What’s Gus Playing? Ancients Blowout Bonanza Edition : Apotheon, Field of Glory 2 and a Special Ancients Madness Bonus

The dastardly dwarf of distraction prevaricates and pontificates ~

Lloyd Sabin, 21 May 2018

Escaping the clutches of Field of Glory 2 for a bit but still in a Grecian Formula mood, I reached for side-platformer Apotheon this week. I got it years ago during a Steam sale for ~5.00 and so far it has been well worth the price of admission.

So how does a mere mortal soldier kick some god ass?

Your avatar (Nik) has an old-fashioned problem with authority and has declared war on the ancient Greek gods…all of them, starting with Apollo. He also hates thieves and raiders.

They have all been acting like bastards lately, treating other gods and humans like garbage. So how does a mere mortal soldier kick some god ass? With a wide array of spears, daggers, hatchets, bows and shields scattered around Apotheon’s levels and hidden deep inside some temple armories.

Crafting is also available if you’re into that. You can craft healing potions and Greek fire grenades as well as other useful liquids as you advance through the game’s orange and red hued levels. The music is lyre-centric and very evocative too. In a strange way Apotheon reminded me a bit of Shadow of the Beast, the legendary creepy-as-hell side-scroller from Psygnosis that was released around 1990.

The levels in that game, like Apotheon, were large – yet the game had an air of claustrophobia, also similar to Apotheon. There was a bit of menace to the music in Shadow of the Beast, as there is here too in Apotheon. The environments are destructible here – you can use parts of the environments around you, whether levers, chandeliers, torches – to defeat your enemies, unlike Shadow of the Beast. Parts of the game environment will also try to kill you as well – statues come alive, torches will get you lit, traps abound.

I enjoy Apotheon a lot – more than I expected. There is some oddball behavior – the controls are not particularly intuitive and can get muddled in higher stress situations. And the Steam overlay rarely works with this game. A search of the interwebs led to others who had the same issue but no solution. So I was lucky to get the below screenshots in one session.

And I have not stopped playing Field of Glory 2 – I fought an epic Battle of Raphia this week (Ptolemids vs. Seleucids) and almost lost, snatching an epic victory just before the Seleucids could rally enough to trounce me. I’ve put a couple of shots of that match below too. And an additonal bonus!

Very first screen of the game, with a basic tutorial. It took me 20 minutes how to figure out how to descend, since it’s not exactly clear. Luckily I figured it out, and began enjoying the game. I was close to rage quitting.

 

As you can see from the game map there is a lot to be done. There are multiple missions in each game section, with roughly about a dozen different sections of the map. Most players commenting on line responded that they completed the game in about 10 hours. For me, it will probably take about 20 since I play very slowly and am old.

 

Light and darkness play a big part in Apotheon as well, and there is dungeon crawling to be had amongst the temples of the gods.

 

 

Uh, ok…random temple shaman/wise man helps me help myself.

 

Armories are also scattered throughout the temple and town levels, with weapon upgrades and armor buffs.

 

Decked out in new armor, with a new shield and spear, I am ready to take on this dark section of the temple dungeon

 

Life is rough in ancient Greece. When not being bullied by the overbearing gods, raiders make life miserable for the common people too. Fortunately Apotheon is very accessible and welcoming to newcomers, other than it’s occasional mysterious controls or rejection of the Steam overlay. If said Steam overlay allows, I will post more on Apotheon next week.

 

As a bonus, here – have a few shots of my splendid victory as the Ptolemids in the Battle of Raphia, against the Seleucids. It’s really difficult to stop playing Field of Glory 2 once you start, especially since it covers about 1000 years of history, multiple empires and has user content coming out the wazoo.

The Battle of Raphia, around 217 BC, was absolutely massive. So large, in fact, that my PC chugged along in the beginning keeping things running. Once casualties were taken on both sides and the numbers began to fall, it became a little more manageable for both me and my machine.

 

 

Exotic units abound on both the Ptolemaic and Seleucid sides.

 

With so many troops arrayed, things get very serious very quickly once the armies are within kill distance.

 

Dueling armored elephants!

 

First blood is drawn in a skirmish setting up around the elephants.

 

The Battle of Raphia was the most epic stand alone battle I have played so far outside of a Field of Glory 2 campaign, and I was really impressed at how stalwart and crafty the AI could be…I almost lost, after having a double digit lead. Well done, Seleucids.

How about one more bonus? As I set aside Field of Glory 2 (or try to) I am getting ready to start an ancient-themed campaign in either Rome 2: Total War – Emperor Edition, or in the just-released Ancient Empires mod for Attila: Total War.

Either way I would like to play as Nabatea – an ancient Arabian faction set in the north west corner of the Arabian peninsula. They are available in both the new mod and in the DLC for Rome 2.

Below is their faction screen from the mod – to my distress no victory conditions are available yet, so I may have to go with Rome 2 as I originally planned…even though they look totally bad ass in the Attila mod shot…see below.


What more could you really ask for if you are in to ancients? I do actually have 1 or 2 additional ancient-themed games for the PC that I am about to crack open as I move from Greek history to Roman, so stay tuned next week, and thanks for reading!


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