Learning isn’t really a popular theme for video games these days it seems. I find that a real shame, as there is not much that can be more immersive than a well-made video game. Being dropped into the middle of a strange culture, and absorbing every aspect of it is supremely satisfying for both spirit and mind. As someone who knows quite a bit about Greek mythology, it’s quite obvious that the team over at Alientrap has done their homework as well. The weapons are all standard fare for the time, and can each serve a different purpose. There are ranged and melee weapons, but in a pinch your can throw your melee weapon with the middle mouse button. Just try not to break them all before you find a replacement. The durability on weapons adds greatly to the survival aspect of this game, but is really only the tip of the iceberg. There is a lot here to be excited about, so let’s get into it and take a deeper look at Apotheon.
The story revolves around a Greek warrior named Nikandreos, who has been sent by the goddess Hera to kill her god-husband Zeus as punishment for abandoning the people of Greece. Along the way you will fight Zeus’ brothers, daughters, and sons. As you defeat them, you will be powered up. Artemis’ Bow will allow you to fire arrows faster, Apollo’s Lyre will illuminate the dark so a torch isn’t a complete necessity. Before you fight the gods, you will need to complete objectives within their realm. These usually consist of “find this” but some are a bit more thought out. Stealthing around a Satyr party to smash all their wine and make them leave is bliss. Make good use of your Assassin’s Dagger, which does 600% damage from behind. It might also be a good idea to craft some stealth potions… Or you can craft a bunch of explosives and healing salves, and just go Rambo on them. The choice is yours, and adds quite a lot to the replayability.
On top of using a different loadout of weapons, there is also an advanced difficulty mode. Enemies have more health, swing faster, and hit harder… I wouldn’t recommend it to start with due to the quick nature of the combat. The aesthetic in the game really captured me, it is all based on the Greek art commonly seen on all manner of decor of the time. When the game goes extremely dark, you might notice that the dark nothingness appears to be made of stone. Major kudos to the guy who thought that one up. I just wish the music was able to keep pace with the graphics, but unfortunately, to me it falls a bit short. It’s not that the music breaks the mood, or isn’t enjoyable. I just found that the songs didn’t really stick with me. Still, the multitude of creatures and heroes and gods that you meet along your path towards bloody revenge would be enough for me to want to complete the story, even if there were no music at all.
There is very little criticism I was able to find in Apotheon. Some of the hitboxes are wonky, which can lead to a comical mid-combat moment of both characters flailing their weapons wildly and hitting nothing but air. The music is also a bit bland, as I stated previously. Overall though, I love everything Apotheon has to offer. The endless struggle to find a useable weapon and shield, the crafting of potions capable of amazing feats, and the terrific speed of the running and combat. The entire game feels very fluid, and comes together to form an experience that I’ve never had before and doubt I ever will again. While you won’t be able to write an essay on the rise and fall of Greece, Apotheon is a great game to brush up on your mythology. Or you can just enjoy it for the experience it is, which is great. But I think the tidbits posted add a great deal. Who doesn’t want to read a little passage about Apollo? And once you’re done learning about him, you can murder him! Huge thanks to the folks at Alientrap for developing something that is so much fun, and even slightly edifying.
Summary: Greek action-adventure peppered with survival elements and lessons on mythology.
Final Score: 8/10 for aesthetic, story, replayability, and education.
Apotheon releases on Steam Feb 3th, and it’s FREE on Playstation 4 as one of the PS Plus games in February
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