This is one of the most delightful blasts from the past you'll experience, as much of a nostalgia trip to a different era of gaming as it is an excellent first-person shooter. PowerSlave Exhumed takes inspiration from the original Doom, but it has an identity all its own. Its visuals are cleaner and sharper than ever before, with an addictive soundtrack that will have you nodding along as you take out foes in your way. Over time, you'll fill out your arsenal of weapons, each with a different function. Grenades, for example, can be thrown at cracked walls and floors to access new areas and uncover secrets. You'll also obtain abilities that will make navigating the world easier, such as a higher jump, the ability to breathe underwater for longer periods of time, or even levitation, all of which encourage exploration for hidden items and upgrades. The game encourages you to keep searching and fighting enemies in strategic ways, keeping you on your toes wile also keeping combat fresh. After all, outside of your trusty knife, every other weapon has a limited amount of "energy" to burn through. If you go in guns blazing, you risk depleting your energy reserves -- and there's rarely a time when your knife will save you from a real disaster.
But PowerSlave Exhumed isn't perfect. The maps are simple white lines taking over the in-game screen, which can be confusing. Also, when you get the choice to explore multiple areas, King Ramses can be vague when directing your next steps. Mainly, if you're not taking note of inaccessible areas to return to, you might find yourself lost for a small stretch of time. Additionally, if you aren't using your weapons wisely, you'll restart areas multiple times, hoping to get lucky when enemies drop random health or energy boosts. But those small hiccups don't take away from the phenomenal experience of a masterful upgrade to an older game. If you're looking for nonstop fun and a spirited challenge, you can't do much better than PowerSlave Exhumed.