- Developer: Milkstone Studios
- Publisher:Milkstone Studios
- Genre: Action & RPG
- Release Date:13/07/2016
- Platforms:Xbox One
- Game Supplied by: Xbox
Pharaonic is set during Ancient Egypt times with the story following the events of you being imprisoned, you are visited by a mysterious woman who releases you from your cage and onto your journey to find the truth behind Ahmosis I The Red Pharaoh.
Graphically Milkstone Studios have made a nicely polished game with solid cartoon style graphics providing an Authentic Egyptian feel to the game from its dark cobwebbed dungeons to sandy villages which show the diverse use of artwork within the game.
Pharaonic on first glance to me seemed to be a standard side scrolling platformer with 3D elements, but as the game progressed it became apparent the game was made richer with its RPG elements with the ability to upgrade your apparel and weapons and gain magical spells. The main focus on the RPG elements is through the combat system where you can gain abilities through defeating more enemies to allow you to level up and procure better armour. With this, each item you equip has categories such as Strength, Damage, Mobility and Defence, for example the Heavy Shield may increase your defence but will reduce your mobility meaning you are more likely to get hit by a guards attack. This means you have to way up if you want more agility you need to sacrifice defence and rely on wits to defeat enemies or armour up allowing for less mobility but meaning you take a hit here and there but have enough time to provide a critical hit.
The combat throughout the game was simple, taking a system used within the Dark Souls series, you have a standard attack and a heavy attack which felt a bit limited and after a while became a bit monotonous with the hack and slash approach to defeat enemies.
Even though Pharaonic has a platform style approach the game is designed with its non linear approach to provide alternative routes for exploration to discover secrets and treasure chests to loot, this provides a pleasant distraction however it does create another problem with enemies that you have previously killed, respawning again which means if you take a lot of hits and can’t refill your health you won’t last for long.
Pharaonic does have a checkpoint system where you pray this saves your point in the game so if you do die you respawn here, these checkpoints are sparse which requires you to fight through some tough enemies and bosses until the next, this usually results in dying a lot and frustrations leading to shouting at the TV screen. This may annoy some people but this was what made games challenging back in the good old days where you used blood, sweat and tears to get to the next point.
Throughout the game you will encounter many dangers from a multitude of Brutal Guards with various attacks to traps which will kill you instantly if you are not paying attention, but it’s not all bad you will get help along the way from other prisoners, countrymen who will give you items to help you on your quest, you will also get help and advice from the Daughters of Ishtar throughout the game plus there’s a few places to refill your life water canteen along the way and not just at the checkpoints.
Pharaonic for me was a decent attempt to take elements from Dark Souls and create a more fast paced action platformer with role playing features, but in the end it frustrated me more than making it an enjoyable game to play through.
Pharaonic provides a decent single player campaign as that is all that is on offer with no other modes to choose from.
Some gamers may thrive on this but it felt that there was little in the way of gameplay direction, yes it opened up some decent non linear gameplay but it just felt you were still going around in a circle at times.