There’s a really good chance you haven’t heard of Pharaonic before. I certainly hadn’t heard of Pharaonic until recently. I was (yet again) browsing my Steam recommendations and there was this cool looking, ancient Egyptian-era action RPG begging me to play it. I reached out to the developer, Milkstone Studios and they supplied me with a review code. After several hours with the game, although not finished, I can easily recommend this to PC and console owners that are looking for a challenging side-scrolling action RPG. It has a retro vibe with Dark Souls-like characteristics and difficulty.
Summary from the developer: Death awaits at every corner in Egypt, and only the most audacious warriors will have any chance of success. The Pharaohs army and countless dangerous creatures will stand in your way.
As someone who absolutely appreciates the Dark Souls series but sucks hard at it, I think the influence it has provided to developers is better for gaming. There are plenty of games out there to play so you can avoid the ones you don’t like. I didn’t know Pharaonic was going to be so inspired by Dark Souls, yet, I like it. The difficulty is high and the punishment for death is equivalent to Dark Souls. However, where it’s better for me is it’s easier to control. This is a mostly 2D side scroller so you can better contain the bad guys and counter their attacks. With limited spacing (meaning the absence of the z-axis), all characters have fewer options to move around the environment, and this is better for a slug like me that is less a twitch-gamer and more methodical. There are other similarities to Dark Souls, and, let me be clear, that is not a bad thing. Great games inspire other games. This is evolution and we should all be happy with that. Anyway, those other similarities include the progression and save system as well as “collecting your soul” when you restart after death.
I’m nowhere near finishing the game but my initial impressions (a few hours of playtime) are quite positive. It’s polished, fun, and challenging. To enjoy this game you have to be comfortable with a tense play session. You have to think and be tactful. It can be a little addicting too! Check it out on PC, XBOX and Playstation.