Photo from: Alientrap

The most immediately striking feature of Apotheon is the art design; the richly colored 2d levels appear as if the game took place on an Amphora, or Greek pot. The game displays characters and in-world items silhouetted against beautifully patterned and shaded backgrounds. Developed by Alientrap Games for Steam and PS4, February saw the PlayStation Plus service add Apotheon to its line up of monthly free games. The atmospheric elements of the game have a wonderful and simple geometric nature about them: Smoke puffs in concentric circles and hit indicators are dizzying squared spirals.  The story is steeped in Greek mythology and as the main character Nikandreos you are tasked with fighting the Gods and restoring their gifts of bounty to the Earth.  Yes, this game plays as a kind of curious offspring between Patapon and God of War. Continue reading

My increasing skepticism about The Order: 1886

Photo from: Playstation

When I first saw The Order it reminded me in a vague way of a game I played growing up called Nightmare Creatures.  The first E3 trailer teased some interesting things: This was going to be the first console effort for Ready at Dawn studios; it featured what appeared to be 4 person, squad-based shooter and it was going to be a PS4 exclusive. Early info was hazier than White Chapel fog, though eventually some gameplay videos circled the Internet showing a 3rd person cover based shooter; it started getting compared to games like Gears of War and since that is one of the only reasons I still power up a 360, I was certainly intrigued.  Further artwork releases and media campaigns developed a general aesthetic for the Order that was dark and mysterious.  I was excited about the potential of playing through an alternate Victorian London, the symbols and stories of the occult fused with Arthurian legend, cutting down nightmarish monsters with an array of steampunkish looking weapons and gadgetry.  Just typing that last sentence almost rekindles my interest in the game.

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