Achilles: Legends Untold
First Impressions of the Preview.
A rather soft-spoken voice actor for, what was supposed to be, a rather epic intro-scene set my expectations rather low of Achilles: Legends Untold.
This expectation was overcome in brutal fashion. By no means is Achilles: Legends Untold a ground-breaking, genre-defying, and unparalleled game but it is not bad either. The game is, in my opinion, sold. Far above what I expected and with limited bugs; the only one that comes to mind is where an enemy was stuck within a wall. Thankfully this foe wasn't something that I was required to dispatch but it still gave me a pause during the flurry of blows that were being thrown towards me.
From the get go, the game is brutal. My first death came at the hands of my second combat encounter, something that really set in stone just how difficult the game would be. I am not a fan of difficulty for the sake of difficulty. So herein lays my first true gripe with the game; it would appear that most of your foes have some form of hyper armor. Where their attacks are impossible to interrupt and you are entirely dependent on rolls and dodges. Perhaps this is the dark-souls-like part of the game seeping through, but this took me a long while to adapt around.
The second shock, a far more pleasant one, came during combat once more; this time it became apparent that your foes are capable of working together. There is, from my limited playtime of the preview available, a rather large variety of paired animations that can be employed against you. Some, like when the enemy links hands and twirls with blades outstretched, do look awfully silly but they will always make you hesitate for a moment.
The variety of moves that your opponents have is, truly, one of the stand-out features of this title. The enemy variety is enough to keep it interesting, but they are drip-fed with the intention of keeping you enticed, yet each one has a rather large pool of attacks that they can lash out at you with. With such a focus on a high variety of attacks, coupled with the shared-animation attacks I previously mentioned, it is clear that the developers want it to take a while for you to learn how to easily defeat most foes. Despite this, it does feed somewhat into my earlier gripe, where dodging followed by an attack is the most effective tactic available. Most, if not all enemies, are best defeated with dodging and an input attack at the same time.
This certainly puts an emphasis on reaction times, careful fighting, and a slower pace; for me it feels, at times, this is at odds with the overall tone of the game. Fights are often between yourself and around four enemies, with some exceptions that I shall not spoil, and as they're dragged down into a snail's pace; it feels like the fights consume far more time than they should. This coupled with what feels like a more god-of-war style of camera compared to a typical soul-like; has left me on the fence as to if the game is having some form of identity crisis or if it is truly dedicated to doing something rather unique out of the box.
Overall the game is solid, there is no better way to describe it. Despite the issues I have mentioned, my personal hang-ups, the progress so far of the game's development seems to be extremely positive. I do not expect this to become a sensation, or a massive hit, but I do expect for it to cause ripples. Which, in of itself, is why I feel justified in constructing such a preliminary review of the preview. This game deserves as much publicity that it can muster, this is a game that I believe deserves to be shared and a chance in the spotlight.
Expect a more succinct review upon completion of the preview...
However long that may take. Wish me luck, and may Ares be with you!
An excellent game, but with some room for improvement and with an upcoming early access release rather than a full release; it is a title worth following the development of before you commit your funds.