I wanted to love this game; I truly did. For starters, it's Tomb Raider in Egypt: a terrific, if stale, concept. I was also looking forward to playing a non-WASP character for a change. However, so many problems are evident right from the start (even in the tutorial level), that it's almost impossible for me to enjoy.
The major problem here is the game's ambition, something which, at first, appears to be an asset. It genre-blends several different play styles into one game: FPS, fighting, and adventure. Unfortunately, it does all of them poorly.
The controls are clumsy and slow to respond, particularly in the hand-to-hand combat sections of the game; you may be three moves ahead on your controller/keyboard before the PC actually does anything. And speaking of hand-to-hand, why the h#** would I throw down a perfectly good, loaded weapon, to engage in fisticuffs when I'm near death? I wouldn't. So stop forcing
me, game! The mandatory swapping out of weapons is irritating, too. When I'm picking up the same weapon I have in my hand, why not just add to my ammo? Why make me completely swap out? Another fun thing is when grenades turn into unintentional suicidal aids by bouncing off invisible walls that the player can walk through
. Insert your own punchline here.
On the visual side, the graphics are nothing spectacular and, yet, the game is poorly optimized and just as choppy at 800x600 as it is at higher resolutions. Character models don't blink, ever
...although there may be Weeping Angels around that I just haven't found yet. They also use overly grandiose hand gestures like they're fending off a swarm of hornets, and they say things like "...as your elder sister, I have always been taking care of you like a baby." Is the PC the dude from Memento, who keeps forgetting he has a sister and needs to be reminded who she is in conversations with her? Weird.
Another problem is the hand-holding. When walking into the first area in the game, before you've even had a chance to look around, the player character says, "This ancient fountain might be the key to progress. Maybe I can get the water flowing again. That might help." How about letting me
figure that out? Otherwise, why am I playing?
I wanted to like this. I still do, but the fail is crippling my will to live. It wants to be Tomb Raider, but it controls even worse than that game, which had pretty horrible controls to begin with. It wants to be Counter Strike, but moves like you're playing underwater. And it wants to be Bad Street Brawler, which is just ... wtf?
I believe this might be a long lost PS1 game that someone just found and is trying to get running for today's computers. I might be wrong, but it sure feels like I'm not. And the fact that this is only "Episode 1" scares me a little. Here's the scariest thing of all: The Steam version is the improved
[...] My name is Ahmad Jadallah and I am the Director of Development at Semaphore and the Writer and Director of Unearthed. [...] We released Unearthed Episode 1 on PS3 and iOS back in May, 2013. Since then we got a lot of reviews about the game and feedback from actual players. It is no secret that there were a lot of negative opinions about the game, and so we took all that feedback on board and started addressing these issues. The game that we released on Steam today is the Gold Edition of the game which contains over 120 fixes based on the feedback across all gameplay systems. Holy $#^!
I love the ambition and vision, but the game needs some serious patching in order to be playable. Judging from the lack of updates since Jan 22, 2014, this isn't happening any time soon and, so, I have only this left to say: Not Recommended.