Publisher: PlayWay S.A.
Phantaruk is a first person survival horror adventure where you must run, hide, and find your way off the ship. You are unarmed and vulnerable on a spaceship filled with creatures roaming within.
- sound effects and music were effective at creating a tense experience by using minimal jumpscares, and a great atmosphere
- very suspenseful feel to it, especially when you hear the monsters nearby, but don’t know exactly where they are (most of them patrol around)
- the rush of excitement as you run for your life is enjoyable and makes you feel quite on edge at times
- environments and creatures look decent
- story throughout the game is decent – you learn about what’s going on by listening to audio logs and finding notes around the ship
- voice acting for the audio logs is done well
- the only two survival aspects that you need to monitor are easily managed, and don’t feel like a burden (your heart rate that can’t go above the threshold is usually managed by avoiding monsters and your toxin level, and you will need to find antidotes throughout the ship to lower the toxin levels)
- when you stare at some monsters, you get an on screen effect (that reminds me of SOMA), but it’s too much blurring distortion considering how frequently you encounter monsters in some areas
- one annoying part in the game where you have to wear this helmet and make your way through a smoke filled area; between this helmet taking up a huge portion of your view, and the smoke everywhere, it’s extremely difficult to see anything, and you can’t turn on the flashlight either because you don’t know if it’s safe (fortunately, this was only a short section)
- you quickly run out of stamina when sprinting, and the fun and excitement of running for your life is ruined (often resulting in your death)
- can’t turn off subtitles, and the subtitles are usually out of sync from what is actually being said (the voice was often a line ahead of the text)
- stealth mechanics feel a bit weird – the open eye icon only indicates how well lit the area is; stealthing seems to require you to be in a dark place, and not just behind cover; sometimes where I thought I was hidden, I wasn’t, and other times where I should have been killed, I was perfectly safe
The game took me about 3-3.5 hours to finish, and it probably would have been quicker had I not kept dying in one of the areas. There are several achievements that I haven’t unlocked, but I don’t plan on playing it again.
Phantaruk is an alright game, but I thought I would like it more than I actually did. It’s not that it’s a bad game, and for as much as I really enjoyed the atmosphere and suspense throughout the game, all the annoyances took their toll, and the negatives weighed heavier than the positives in the end.
Review copy was provided by the developer.