you are one of the millions of gameplayers that got your kicks out-shooting
Imps, blasting Revenants and annihilating Cyberdemons in the original 59 levels
of DooM, then don't waste your time reading this review, just get out your
bike and head straight to your local games
supplier and buy a copy of Exhumed. Go on, off you go..... NOW!
As for the rest of you, are there any among you who enjoyed playing Tomb Raider
- with it's death defying leaps from ledge to ledge over red hot molten lava,
dodging fireballs, avoiding traps, unravelling mysteries and solving puzzles....
You did? Right, then get in the car and beat those
Doomies to the front of the queue.
That should leave me with the
RPG'ers, Sports nuts, and Speed freaks. Speedies, this game moves fast. Imagine
DooM shifting at the speed of Wipeout. Sporties, hunting down buxom bikini clad
enemies with the head of a lion, and claws to match, sounds like a fair sport to
me. Role players, well you can just 'roll' into a corner and hide at the sheer
terror that this game generates.... Interested? well you guys had better go and
train, or risk missing out on one of the best
games of the year.
Now that there are only a couple of you left out
there, I can relax and tell my story. You see I'm tired and my brain hurts
after spending the last five days with virtually no sleep - all through playing
this damn game. I'm also a little dehydrated having "cacked" my pants
at regular intervals.
Let me start from the beginning........
the time of the Pharaohs, the city of Karnak was known as a shining example of
civilization. Today, Karnak lives on and is surrounded by the spirits of the
past. However, something is drastically wrong.
A Karnak villager close
to death has been found wandering through the desert and has a strange story to
tell. Unknown forces have invaded his home town and are torturing the
inhabitants, devouring the women and children and turning the men into slaves.
He tells horrendous stories of citizens being tortured, skinned alive and
brutally dismembered. Many are being injected with a strange substance and then
mummified while still alive. They have also exhumed the body of King Ramses and
are draining it of its magical powers.
Chaos has begun to spread across the land. The global leaders
gathered together their elite forces armed with the most advanced weapons known
to man and sent them into the valley of Karnak.
surprise, it is all down to you with your crack squad of experienced operatives
to infiltrate the area and neutralize the threat to mankind. Unfortunately, as
your helicopter nears Karnak Valley, it is shot down and you barely escape with
your life. You are alone, armed only with a knife and your wits as you enter
the Tomb of Ramses.
Exhumed is a DooM type first person perspective shoot-em-up, but of the highest
quality. There is a large element of Tomb Raider type strategy involved as your
character gradually obtains the power to swim underwater, hover, jump, fly and
scale great heights. The game is packed with puzzles involving clicking
switches to open sealed areas, locating secret rooms and negotiating perilous
The object of the game is threefold. You must first locate the
four symbols of each city. This will allow access to the areas that hold the
six magical items that have been stolen, these may be used to defeat the enemy
creatures. Finally you must find the secret areas which contain the parts of a
transmitter that must be assembled before you can call for help.
from all of the above you must blast your way through the twenty one locations
that are crawling with some of the toughest creatures that you will ever come
Exhumed is about survival.
be fooled by the inexpensive intro, as obviously every bit of cash has been
ploughed into the game itself. The tale is explained using a story book format
with pages of simple pictures running alongside the narration.
opens at the entrance to the Tomb of Ramses with the sunlight bleaching the
courtyard walls. Straight ahead is a dimly lit opening, flanked with
incandescent burning receptacles and if you look up, the bright blue sky is only
broken by a light dusting of stratus clouds. God, you haven't even moved yet
and you cannot help from being impressed by the tremendous lighting and quality
graphics. As you ease into the building you are held in awe by the torches that
light up the dim passages, shadows forming on every step and cracks of daylight
that brighten up the opening ahead. If you move right up to one of the torches,
you will notice there is virtually no pixilation.
Now that you are
moving you are once again distracted, this time by the speed of the graphics
engine which streams the polygon scenery very smoothly. This game moves so fast
you will need a seat-belt.
The underwater scenes are of the standard achieved in Tomb Raider,
which again are lit superbly. I would also defy anyone who makes it through the
game to the Set Arena and is not floored by the lighting that is portrayed at
the beginning of this level.
True to the theme, the game is set within
an ancient Egyptian setting. Statues embellish the rooms, Egyptian architecture
adorns the walls and even the doors are decorated with ancient drawings.
enemies appear in a number shapes and sizes, which we will go into a little
later, but are effectively 2D sprites in a 3D world, although they still remain
The map is displayed in a similar way to Dark Forces,
with the level superimposed over the playing screen. It may be switched on via
the select button, but I recommend that you refrain from moving around too much
when it is on screen, as there are many pits that are set just for the avid map
of the sound effects within Exhumed are top notch. The haunting screams and
growls as your enemy attacks you at terrifying speed. The deep sonance of your
M-60 spewing out the bullets. The dull splatter as their bloodied limbs hit the
deck when they are eventually blown apart.
The musical score that
accompanies the action is a repertoire of ancient Egyptian harmonies that build
to a crescendo when the tension rises. Sometimes the lack of music can create a
terrifying atmosphere as displayed in the most petrifying and spooky level of
this game - Heket Pass.
Imagine entering a dimly lit underground
cavern. There is no background music, so you can hear your heart pumping.
Edging along the narrow walkways, with a sheer drop either side into a pit of
slime. You approach a dark doorway, go on then, open it. Grrraaaawwww! A
friggin' bikini clad wild cat teleports right behind you, slashing away with her
claws, sending your lunch straight into your underpants. You burn it with the
blow torch - a slow death is gratifying. Up ahead is a tunnel, the tunnel is
pitch black. The sound is perfect (the sound of deathly silence). You take one
step inside, you can't see the gun in your hand - total darkness. You take two
steps back and take a deep breath, this takes balls. You enter,
then.....darkness and silence, complete silence. I won't tell you what happens
as it will only spoil the game, but the point I am trying to get across is that
this level is like taking a ride on a ghost train and it is all backed by the
most atmospheric sound imaginable, silence - It works.
The only gripe I
have with the sound effects are those used in the Tomb of Ramses. You will
constantly return here to receive information on your quest from the spirit of
the great King himself. I just wish that he had cleared the flem from the back
of his throat before speaking as I could not understand what the hell he was
most obvious point to mention about the options is that there are no options.
Well you can configure your controller and adjust the level of sound and music,
but that's it. No two player mode, which would have allowed you to take a
friend along to hold your hand. There is no adjustment to the difficulty
setting, which would have allowed you to chicken out by opting for an easy
setting - you are either good enough, or you will fail miserably.
control pad works well and can be adjusted to your preferred DooM setting,
shoulder buttons for strafe and weapon select, directional for player movement
and face buttons for fire, use, jump and look up/down. There is no run button
because the game only has one speed - balls out. Yep our hero doesn't hang
around, it's flat-out all of the way.
The in-game options are accessed
by pressing the select button to reveal your map, available weapons, collected
artifacts and transmitter parts. A wide selection of weapons may be found on
your travels including a knife, pistol, M-60, Anum bomb (hand grenade to you and
I), Flame throwers, Cobra staff, Ring of Ra and a Monocle. The M-60 is a meaty
piece of hardware that can down a number of enemies with a quick burst, but
don't get too trigger happy as your stock of ammo power ups will not last
forever. My favorite weapon is the Flame thrower that is easy on ammo and a
quick spit will set the enemy alight leaving them running around screaming while
engulfed in flames - Sicko!
Playing the game itself, it soon becomes
obvious that ornaments such as urns and statues can be broken to reveal ammo
power ups, health top ups, access maps or maybe nothing at all, but beware as
they occasionally contain a creature.
When a creature is killed its
limbs are splattered all around and they gradually sink into the earth to be
replaced by a power up. Ashes to ashes, dust to...... "power up".
During the game you will discover full ammo and health orbs, invisibility and
weapon speed ups but keep a special eye out for the Golden Ankhs that will
increase your health holding capacity by an additional 100%.
artifacts that must be retrieved are found behind the final door that is opened
when the fourth symbol is obtained. Once in your hands, they will endow you
with special powers that will allow you to enter previously unreachable areas.
The Sandals of Ikumptet will increase your jumping ability and when combined
with Horus' Feather, which gives you the power to hover, you will be able to
leap high in the air before gradually floating slowly back to the ground. Now
you can take a run and spring over those lava pits to open new areas of the map.
Sobeks Mask give you the power to breath underwater, so you can now explore
those eery flooded tunnels. One of the strangest artifacts are the designer
anklets that are strapped to your feet and allow you to walk over slime pools
and lava, causing only minimal loss of health.
Each of the 21 locations
include a number of switches to click, lifts to activate and walls to be blasted
open to reveal secret areas. It is one of those games where you can see where
you want to be, but you are going to have to sit down and work out how you are
going to get there. There is an element of backtracking involved, but because
you will know exactly where you need to go, this does not become tedious.
enemies in Exhumed are as tough as the gameplay.
Throughout the game you
will encounter the ridiculous jumping mechanical scorpions that scream at you
like a frog giving birth. Thankfully they can be disposed of with a couple of
well aimed shots from your pistol, but they can be a nuisance when they bound
towards you in large numbers, while you are trying to contain an attack from a
more fierce creature.
Mutant Flies silently sneak up on you before
attacking your head. Just watch someone playing this game when a fly attacks
them to see them ducking and weaving their heads as they fidget with the control
pad trying to get a shot in on these pesky beasts.
should be no problem if you do not panic and wait until you see the color of
their eyes before firing. It looks like a turkey shoot when you hit them, with
feathers going everywhere.
Dog Headed Annubis Warriors hurl bright blue
missiles in your direction that can knock you off your feet on impact. You must
master the strafe buttons to survive their onslaught.
If the Mummies
fire a crimson homing snake in your direction, you had better take to your
heels. Standing your ground will see the cobra headed missile snaking its way
towards you, before severely damaging your health on impact.
get a little tough then you could always jump in the water for cover.
Unfortunately the creatures will gather around the pool and await your return,
or perhaps they have just congregated to watch the fun, as you fend off the
school of Piranhas that have surrounded you, with their razor teeth stripping
your flesh from your bones.
The buxom, bikini clad beasts can run
faster than a cheetah and will render themselves invisible when under attack,
only to reappear right beside you when you are least expecting them. Do not
attempt to tackle these wild animals if you have a pacemaker fitted - I mean it!
will once again refrain from spoiling the game by describing the Bosses that you
will face at certain points during the proceedings, but it is suffice to say
that the Cyberdemons in DooM are kittens by comparison.
is the order of the day. I recall blasting a hole in a wall to reveal a room
full of goodies. Overjoyed, I ran towards my haul not noticing a well disguised
pit, my feet hit fresh air and I plummeted down the trap. I quickly pressed my
hover button, which slowed down my fall, and glided downwards for what seemed
like an age. When my feet hit the ground I was ambushed by a tribe of Mummies
and Mutant Flies. I escaped with my life, but only just. A lesson was learned.
progress is the order of the day. I recall blasting a hole in a wall to reveal a
room full of goodies. Overjoyed, I ran towards my haul not noticing a well
disguised pit, my feet hit fresh air and I plummeted down the trap. I quickly
pressed my hover button, which slowed down my fall, and glided downwards for
what seemed like an age. When my feet hit the ground I was ambushed by a tribe
of Mummies and Mutant Flies. I escaped with my life, but only just. A lesson
is the type of game that Final DooM should have been. Quality graphics, superb
lighting, fast running and hard as Hell. Stand up Exhumed, the new king of
shoot-em-ups. It will also appeal to those who though that Tomb Raider was an
excellent strategy game but should have offered more challenging enemies. This
game is massive, It has taken me more than twice the time it took to complete
Final DooM and then you can restart the game to seek out the hidden team dolls
that offer you the power to swim like a Dolphin and fly like a vulture.
as it is called in the US, is truly a next generation DooM style game. The only
other PlayStation game currently released that is in the same class as this one
is Disruptor. The stacked level designs are amazingly executed and original. I
really enjoyed the challenge and playability of this game. Graphics and sound
effects are top notch and convincing. The weapons are awesome, the creatures
devastating and the overall atmosphere of the game is gripping. If this is the
direction that future DooM clones will be taking, sign me up - I'm in!