Game Info: (Box Display)
- System: PS4, PC, Xbox One
- Publisher: Milkstone Studios
- Developer: Milkstone Studios
- Release Date: June 28, 2016
- Rating: T for Teen
- Genre: Action, RPG
- Players: 1
- Official Website: http://www.milkstonestudios.com/games/pharaonic/
Who it Caters to
What to Expect
Pharaonic is literally Dark Souls in almost every shape and form, that is an important statement to get out of the way. In fact, if you go to develop Milkstone Studios’ site and read the front page they even admit they were going for a Dark Souls feel in Pharaonic. This is both a blessing and a curse to Pharaonic as it removes some of the originality of it and also puts itself as a title that will be judged based on its various uses of themes and gameplay found in Dark Souls. Though before we just judged the whole game let us first talk about the gameplay and then move on from there. As the famous saying states, “every journey begins with the first step”.
It won’t take more than five minutes of playing Pharaonic before you realize this plays out like Dark Souls in numerous ways. Combat consists of light attacks and heavy attacks and players can even dodge and parry in equal measure. When your health is low, you drink from a canteen which is similar to the flasks in Dark Souls. Luckily Pharaonic uses this design well and the controls feel solid. Attack, dodging and even using magic all feel good and like Dark Souls can’t be spammed thanks to clever in game mechanics such as stamina and MP. Though at times we wished drinking from the canteen was quicker as it often led to our deaths when we found ourselves in dire need of healing.
Like in Dark Souls, Pharaonic’s idea of dying are also similar. If you die, you lose out on some of your experience and are forced back at the last shrine you stayed at. This is a mirror image of Dark Souls’ bonfire system but it works for what it is. Speaking of experience, unlike Dark Souls players level up and just see their stats increase such as health and stamina. Pharaonic really pushes equipment and weapons on your character and that in turn is your means of feeling stronger and weaker in equal measure. Are you the type of player that loves hitting hard? Well then, equip heavy armor and weapons but watch as your character moves slowly and is quick to drain of stamina. Likewise, if you’re into faster movement you can equip light weapons and gear but will do less damage and be easier to kill. Pharaonic may have copied a lot from Dark Souls but it did it in a smart way.
One thing we also loved about Pharaonic is the Ancient Egypt setting. Environments look great and have a cool cartoon-ish shading to them. The character models though are at times a bit weak and seem to be repeated time and time again. A little variety would have helped Pharaonic a bit but with the 10+ hour story it isn’t a deal breaker. Let us also mention some of the boss fights are pretty cool especially later in the game.
Alright we here at Honey’s Anime love to talk about games in the most positive light possible but as with any form of medium, there is always bound to be a few issues. Pharaonic is a solid game and there is a lot to love but we feel it really tried too hard to copy Dark Souls. While the setting and various mechanics aren’t all a clone of the Dark Souls series, most of Pharaonic is and that keeps it from being its own game. Another issue we have is sometimes combat can feel a bit stiff and that is regardless of what weapons you use. In the early game this can lead to numerous deaths but once you level up enough and gain better gear it becomes less noticeable as you’re just harder to kill. Plus, while there are tons of areas to explore and find, unlike the more open world of Dark Souls, Pharaonic feels confined and linear. These are small issues though and overall won’t be enough to turn away every player of Pharaonic by any means.
Honey's Gameplay Consensus:
- Tough but rewarding gameplay
- Impressive visuals settings
- Different playstyles to enjoy
- Awesome boss designs
- Unique Ancient Egypt theme
- Maybe a little too much like Dark Souls
- Combat can feel a bit off early on
- Drinking flasks takes way too long
- Forgettable story