PowerSlave Exhumed (Nintendo Switch) Review

By Athanasios 09.03.2022

Review for PowerSlave Exhumed on Nintendo Switch

The late '90s were an era where first-person shooters, or Doom-clones as they were called back then, tried a variety of things to differentiated themselves from id Software's seminal title. Medieval fantasy with Heretic and Hexen, horror-flavoured trips to the occult with Blood, blockbuster-y, wacky action with Duke Nukem 3D, sci-fi role-playing with System Shock, and many more. How many Egyptian-themed ones do you remember, though? Exactly. Ancient Egypt is a setting that, like Ancient Greece, is not as common in the world of video games as one would expect. In 1996 this gap was filled with PowerSlave, which was released for the PC, SEGA's Saturn, and Sony's PlayStation, with each version being somewhat different in one way or another. Nightdive, the hero of remastering old games for modern systems, mixed all these versions together, with the mix, named PowerSlave Exhumed, being undoubtedly the definite version of this, almost forgotten, relic from the past.

Bad things are happening in Karnak, as monstrous… err, monsters have appeared over there. Worry not! A sole elite jarhead is sent to fill them all with hot lead, as well as sweet Ancient Egyptian sorcery. There is a pretty neat assortment of pretty neat weaponry here. From pistols, grenades, and flamethrowers, to staffs that spit snakes, fireballs, or thunderbolts, PowerSlave has it all. The first couple of areas are quite disappointing, as you mostly have to rely on the pistol and a simple machete, and the enemies are usually small pesky critters like scorpions and spiders, but as the game goes on things begin to get far more interesting.

Now, while combat never really gets as enjoyable as in the big names of the genre, this definitely leans more towards the fun side of things. It's important to note, however, that this takes its cue from the Saturn and PlayStation versions, which weren't as linear as in the PC one. More specifically, this plays a lot like a metroidvania, with abilities that can be used in previously explored levels, only to then find more abilities, that will then enable the hero to open new paths, and then repeat the process all over again. Particularly fun are those abilities that provide super-high jumps, in essence making you feel like a flying Egyptian god. One that carries a semi-automatic, that is.

Screenshot for PowerSlave Exhumed on Nintendo Switch

Checkpoints are offered a bit sparingly, which wouldn't be a problem if the many platforming sessions weren't so darn hard. The secrets are especially tough, requiring a level of precision that is more annoying than challenging. Or this critic just sucks when it comes to console first-person shooters, due to the absence of a mouse. Speaking of controls, this includes gyro aiming… as well as all the expected Nightdive enhancements, with many settings that let players customise inputs, gameplay options, and visuals.

Generally, the value of PowerSlave Exhumed lies not on how good of a game it is, because at the end of the day it can't really hold a candle to the classics. No, the beauty of this remaster is that it's an excellent remaster that makes it the definite edition. Apart from the expected enhancements, this took the Saturn and PlayStation versions which had plenty of differences when it comes to level design and has combined the best of both worlds. And that's why Nightdive remains one of the few Kings of remasters.

Screenshot for PowerSlave Exhumed on Nintendo Switch

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

Will you like PowerSlave Exhumed? Well, if you have played the genre's greats, or even its cult classics, you won't find it to be something special. It's a good shooter, no doubt about it, and the fact that it sort of plays like Metroid Prime many years before the latter saw the light of day is quite the feat, but at the end of the day it's just a decent-to-good FPS. If you view it strictly as a remaster, though, it's something more. It combines the best elements from all its versions, beautifies it a bit for the modern era, and adds all the typical buttons and levers that Nightdive tends to include in its fantastic repackagings. More like a collector's item than a great blast from the past, but boy, what a collector's item!






First Person Shooter



C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   


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