#132 Exhumed / PowerSlave

  • Original release year: 1996
  • Consoles: Saturn, MS-Dos, PS1

Whether It’s known to you as Exhumed or PowerSlave, there’s no denying that this is visually one of the most impressive looking games on the Saturn and it plays great too. I’m not sure why it has different names in different regions, or why both names make me think of heavy metal (maybe it’s because the former is a death metal band and the latter shares its name with one of Iron Maiden’s best albums), but as a European I’ll personally be referring to it as Exhumed throughout this review.

Exhumed is a title that I feel does not get enough love and its developers, Lobotomy Software, certainly don’t get enough praise, especially given that the Saturn is often thought of as the weakest console out of its generation (not necessarily a fair assumption). Yet pre-GoldenEye, their FPS titles on the Sega’s 32-bit machine were incredible examples of the genre on home console. And make no mistake, although Exhumed is on the Playstation and PC, it’s the Saturn version that is undoubtedly the version to play. The graphics are the crispest and most detailed and the levels are larger and have more depth than those in the PS1 port.

Lobotomy did an outstanding job crafting the game’s engine. Movement is quick, precise and smooth, with a consistent framerate whilst exploring the beautiful 3D world. The environments are really unique too, with the game taking place in Egypt, allowing the player to delve deep into ancient temples.

Exhumed is more than just a standard Doom clone.What really makes the game stand out from its contemporaries is the emphasis on exploration and basic puzzle solving. There’s keys to find, switches to activate and dungeon like settings to make your way through, which all makes it feel like an awesome mix between Doom and Metroid.

Lobotomy went on to develop ports of Duke Nukem 3D and Quake on the Saturn and I can’t wait to try them out some day.

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