Apotheon is a bit weird. It has the trappings of a metroidvania, but some of its elements feel more like Dark Souls-ish systems, and the basic controls didn't feel good to me at all. I gave it a fair try, but I didn't enjoy it very much. I'll take a few seconds to say that it has a cool graphical style and potentially neat concepts, however.

Moving with the keyboard and aiming your weapons around with the mouse feels really weird, and that was my biggest issue, lack of precise movements. You have the ability to aim your weapon strikes in any direction, but it feels disjointed. Most metroidvanias I remember fondly have different attack styles for different weapons, but you more or less always aim in the direction you're moving. Not having to use the mouse to play this might have helped. Especially since combat felt like flailing around without a single clue for me. You click to attack and your character does so, but everyone and everything moves like puppets, dashing back and forth in and out of range, it's not very fun.

Then there is a stamina bar that drains whenever you attack and your weapons have durability, these aren't "hits" against the game per se, but I don't enjoy these systems. This means, of course, that maybe Apotheon wasn't for me. You find weapons everywhere, in pots and racks and on enemies, you can switch your weapons and carry a bunch of them. Same with arrows and other ranged weaponry. You can craft potions and bombs, you have armor that you can upgrade - you can upgrade plenty of your skills in exchange for hard-earned gold - you have an off-hand item - usually a shield of a torch. This game is full of nice little subsystems, but overall, I'm still not a fan. I don't want to find a thousand identical swords that I can lug around, I would've had more fun with one item per type that you upgrade.

Anyways, I didn't make it super far because I didn't feel like playing anymore of it. Some people with more patience and an affinity for stamina meters and durability might find a good metroidvania inside this one, but I'm not part of that playerbase, so after I got to the city where attacking NPCs - which you couldn't do in the first town where guards and bandits swarmed around - brought down the police of gods on me, I decided to move on.

AuthorJérémie Tessier