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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this game.
Armed with just a knife and a pistol (to start), your nameless character slices and shoots their way through a race of alien insects in order to protect humanity. While there's certain bravery required there, the player is the one who must overcome the many enemies, obstacles, and other perils to save the world. Players utilize perseverance and critical thinking to recover King Ramses' body and stop the Kilmaat from destroying humankind.
Positive Role Models
Your character doesn't have a name or much of a presence. You and King Ramses have the same goal of saving humanity from the Kilmaat, a race of alien insects; not much more outside of that simple motive.
Setting is Egypt in late 20th century. Many of the enemies are classic icons in Egyptian mythology, such as mummies or Anubis soldiers. Your main goal even centers around recovering the body of King Ramses, who appears as a floating head to give your character guidance throughout the journey. Setting and enemies are not exactly fleshed out.
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Ease of Play
Controls are tight and responsive, especially for an updated game from the era of the original PlayStation/Sega Saturn. Whether you're shooting or jumping, your character moves exactly to your liking. In terms of the difficulty, the game is challenging but readily rewards perseverance. The maps you come across can be an eyesore; you may have a hard time figuring out where to go from time to time, but not to the point of frustration.
Violence & Scariness
Despite the mid-'90s pixelated look, quite a bit of violence on display. Most enemies bleed when they're shot at, and they can be blown to pieces with grenades. It may not be as "graphic" as modern games, but violence is still prominent.
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Products & Purchases
Updated version of a game released back in the 1990s.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that PowerSlave Exhumed is a downloadable single-player first-person shooter available for Microsoft Windows, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S. This game is a modern-day update to the original PowerSlave, which released in the mid-'90s in the era of the first PlayStation and Sega Saturn. Players will take on the role of the nameless protagonist, who must stop the invading Kilmaat, a race of alien insects, from wiping out humanity. The game takes place in 20th century Egypt, where players slice and shoot their way through vicious bugs, magical mummies, and Anubis soldiers. Guns, grenades, flamethrowers, and even a magical staff that shoots snake-shaped energy blasts will be acquired to fend off the alien horde, leading to many instances of violence. While the violence is nowhere near as bloody or gory as in modern games, there's plenty of blood that will be shed, as well as enemies being blown to pieces by using certain weapons. Difficulty-wise, the game can punish you if you play recklessly, but in the process, you learn how to beat certain enemies or navigate obstacles without taking any damage. Perseverance is key, and the game constantly rewards your ability to learn from your mistakes.
Is It Any Good?
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.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.