable work has been done to lay out the levels, traps and levers that one must figure out to progress through the game.

Audio

The audio in Powerslave is, well, appropriate to the environment. I can't say much more about it -- it doesn't thrill or chill (few games have music that does), but it works well with the overall motif. I was half expecting to hear a little Iron Maiden hidden somewhere within the game, as I assume from the look of this game that the title comes directly by inspiration of the British rockers' album of the same title.

System Requirements

Required: 486 DX2/66 or better, 8 MB RAM, 30 MB hard disk space, DOS 5.0 or higher, 2X CD-ROM drive, 100% SoundBlaster compatible sound card

Recommended: Pentium, 16 MB RAM, SVGA video card, 4X CD-ROM drive. Supports IPX or Netbios

Bottom Line

Powerslave is a decent game. If you like the genre and want a different feel from the regular futuristic slugfest, then you might check Powerslave out -- it's not the best or the most innovative 3D shooter out there, and it will undoubtedly face very stiff competition from the field, but it is not a cheap rip-off either. It is well thought out, well put together, and has a number of nice creative touches. Overall it rates a 76 out of 100; a passing grade.

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Playstation Screenshots

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