By Richard Jewell
Reviewed on PC
Released on August 16th, 2016 on PC
Developer: Polyslash Publisher: PlayWay S.A.
The gameplay will feel familiar for those of you who have played any of the other games in the genre, such as Outlast or Amnesia: Dark Descent. You have no way of fighting back, so hiding is your only option. How visible you are to enemies is indicated by an eye icon in the corner of your screen. It lights up when you can be seen easily, and disappears completely when in the shadows. You can lean from side to side to check around corners to make sure the way is clear without completely exposing yourself. If you do, however, happen to be spotted, you have a limited duration sprint to help get you to safety. There is also a flashlight to help you navigate some of the darker areas, but it requires batteries to power and it’s not a great idea to have it on when enemies are around. A PDA strapped to your forearm is used to keep track of the character’s vitals. Health is dealt with in a slightly different way in Phantaruk. 85 is the base number of health your character has. Whenever you take damage, the number goes up. Once it reaches 200, you die. If you aren’t taking damage your health slowly returns to 85. I thought it was strange to use this method instead of the more traditional 0-100 bar most other games use, but it essentially works the same way and doesn’t have any negative impact on the game so no big deal. The toxin meter is what you really need to worry about. It starts off at 0, then gradually fills up over time, thanks to the parasite inhabiting the character’s body. Once it reaches 100, the screen pulses green and you have only seconds to inject yourself with a syringe before you die. Syringes found laying about the spaceship are the only way to keep the toxins at bay, but they are limited in supply. I find this mechanic quite useful for controlling the pace of the game, and it also increases the tension by forcing the players to keep on moving.
*Note: A copy of the game was provided for review purposes
Final Score: 8/10
+Interesting toxin mechanic
+Nice sci-fi atmosphere
+Fantastic price point
-A little short