Publisher: Forever Entertainment
Phantaruk is a survival horror game that has all the right ingredients for an amazing game. The game takes place in a dark and moody setting, where an experiment has gone wrong leaves only a lone survivor. Has Polyslash entered the fray with a bold hit game or is this a swing and a miss?
Let’s delve into the darkest depths of Phantaruk
Our character awakes in his quarters. As you find your bearings in this badly lit and moody spaceship (reminds me of a certain movie…), we start to piece together the story of what really happened here. This is the research vessel Purity-02 and it has been the home of all kinds of weird and wonderful experiments on its crew in the search to create Post Humans. As always in these types of story, this was never gonna end well was it? Your aim is to escape the lifeless vessel without being caught or killed by your new and nowhere near improved crewmates.
From the moment I dived into the game, it made me sit up and take notice of its brilliant visuals. For an indie game, this game sure looks good. The spaceship in which this game takes place looks great. The interior of the ship is dark and atmospheric and really sets the scene, which creates an immersive experience. When I was playing in the dark, I had my soundbar turned on, this game would really make me jump or make me feel uneasy. The game creator’s, Polyslash, really wanted to scare the pants off you by drawing you into its “Event Horizon type” world.
The game clearly draws influence from some of Hollywood’s great movies but it strikes similar to another game I have spent quite a lot of time with, Alien: Isolation, and while I won’t bore you with the details, there are plenty of striking similarities. During the game, you spend your time working through objectives and avoid being killed by your mutated crew members, who are slow, cumbersome, malformed-people and seem to get to you pretty quickly when you’re not expecting it. As if trying to escape a crew of the undead wasn’t enough, your character seems to have a brain-related disease that you must find the antidote to pretty quickly from the get-go. Luckily for you and your character (we can’t forget him/her), there seem to be syringes lying around the ship in wonderfully easy to find places, but you will have to watch your toxicity levels on your wrist computer display. I’ll admit I kept forgetting as the game doesn’t really tell you much.
Control Your Destiny
The controls are pretty basic in all honesty and nothing here will really come to you as a surprise. The surprise might be the game doesn’t let you use certain controls until you have got so far into the game. I am not here to spoil the game, but trust me when I say you will need a run button from the start but it doesn’t come to play until later in-game. The controls are your average controls, you have your crouch button and the dual sticks are your movement and look controls like I said, nothing here is new or exciting. The background sound effects really help drag you into this morbidly atmospheric space-saga. The low humming of the spaceship in the background, the shuffling of the crew as they stalk the corridors and cargo bays looking for you. This game really can draw you in and that’s why I was really happy when I first started this game. I felt a part of the menacing and moody world. The creepy sound effects are really helpful in setting the tone and work brilliantly alongside the visuals to provide a stunningly dark world to get sucked into and helps build tension around you.
The story is one of the reasons I found the game lacking. In games like this that I have played previously, the story is one of the main reasons that you are gripped. In Phantaruk the story is filled in very slowly using a series of notes or documents found around the darkened corridors of the ship. There are also audio files that fill in the gaps but it’s so underwhelming I stopped caring. I have to be honest and say that the stealth mechanics that are utilized in this game for me, do not suit the type of story and game that you are trying to play. This is a survival horror game and trying to avoid enemies rather than taking them out quickly and forcefully just didn’t sit well with me. I am not the stealthiest player in the world and as I have mentioned in my State Of Mind Review, I am an impatient gamer. I like to be able to run around and get my character moving. This game felt slow and cumbersome, which reminds me of the loading times are on the slow side too.
I wanted this game to be so good and maybe I am being over critical. I mean this game is under £5/$5 and I’ll be honest for the price you are getting way more bang for your buck than you really should. I mean you are getting a great looking and sounding atmospheric space, survival horror game. Just because the stealth mechanics don’t work for me, doesn’t mean that you won’t enjoy it. I’m not saying I didn’t have fun with this because I did during my time with the game. I am sure that if stealth horror games are for you then this game will be a great fit. I started to doubt my gaming ability whilst playing this game; if one of your crewmates spot you they will catch you and within two or three hits you will die. This was a source of massive frustration throughout the play through. The lack of interactivity with your surroundings is somewhat disappointing, leaving you to enter the odd code on a panel or pick up syringes or batteries for your torch. The size of the download from the eshop is 4.3gb for those of you thinking about your remaining memory.
Check Out the Trailer below:
This game was provided by Forever Entertainment for the purposes of this review.
No copyright infringement is intended, I do not claim ownership of any of the images used in this article, all credit to the original image providers.