Apotheon: PS4 Review
Developer: Alien Trap
It's no word of a lie that I'm a Greek mythology nerd.
Having lapped it up at Uni and then seen it come to fruition with the God Of War series, it was fair to say that I was relatively excited for Apotheon, the platformer/ killer game that's currently available free on PS4 if you're a PlayStation Plus subscriber.
Based on the Greek pottery look, the game sees you taking the role of Nikandreos, a Greek warrior ablaze in a world where the gods have forsaken those around them. But thankfully, armed with hubris ( a common Greek tragic element) and a killer eye for slaughter, Nikandreos won't take this lying down and deigns to take Zeus and his fellow gods to task over this abandonment.
And that vengeance quest isn't limited only to Earth either with Nikandreos completing a succession of tasks before being granted access to Mount Olympus to try and save the day.
Unique graphics give Apotheon a 2D edge that's simply never been seen before as the carnage begins. Using ancient weapons like knives and spears, as well as arrows, there's also crafting to be done to help Nikandreos achieve his goal. Collecting gold coins from the fallen, smashing urns to reveal treasures and helping you power up the achievement chain all pays dividends - as does learning to use your weapons properly.
The problem with Apotheon comes occasionally with the combat; with clubs and spears not hitting their targets when you're next to someone, there's an element of frustration to what you can and can't do in close proximity. It's particularly noticeable in fights with bosses as well, where precision is needed as you leap about. While I get that spears would be no use if you don't use them properly, the push to continually train you to get it right can lead to plentiful encounters with death.
Equally, interacting with objects and people has to be spot on as well, meaning that the controls can be fiddly at best and downright annoying at worst as you try to pull all the elements together to get it to click into place.
That said, Apotheon is a game to delve into; the blood spurts as it would be depicted on the pottery and the game actually sticks closely to Greek mythology which is pleasing to say the least. Sure, there's slaughter, but there are also Homeric odes to read on the way to the killing floor. For a free title with PS Plus, there's certainly much to be appreciated here; don't let the simplicity of the style (and the occasional niggles) put you off - this game is indeed worthy of the gods.