Free PS game is a work of moving art

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First Posted: 3/3/2015

One of the free downloads for PlayStation Plus members is an interesting indie title called “Apotheon.” Set in ancient Greece “Apotheon” is a 2D action side scrolling game jam packed with a huge amount of Greek mythology. The graphical aesthetics looks like a moving work of art.

Hera the Queen of the gods has overthrown Zeus which has created a huge conflict among the gods. Hera doesn’t like that Zeus has sided with the humans so she wants to wipe them all out. Now, you must become the champion of humanity and stop the gods’ rampage by climbing Mount Olympus and defeating them.

Similar to older games like “Castlevannia” or “Mega Man” you gain the ability of the bosses you defeat. You must acquire as many skills as you can if you want to end the war. The traversal of the world is just like the original “Castlevannia,” it is on a 2D plane where you have to walk diagonally up stairs. Even though it moves like “Metroid” it doesn’t play like it. The combat is more akin to a twin stick shooter game. You move your character with the left analog stick and your attacks are lined up with the right stick.

There are several different types of attacks you must master, such as high attacks, shield blocks and low attacks. You must learn how to use your bow to pull off precise shots. There is a bunch of different varieties of enemies so you will have to switch up your attacks and get good with all different weapons. One thing you have to watch out for is the weapons do break so you are constantly having to find new ones and since they all work differently you are always changing the way you play. Thankfully you can save your good weapons in your inventory and use them when things get really tough, like in boss battles.

All the different levels of “Apotheon” are different. Each of them is themed upon the god that is boss of that level. For example Poseidon’s level is filled with water, so you must swim to find submerged caves to find collectibles. Some of the levels have puzzles, like the mazes in the Athena level. Some of the levels have some really inventive game play mechanics like one that has you turning into a deer and running from hunters. There are several different gods and each of their levels’ present their own challenges ensuring the game will never grow stale. Each level is connected to one big over-world. There is a map screen to see all the areas you have unlocked and places that aren’t filled in are where you haven’t been. Seeing the whole map filled in is one reason to keep playing for people who like to explore and complete things. The only thing to remember is the game doesn’t pause when you pull up the map so bad guys can still attack you. Be careful when you stop to check your map.

If you enjoy playing online with friend “Apotheon” has an multiplayer battle mode where you fight your friends. There are several maps to choose from and a bunch of modes to customize your rules. The matches often devolve into hectic non-sense but it can be good for a few laughs. The multiplayer is mostly forgettable, while the single player is enough to keep you coming back.

Overall I enjoyed “Apotheon.” It hearkens back to the old style “Metroid” / “Castlevannia” games but with a beautiful green art style which looks like a moving painting. If you like 2D side scrolling adventure games, “Apotheon” is not to be missed, especially if you are PlayStation Plus member because it is free. Even if you aren’t a member you should check out this interesting independent game. It is one of the most interesting takes on the genre I have seen in recent years.