Defying Gods: Apotheon Review
Ancient Greek society is well-known in our world. We all know the mythology, the legends of the gods, the strong heroes that braved the underworld. We also all know the artwork – the detailed, creative depictions which portrayed the best and worst of mythology, the ups and downs of society, and the rise and fall of leaders.
In today’s world, this artwork is only seen in museums…or online. You wouldn’t expect to see it in daily life. But there is one unexpected place this artwork takes center stage: Apotheon.
Apotheon takes you back to Ancient Greece and let’s you play through your own mythological story. But the cool part is that the graphics are reminiscent of the famous Greek art. You are literally playing as the art. Throughout the whole game, you can see marks on the artwork, as if the graphics were painted on walls or vases and then brought to life.
This artwork dazzles. You can tell the designers really went out of their way to make the graphics match Ancient Greek art. It’s so detailed and fluid; it makes you really appreciate the art in a way you’ve never thought of before. When I first saw the graphics, I didn’t care if the game was good or bad. I just wanted it for the artwork.
The game starts with a dark and desolate Ancient Greek world. Everything has gone downhill. Zeus has decided he’s tired of helping humanity, and has had all the gods abandon the people of Greece. All hell has broken loose, and people are miserable. You play as Nikandreos, a simple soldier whose town is under siege. Nikandreos, along with others, saves the town and ends up impressing the goddess Hera. Hera asks you, Nikandreos, to fight Zeus and his siblings. She is tired of his affairs and wants revenge, and declares that the the death of Zeus would solve both your problems. Thus, you set out to Mount Olympus to seek out and defeat Zeus.
In the beginning, you just get a feel for the game, the jumping, the grabbing – the basics. It’s difficult at first because you have to get used to the buttons. But once you know how everything works, you can really enjoy the game play.
To be honest, it does get a little weird at times. We all know that in Ancient Greece, sexual boundaries were a little…blurred. The society was known for being open and comfortable with human sexuality, and this game doesn’t stray from that. For example, at one point you meet a satyr – a half man, half goat creature from mythology – and he, let’s say, is happy to see you. This game also doesn’t skimp on details of the human (and sometimes non-human) body. But most of all, Apotheon doesn’t skimp on the blood. But it’s the vibrant, over-exaggerated type of gore that just makes you laugh.
But the enemies aren’t a laughing matter. This isn’t a hack and slash game, and your enemies aren’t blindly walking into your weapons. They’re smart. They put shields up, they have strategies, and they are actually trying to kill you. You have to work to outsmart them.
Which brings me to the only bad part about the game: you really have to aim. Your weapon has to be angled perfectly towards the enemy, and your reach has to be at the right length. If you have a spear, you need to make sure your are far enough away from your enemy to actually hit them. Otherwise, they will just walk right on by your weapon and stab you instead. However, you do have different weapons to choose from, so you can pick what you like best.
A couple more things to mention: the music is pretty good. At times, it’s very apocalyptic, and it gives you that deep sense of seriousness and strength. Other times, it’s empowering, and what we would imagine to be playing in the background as we beat someone to a pulp. Also, the map is huge. It offers different ways to fight the gods, and it’s up to you how you want to do it.
Overall, I had a good time playing this game. For the price, I thought this game was solid. Maybe it wasn’t the best game in the world, but the art is definitely worth it. The music was good, the story line was interesting, and the game play was unique. Plus, it’s pretty cool killing people with lightning bolts.
Learning Curve: Medium
Systems: Windows, Mac, Linux, and PS4,