|System: X360, PS3, PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Liquid Entertainment||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Codemasters||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Sep. 30, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Mature||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Matthew Walker
May 31, 2007 - Greek mythology - you have to love the rekindled spark of interest about the myths and legends of some of the earliest heroes. Albeit to some, these heroes play a big part in the construction or deconstruction for the models of heroes we have now, both in comic books and in video games. Recently, with an angry Spartan hell-bent on taking on the gods for treating him unjustly, we would have expected many others developers to jump on the bandwagon about the myths of demons and tales of heroes. Well, it looks like it is time for the clones and repetitious games to start coming out of the woodwork. Personally, if any of them look half as good as Rise of the Argonauts, I'll be at the game store the day that it is released with baited breath.
It would be unfair to call Rise of the Argonauts a representation of the classic tale. There are moments and chronological events that will occur parallel to the original story, but for generally all of the game it is a reimagining of the story of the Golden Fleece. Here it begins with Jason already being king of the island nation Iolcus and soon he is to be married to his beloved. However, on the eve of their massive wedding, the fair lady is struck down by a hidden assassin. Jason quickly discovers the path he must take in order to revive his love. The path is to seek out the restorative powers of the golden fleece. In case you couldn't tell, this will be a love story. Albeit loosely, the core elements of a love story in the truest sense are going to be present.
Jason will leave his lands in the questionable rule of his uncle. Together with a few of his most trusted allies, he will set out and travel repeatedly across several islands to find what he seeks. 15 islands are being worked on currently. This number may go up or down depending on the time frame the game is looking at before release. We can only hope that there will be enough in order to keep us occupied, but I don't think this will be much of a problem due mainly to the fact that Rise of the Argonauts is being billed as an action RPG. We have been told that it will be more like its RPG cousins instead of its action neighbors.
One of the traits of the game that will have the modification levels of an RPG will be the Argo, your ship, that you will use to travel between the islands. The cargo hold beneath the deck will start out empty, and over the course of our journeys, we will encounter individuals that may hop on board. For example, a priest might accompany you so that you would no longer have to visit temples in order to get the blessings needed to complete the task before you. Another example is that if you run across a blacksmith and request that he accompany you and your compatriots, he will reside in the hull of the ship to help improve you weapons accordingly. In addition to holding passengers, you find along the way the Argo will also change depending on the major event that you are currently in the middle of. In a way, the Argo will act as your boasting mechanism throughout the game - a giant trophy of your journey.
Graphically, Rise of the Argonauts is shaping up to be a nice edition to the next gen library of hits. The environments pop out right at you and make you take notice of the fact that Liquid Entertainment has captured the surroundings of Jason and his crew magnificently. Speaking of Jason and friends, they blend well with their environments. This makes for an easily immerse-able gameplay mechanic in my opinion. Even the characters combat actions look resoundingly well at this early stage of development. If the orchestrated sound of the game matches up with the impressive graphics, Rise of the Argonauts will be a title to keep an eye out for.
Of course, with this being a title that is wrapped in Greek mythology that should not be a problem. The smashing success of God of War has proven that people are into and need a healthy dose of legend lore of Greece. With graphics to back up its claim as a next gen title, Rise of the Argonauts is starting the anticipation meter off to a great start for the game. We will keep you posted as new info becomes available for this eagerly anticipated tale of love and sacrifice.
CCC Freelance Writer