Alientrap's PS4/PC platformer Apotheon is a pretty game with visuals based on the style of classic Greek pottery. Sombre music plays as Nikandreos, a mortal chosen by the goddess Hera to strike down Zeus, wanders Mount Olympus looking for ways to save humanity/avenge his fallen allies. And then blood starts flying everywhere and bad guys rush at you yelling dull, generic video game bad guy talk. It's a game in the midst of an identity crisis, which isn't helped at all by its incredibly awkward combat and puzzle solving.
Click here for an Apotheon screen shot gallery.
When it's a quiet game focused on exploration, Apotheon is pretty nice. It's appropriately moody when you're not fighting, and I loved the way it looked. The problem is that the majority of the game isn't like this. I would be ok with sloppy combat or sloppy puzzles, but not both. Most puzzles are just "find X things" or "hit this switch," but it becomes a pain when you're sitting there shooting a dozen arrows at a switch fighting desperately against the game's controls.
|Making a mess on the boat.|
|Never put text on top of a life bar that players need to see.|
|One of many switches to flip.|
The game's writing is pretty weak. Since some people complained, there are spoilers below in the next two paragraphs. I don't think they matter because it's a game that barely has a plot and doesn't have any meaningful writing. The story is a fairly generic "Go kill the Greek Gods" tale that's been dumped on us by the God of War series for a decade and to no surprise whatsoever there's some big twists and scheming going on here that goes over Nikandreos' head. He's a completely faceless character with no dialogue or body language, but that's better than the grunts he fights, who yell "KILL KILL KILL" and "I'LL RIP OUT YOUR GUTS" for a few hours. Like the blood splatter everywhere that clashes badly with the rest of the game's visuals, this kind of stupid writing clashes with the game's lofty, theatrical dialogue in cutscenes. Unfortunately that dialogue's not very impressive either.
|Controls get even worse here but at least it's funny.|
|Messy, bloated user interface.|
|Cameo by the Engineers from the Alien movies.|