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by Carabas Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:37 pm

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 Rise of the Argonauts

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Carabas
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PostSubject: Rise of the Argonauts   Sat Jul 26, 2014 9:57 am

This game is an adventure game/action RPG set in ancient Greece in which you play the role of Jason, king and warden of Iolcus under the protection of Zeus himself. That sets the tone for the story. It's definitely a setting in which being a hero actually means something. The game itself is served by serviceable combat mechanics which are pretty common when it comes to hack and slash games at best it will remind you of a game like Kingdoms of Amalur but most of the time you can get by with simply mashing buttons (apart from the boss fights which will require you to study your foe to understand the pattern used by the boss to defeat him or her which is pretty standard gaming practice anyway). Some finishing moves are nice to behold and give a heroic feel to the fights.

The game may not look incredibly good for 2014 and some of the textures can be a bit blurry but considering it was released in 2008 it's definitely not terrible and more importantly the art direction is rather solid with some nice touches in the background and a consistent use of assets in environments. Some faces seem to be recycled a bit too much but others really stand out in a good way. Animations are fine but they probably won't keep you up at night either. Foes usually look good and if you're into sandals you will probably like the way the main character looks (before playing this game I had no idea they made bikini armours for guys and Jason clearly likes showing his six pack abs so that may be a plus for the ladies).

Voice acting is mostly good and sometimes excellent and the music is simply incredible. It sets the tone and give an epic vibe to the game (which doesn't come as a surprise considering that the composer was responsible for the music for the movie 300 and arguably the music wasn't the worst or the most controversial part). A great soundtrack is an important feature and that's an area in which this game shines.

Considering the lack of games set in ancient mythic Greece especially when it comes to games that actually try to tell a story (I've enjoyed Titan Quest but it wasn't for the story) Rise of the Argonauts is an interesting title. It gets even better when it becomes obvious that despite its linearity (the game opens up a bit just like Bioware games in which you can explore several areas in a different sequence) it's actually a pretty good story for any fan of Greek mythology and computer RPGs. Of course the game takes some liberties with the myths and that can be irksome if you're a purist some of these changes annoyed me at first until I came to accept that the game was trying to keep things fresh and after a while I came to terms with that. The name dropping may annoy you and the fact that Achilles was supposed to be a baby at the time when Jason set off for his quest may annoy you just like the fact that some characters have slightly different roles like for instance Medea or even Perseus.

In any case the writing is really good and there is plenty of dialogue (probably too much for some players) so it's a game that will require some patience and that may explain why it didn't do so well.

What sets the game apart is the way experience is handled. After completing a quest or an achievement you get a deed that you can dedicate to a particular deity which allows you to get some points to buy skills in that god's skill tree. Each skill tree is focused on a different weapon type the mace, the spear, the sword and the shield so there is an incentive in focusing on a particular god. During dialogues you usually have four choices which are symbolized by a different icon so you can pick your lines by following a god's attitude for a particular situation. You have Ares (violent and brutal but straightforward and honest), Athena (mostly the just and sensible one but also the one who goes by the book), Apollo (compassionate, fair and dignified but also sometimes a bit proud) and Hermes (full of guile, mischief but also clever and manipulative). It gives some great flavour to the game. Quests make you feel like your choices actually matter which is good but in the end you're still moving along the main quest so it may be more of an illusion. Still the game offers enough leeway to actually feel less linear than it is and that's something that is really nice.

Bottom line it's a good title for CRPG players who thirst for a mythological setting, it's not perfect (some backtracking is involved at times and there isn't much in the way of exploration) but it's much better than what the critics gave it credit for especially if you value the story above the rest.

There is a caveat though and that's the fact that the game tends to crash a lot simply because it has to be run on a single core on modern computers. I used to have some pretty regular crashes but the game has been running very smoothly ever since I switched to a single core.

Here is the intro movie (since the trailer contains some spoilers).


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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Argonauts   Sat Jul 26, 2014 12:01 pm

I've got this! It's fun  Very Happy 

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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Argonauts   Fri Sep 05, 2014 6:41 am

It's on sale on steam right now and it's really cheap.

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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Argonauts   Sat Feb 14, 2015 4:25 pm

The game is on sale for 3 days (really cheap) on bundle stars and it comes with two other games.

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PostSubject: Re: Rise of the Argonauts   Fri Apr 14, 2017 6:37 pm

Yet another sale and it is really cheap. If you are yearning for an action CRPG with an original setting and fun gameplay then this is definitely a game worth considering.

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