In Achilles: Legends Untold, you play as Achilles as you regain your former strength in the service of Hades, you play your part in his war against Ares and slaughter droves of enemies in bloody combat. The story here mostly takes a back seat to the action as only the first couple chapters are playable and its overall presentation is lackluster, don’t get me wrong the game is beautiful with great lighting animations and explosions but each unskippable cut scene was rife with poor writing and worse voice acting
As the game begins, Achilles is alive and well as you relive his greatest accomplishments of defeating hector troy and subsequently falling to Paris’s bow, from there you meet hades in the underworld and so begins the legends untold part of the story where Achilles becomes a secret agent of hades, overall it’s a really cool sounding story and I hope that the later chapters make better use of it as they are released. Gameplay-wise, Achilles: Legends Untold tries to toe the line between ARPG and Souls-like and on a fundamental level it does work really well, in combat you try to make the most of your spacing and timing to get in little jabs and combos with your light and heavy attacks to whittle enemies down, there are a handful of different one and two-handed weapons for you to use with each having unique animations and damage scaling, the problem is that in its current state that combat is so frustratingly inconsistent. hitboxes seem to have a mind of their own, enemy AI is either brain dead at best and completely unresponsive at worst, your character’s attack combos will read extra inputs regularly and because the camera doesn’t cut away objects between you, sometimes you can’t even see what you’re fighting. I understand it’s an early access game so players are expected to be okay with some of these things but at the end of the day it just makes the action not fun in an action RPG.
The other big gripe that I have about Achilles: Legends Untold is in its level design, again beautifully handcrafted levels with flowing streams, cinematic backgrounds and handsome looking enemy design but that’s really where the positives end as you make your way through the game world you have this little ball of fiery light that you can chase to your next objective it works great because there isn’t any game map available and there are so many different little pathways to take that makes it easy to get lost, however if you for some reason want to explore off the beaten path it’s so hard to find your way around being a top-down game with no map or mini-map it’s really hard to get any perspective of where you are or how to get back to where you were before.
True to the souls-like formula there are these little shrines scattered about the world where you can recover your health and level up, these happen to be super far apart from one another when you have no idea where you’re going and leveling up at them is very expensive, this causes the game to have a really high risk attached to exploring non-story areas with very little reward, to compound this there isn’t all that much gear to be found either in all of the many dungeons that I explored, I didn’t find a single piece of armor or weaponry and some were just empty rooms with inaccessible treasure chests, all the gear that I found was above ground and was really far and few between.
The one area where I feel like the game offers the most redemption though was in its co-op, it’s still a choppy experience and I often failed to connect with a host but once I got into a session it was surprisingly fun, not only did it let me see parts of the game that I missed in my playthrough but having two Achilles both dual wielding and crushing enemies was way more enjoyable and it would be great to see this become a core aspect of the game as with any ARPG.
Purchase Achilles: Legends Untold on Steam!