Thursday, October 8, 2015

Apotheon Review

I got my copy from IndieBox. So it included a mousepad, a USB card copy of the game, a steam code (on the outside of the box incase you're a collector), the soundtrack a map rolled into a scroll and a poster. All for $20 which I considered a good value. You can also just grab it on Steam.

Apotheon is a classic Action/Adventure side scroller set in Ancient Greece. It's reminiscent of Legend of Zelda II and The Battle of Olympus. The characters are a great homage to the History of Greece, and the art-style is homogeneous to that of the time period. The controls are somewhat clumsy but not to the point of ruining the game. The story is... a bit flimsy considering how built up it's claims were (on the outside of the box).

The story is nothing new. God of War, Kid Icarus, The Battle of Olympus, and even Altered Beast all tackle the subject with varying degrees of success. But while God of War has a complex story revolving around a complex hero, Apotheon does very little to establish its protagonist as a person. I know very little about Nikandreos other than that the God's don't care about him anymore.

There's a lot of cool history sprinkled throughout the game. There are enjoyable quotes from ancient writes on the little stone steles explaining the character and purpose of each Olympian. “Hera has reared a violent son whom she has borne to Zeus: Ares, a god irascible, hard to govern, one whose mind knew no respect,” warns Aeschylus on a stele outside the war god’s domain. The design of each God's area is well thought out and reflects their powers.

I liked that the weapons and armor had accurate names. It was cool how they all served different purposes and could be used to devise strategies adding an element of realism to the battle.

While I have mixed feelings about the platforming and inventory management, I have no doubts about Apotheon’s stunning look and feel. I’m smitten by the art style, which pays homage to Greek amphora found in museums throughout the world. Vibrant coral reds and creamy yellows evoke the colorful glazes used to decorate ancient pottery, and real statues and murals are lovingly recreated. (The Statue of Zeus at Olympia is one example). And I love the pinwheel joints and enigmatic expressions of  the characters, which are so emblematic of the Archaic style. The music is just as authentic; the soothing sounds of a plucked lyre while hunting in a sacred forest, and heavy drums booming as I sparred with guards who caught me pilfering jars in the public market creates a great atmosphere.

Watch the trailer below and you can check out some of my gameplay here.


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