The gods have abandoned you and your people. The city around you burns as hoards of barbarians attack. You manage to push them back, cornering them in the temple to the wife of Zeus, Hera. She still stands with you, casting you to the heavens to take it up with the deities themselves. Can you explore Olympus, gain the power of the gods, and show Zeus who is the boss?
Apotheon is a side-scrolling open-world RPG set in ancient Greece. The art-style is heavily inspired by the high contrast works found on traditional amphora; it is a match made in Olympus. The high contrast colours easily enable players to engage with the story; you are not just playing a game, you are reliving a tale told thousands of years in the past.
Like any RPG, Apotheon contains a number of quests, both story related and side, which help direct your progress in Olympus and each God’s realm. Naturally, you cannot take on Zeus’s legion without some decent armament. It is the breadth of weaponry and the manner in which combat works which really helps establish Apotheon as a game to play through to completion.
As with all combat, we must start with the weapons; the selection available is extreme. There are many different types of bows, swords, spears, javelins, slings and discs. Each of which has slightly different mechanics dictating its use. When underwater, tridents will be your best friend, but against the flying guards you might find the spears with their long reach slightly more up your alley. You are able to train your skills with individual weapons, but understanding how to use a number of them is what will allow you to succeed.
Weapons have durability and will wears down over time; eventually breaking. This often puts you in a position where you no longer have your favourite weapons, you will have to start using different fighting styles. At least you can scavenge some dregs from the corpses of recently fallen foes…
Skill building also happens, but not via standard levelling up system; instead you find armour scattered across the world in chests, boosting your defence; defeating gods will grant you their blessings and power; and spending money on a personal trainer will boost your base stats for using weapons. How much you search, and how much you explore, will be the driving elements in self development.
Together with the breaking weapons, this ensures that Apotheon is kept fresh and interesting. Your character is always improving and getting stronger. In the 10+ hours I played this game I never grew tired of coming back. I actually returned to the game on completion to collect more of those sweet, sweet achievements.
Given my recent run of mediocre side-scrollers, it was a pleasure to delve into a title which demonstrated capability far beyond that which I expected. I feel that most people would be able to enjoy this game, it gives players freedom, yet never letting them get too lost.