This is the guest post by Fredrick Cameron and Makeover Games 365!
It has taken four years of development but has it been worth the wait? Apotheon, a heroic action game is now available to play on Linux systems. Originally accessible through Steam for Windows and by opting into the Beta section for Linux, it is now available and fully functional for the Linux user.
The setting is ancient Greek mythology and all the Greek Gods are present. The player takes charge of the character Nikandreos, and his mission is to save humankind from the wrath of the Gods; you will need to ascend to the realm of the Gods and return with many battles along the way. The ultimate confrontation is with Zeus, who is surrounded by many of the deities you will have heard of from Greek mythology. The challenge is to strip the old Gods of their powers and take control of the elements yourself – no easy feat. The game characters appear almost like puppets with the setting appearing realistic and the fighting fluid. This creates a very smooth game to play.
Is this just another hero action game?
In short, the answer is no. The developers have worked hard to keep the game true to its subject matter; they have successfully merged classic culture with modern entertainment. Nikanderos is a typical hero of this period, very masculine but without any deeper affliction. He is forced into a world on the throes of massive change, constantly fighting for his life whilst looking for redemption. The game is unique in the way it merges art and game play.
Apotheon is a 2D side scrolling game like so many before it. It literally delights a player and draws you into the game, and somehow makes you feel like you are there. A player can take pleasure in steering his character into battle and taken on the most powerful Greek Gods. Each realm needs to be explored and challenges solved before you can rise to the realm of the Gods. The fact that all this has to be done with the traditional weapons of the time simple adds to the experience.
The game in many respects looks like you’re looking at the side of a Greek vase. Figures and scenery is directly lifted from pottery between the fourth and sixth century. The result is a fully rendered, authentic Greek setting. Thanks to the open world design you are able to explore each level. Your character is the centre of the story, but the story is not set in stone. You are in control of where your character goes and how the story unfolds; it can be different each time. All these elements combine to make the player feel as though they are part of the Greek myth, not just looking in the window.
Every game has an atmosphere although some are better at creating it than others. In many games it is set by the music, whether sound tracks or background noise. In Apotheon the answer lies in humankinds continuing obsession with Greek Mythology. Many have debated whether there is any truth to the stories, but few would dismiss them without further thought. This time period holds a fascination and the game capitalises on that.
It is impossible to say which parts of the mythology are true or truth based. The confusion this creates allows us to ponder, and perhaps dream every time we are confronted with the subject. It is this that creates the atmosphere in Apotheon. It is this atmosphere that makes the game so enjoyable to play, especially on Linux.