Apotheon is the next game out of Alien Trap Games, which made the once 2012 XBLA House Party game Nexuiz, and more recently: Capsized. After their most recent release, they’re familiar with 2D platformers, and are now aiming for a very different spin on what they’ve done before.
According the Jesse McGibney, the art director and artist for the game, the visuals, in the style of Greek Pottery paintings, was there from the beginning, but originally Apotheon was intended to be a sci-fi shooter. As the team decided they wanted to add Gods into game, which just naturally evolved into Greek Gods. This just naturally transformed the game into a side scrolling game set in Greece, based around ancient Greece and their Gods.
Apotheon really has the appearance of a Metroid-vania, but unlike that style of game, it won’t revolve around backtracking, more around just natural progression. You’ll be able to visit previous areas, but not to unlock new areas and progress from there, just to return to them, talk to crafters and blacksmiths, make armor and items, et cetera.
Gameplay wise, it’s actually a lot like Shadow Complex, but with all melee weapons instead of ranged guns. Spears, bows, swords, knives: all of which auto-target, and all of which have different timings and different ranges. Weapons break, you ditch them, and pick up more, kind of like “limited loot”. There are secondary options like shields and torches, but they won’t take up any weapon space or effect your weapon hand. They’re just there to assist and add strategy.
Other than that, you just kind of mash the right trigger (I played on PC with an Xbox360 controller) to attack and it will auto target until the enemy is dead. There is some strategy like rolling out of the way, well-timed shield pops, and quick attacks to stun enemies before they can combo you, but nothing too deep, possibly to a fault, but it’s still early.
It is a very pretty game, with solid voice acting (from what I heard, it was loud on the PAX floor) and an interesting use of loot and 2D combat. It will be coming to Steam first, hopefully this year, and any console release (still up in the air) would be sometime after that.
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