Are you ready for a story based upon Ancient Greek Mythology? Well don’t search too far because the game you are looking for is right here. Apotheon is a 2D Action / Adventure game based on Greek Mythology where you take the role of Nikandreos in his village which has been left to ruins due to the Gods giving up on mortal kind. As you start the game your village is still being attacked, and as you try to fend off the attackers you learn that the village is going through many struggles from lack of game to hunt, the death of many crops, and horrid skies from which no one can stand. So as the story progresses and you free your village you meet Hera, the wife of Zeus. She claims that Zeus himself has given up on the mortals and wishes to see them suffer and die out.
After your chat with Hera she decides to help you by sending you to Mt. Olympus where you must topple the Gods and defeat Zeus in order to become a champion so you can free your people of their plight. As you reach Mt. Olympus you will enter the Olympian Gate which leads to the area known as Agora which you can explore. So as you start you are given the task of finding three ancient deities; Artemis, Hades, and Apollo. Players can start with any of those three as they go or they can explore Agora. I chose at the beginning to explore Agora a bit which has a lot of areas to check out if you’re into that. As players are exploring they’ll notice soldiers in red walking around, minding there own business, doing their own thing. What are they there for? To make sure you don’t break the law of course! This game has a lot of what I like to call “Witness to Punishment” AI in the game.
What I mean by that is if the AI witness you violating the law or basic rules then you will be given the option to either pay a fine or fight to the death. Some of the rules / in-game laws are obvious and the guards will become hostile if and when you break them. These can include busting into an area by picking the lock and gaining entry, breaking any objects in a guard’s line of sight, or by killing / attacking the guards or any other NPCs walking around, or if you loot/steal from certain areas like shops or locked houses. I like how this was implemented but it doesn’t really make me want to follow the in-game law as it’s pretty easy to get away. Either by escaping in a random house or by going into an objective area like the forest of Artemis.
Although there is one thing that does make me want to follow the in-game laws a little bit is the combat. The combat in Apotheon is horrifying. I can’t recommend this game to anyone stuck with just a keyboard and mouse but even with a controller it’s still almost just bad. Players are given lots of weapons to use, and that I like. It’s the actual fighting mechanics and how they feel which I hate, oh so very, very much.
When players fight they’re given three weapon sets: Melee, Ranged, and throw-ables; for example fire bombs. This game should not have had a melee weapon category since all weapons can be thrown, ALL OF THEM. From daggers to the axes and even pitchforks. As for the ranged weapons, they consist of (get this) javelins, hatchets, throwing knives, stones, bows and arrows as well as many others. But what gets me is there is a melee category where javelin type weapons exist as well. Why are there two separate categories for the same type of weapon. Ranged weapons should have consisted of just bows and arrows, throw-ables, fire bombs, etc. with stones and weapons that can only be thrown. Unfortunately though that is not how it is. Melee weapons can be both thrown and used as a melee weapon and this isn’t a good thing despite how it may sound.
Ranged weapons like the javelin, hatchets, throwing knives etc. can be used as a melee weapon too. Really. Why is there two separate categories for weapons that can be used the same way. It’s very annoying, especially having to switch from the melee category to the ranged one while in the middle of combat. That brings me to my next point. The AI in this game is severely lacking in terms of logic. It’s almost impossible to have a legit fight with the enemies whether you are trying to use melee or range attacks.
I say this because if you are a melee person the enemies will run everywhere. And with the time it takes to attack it is almost impossible to time your attack properly with the enemy dashing back and forth in front of and behind you. The only melee weapons that are reasonably reliable to get a hit with are the javelin / spear type weapons due to the fact that all you do is poke them with it and the time to attack is fairly short.
The weapons with the overhead strike though make it nearly impossible to get a nice clean hit. And even once you do, by the time you do it your out of stamina. Yes I said stamina, the thing that apparently means if you miss too much your screwed. Ranged weapon combat shouldn’t even exist. Want to know why? Because apparently the enemies are straight from The Matrix. When you throw a weapon at an enemy or use a bow against them they will literally jump at the last second and most of the time your shot will miss.
Yes, you read that right, enemies will jump to get out of the projectiles path. And this isn’t just once in a while. They literally jump at almost anything you throw at them. WTF, really? As if swinging at them wasn’t bad enough I got the agents in here jumping over all my projectile weapons. The enemies do have shields, although they rarely ever use them unless they see you about to launch an arrow at them. Either way they jump anyway though. So thanks to abysmal AI and combat, Apotheon is horrifyingly bad gameplay experience all around.
The inventory could use a fix because trying to navigate it is confusing and the crafting interface is so basic you could craft an item in this game while your asleep. I won’t really say too much about them though cause I rarely even touched the inventory screen through out my play through. I did fondle with the crafting but only to make health potions whenever needed. Overall this game lacks a serious combat and AI system. I can’t talk bad about the story though. It has a nice interesting story and the art detail in this game is pretty damn fantastic and had me in a lot of aw as I played through the game.
Apotheon is an alright game with a lot of very well drawn out art as well as a very nice in-depth story where a mortal becomes a champion among the Gods and deities of the Roman Era. The many downfalls of this game though include awful artificial intelligence, controls, hit detection, object collision detection, unforgiving design in a nearly impossible combat system, and tediously inconvenient weapon sets that ruin any semblance of flow that would have been left. So much in Apotheon has not been implemented well. Maybe if things were well thought out, this could have been a great experience. I do however recommend it for anybody who made it to the Final Verdict and is still reading this Review because despite all of those issues it’s still playable and had a great story to tell bringing back many moments in Greek mythological history. Let’s just hope the development studio Alientrap can bring something more polished to the table next time.
Overall Score: 6.5 / 10
RGN Rating: Below Bronze
Available On: PC | PS4 | Mac OS X | Linux | Steam OS
Review Copy Info: A digital copy of this game was provided to RealGamerNewz by the publisher for the purpose of this Review.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Kyle Heller on 20150223 and was last modified on 20150223 .