โพสต์: 24 ตุลาคม
It is an interesting take on the Greek myths and an excellent action-rpg. It doesn't retell the stories of the characters we know from the Greek myths, but instead weaves a new tale that showcases those legends. It's very much the Greek Mythos version of Jade Empire.
You begin the game as King Jason of Iolcus. He sails the seas on the Argo, a large mechanical ship, and in the course of adventuring acquires new party and crew members (the Argonauts of the title). Be aware: the first 20-30 mins of the game is pretty bad, but once you speak to the gods, gain their boons and get to the Argo, the game gets progressively better.
As this is an action RPG, almost all of the combat takes place in real-time in set encounters as you travel. It's very much a button-masher/clicker. There are no random encounters, there is no strategizing, there is no pausing and giving orders to comrades in arms. The fighting system isn't too complicated, but the experience and skill system sure is puzzling.
You don't acquire experience points from kills or quests completed, like is typical in RPGs, you instead acquire "aspects" by gaining titles that build on your legend (killing X number of enemies, killing in a particular style X number of times, certain dialogue options that appease a specific deity, slaying a particular enemy, etc.) with which you can "spend" at shrines by devoting them to one of four deities: Apollo, Ares, Athena or Hermes. They each have their own skill tree, and you can choose to devote yourself to just one god, a few, or all. The game does a poor job of introducing the system and I was at least half way through the game before I realized that I was never going to be able to get the higher level skills in any one deity's skill-tree, because I spent too much on low level skills on all of them. The game also has "God Powers", which was even more confusing - I still have no idea how to use them.
The item system is... almost non-existent. You begin the game with a Shield, Armor, Mace, Sword and Spear. You will always carry these items. At certain points in the game you will gain upgrades to one or more of these items. For instance, you'll get a new Mace that does more damage and/or adds a helpful effect to you or your allies during combat. Curiously, the game will ask if you want to equip it to replace what you were using. I have no idea why, the new weapons and armor are always better than the old. It's very much 'Legend of Zelda' in terms of it's item-leveling.
Which, brings me to a potential sore spot for some: there is no item or inventory system. There is no going to merchants and buying healing potions, weapons or armor. There is no vendor system, there is no inventory system, and there is no objectives or journal system. There is no opening of chests or bashing of barrels to find loot. There is no looting of corpses, no thieving system, no lock-picking, no spell system, and you will never fire a bow.
Because there is no journal or objectives system, you are left to your own wits in the game. This is problematic, because even that is not enough if you're a completist who wants to finish all the "quests". For instance, on Saria Island I couldn't read the first Herm (monument) when I got ashore. It wasn't until later on the island that I attained a new party member who could read it. I figured it could wait and I would read it on my way back to the boat. I also gained a mission from the god Hermes to perform last rites on a number of deceased. One of the dead's body was hanging for his crimes and I had to convince a particular NPC to release it, which is a dialogue puzzle I didn't complete before wrapping up a boss fight that propels the story and which made doing those two previously mentioned acts impossible, which meant two titles I could have used to appease the gods were gone too. *sigh* Be as thorough as you can, is my advice.
While the game is linear and fails at most things RPG-related (no stat numbers to play with, no inventory, etc.), it does have a pretty solid story with lots of dialogue. In fact, hilariously, some people hated this aspect of it, completely forgetting it's supposed to be an RPG. Gamespot gave it a poor review, because the ignorant reviewer compared it to 'God of War' and complained there was not nearly enough combat. That's like comparing apples with grapes and complaining you can't make raisins out of apples. The dialogue, in fact, is the real high point of the game. All the best stuff happens in the dialogue. If you prefer games where mindless button-mashing is all you want, go play 'God of War'.
The graphics in this game are beautiful. The environments are detailed and enjoyable to play in. The character models are all highly detailed and each has it's particular and unique style. The characters are, of course, ridiculously sculpted and look like they all came from the He-Man universe. The graphics won't win any awards today (this game came out in 2008), but just about everything is pleasing to the eye. The biggest issue I have with this port of the game is that there are no graphic options to scale in the game, except for resolution. This is disappointing, and frankly lazy. This runs on the Unreal Engine, which is highly and easily scalable, so there really is no excuse for this.
That reminds me, there is also no way to scale your mouse sensitivity. The mouse is highly sensitive in this game and it took me an hour or so to get a grip on it. You would be better off with a gamepad, but the controller support seems to be lacking. It is said to support the Xbox 360 controller though.
The sound design is pretty spot on, and the voice-acting is top-notch. My two favorite characters in the game are Pan and Achilles. Pan is articulate and worldly. Achilles is a narcissist and easily the funniest character in the game. Be sure to take Achilles with you whenever you can, you won't regret it.
There were some bugs in the game: It once ate my save files, it crashes every once in awhile for no apparent reason, I hit a dialogue glitch with Daedalus (thankfully it didn't break anything), and in one or two instances I completed a fight but had to exit and load up a checkpoint save because a scripting bug prevented me from continuing to the next area (I'm thinking of the end sequence of the game). The game also sometimes feels wanting: you gain crew members for the Argo that ultimately feel unused, unnecessary, or just background dressing.
Anyway, at the end of the day I would definitely recommend this. It's not a long game, by RPG standards (10-15 hours), but it is highly entertaining.
If you have framerate issues (you can also turn off vsynch in the same file):
Go to My Documents/My Games/Rise of the Argonauts/LiquidGame/ConfigOpen the file LiquidEngine.ini (make a backup just to make sure) Change: OnlyStreamInTextures=FALSE into OnlyStreamInTextures=TRUE