Wot I Think: Rise Of The Argonauts

By John Walker on February 16th, 2009 at 3:50 pm.

Blessed by the gods, he is.

Action/RPG Rise of the Argonauts came out on all formats rather recently, and the PC version came out last week. Does Jason get the fleece, or just get fleeced? Here’s Wot I Think:

“What a view!” boomed Hercules. “You can see for miles from here!” Looking across at the horizon I could see the tiled sea, and a grey, looming fog. Moving the mouse to the right angle, I could just make out the shadowy shape of a distant hill. So I went to find the graphics options, of which there are none. Quit to the main menu, but they’re not there either. Quit to desktop, search through the Start menus, directories… nothing. There are some inis I could edit, but screw that, I don’t need to see the hill that badly. Oh, I love a good port.

I won't show Hercules' view just next to here, because it would be a bit of a boring screenshot.

However, the botched translation to PC is really the last of Rise of the Argonauts’ worries. Far more comfortably played on a 360 controller it may be, but switching out the rest of the PC for an Xbox isn’t going to save it. Oh, Rise of the Argonauts, what were you meant to be?

The most obvious thought would be a gaming rendition of the story of Jason and the Argonauts, what with Jason being the player’s character. However, mysteriously, this is not the case at all. The story of Jason’s attempts to rise to power as King of Iolcus through forming the Argonauts and searching for the Golden Fleece has been put through a shredder. Some poor soul took the resulting strips and attempted to stick them back together, creating the utterly non-canon story on offer here. Jason, already King of Iolcus, is getting married to Alceme (apparently a completely invented character). During the ceremony she is murdered, and Jason begins his quest to find the Golden Fleece in order to bring her back to life.

Somehow the witch Medea, more traditionally Jason’s only wife, appears, now a former member of the Black Tongues, an evil order hell-bent on the death of Jason and his family. Of the traditional heroes making up the Argonauts, only Hercules and Atalanta (who isn’t fast, and was raised by centaurs) survive, the others gathered as you play including Pan and Achilles. And the legendary journey taken in the mythology is also completely gone, replaced by visiting three islands, each home to an heir of one of four gods (the fourth heir being revealed toward the end), by whose blood access to the Fleece will be possible. And no, the Fleece isn’t guarded by a dragon, there’s no sowing teeth and fighting skeletons (of ALL the things to leave out!), and it’s not even on Colchis. Right. Got that? It’s nothing to do with Jason and the Argonauts.

KERCHOP

The next most likely idea of what was intended, at first glance, is a third-person action game. Jason comes equipped with three weapons, a sword, a spear and a mace. Each can be upgraded as the game goes on, offering new bonus powers, and enhanced versions of each weapon’s special moves. Combat involves attacks from multiple opponents, with no lock-on, meaning Jason can leap around swiping and slashing at all of them at once. It’s reminiscent of the combat in Sands of Time, but without the jumping, and a lot more slick. Along with two attacks for each weapon and the special move, there’s also a dodge and a shield bash, to fill all the 360 coloured buttons. There’s also special attacks achieved by switching weapon, but I’m buggered if I ever noticed or needed these, the weapon switch sometimes delaying up to five seconds after you pressed it.

There’s also the ‘god moves’. These are powers you purchase as you play by assigning achievements to each of the four main gods, Apollo, Ares, Hermes and Athena. It’s possibly the first smart in-game application of the achievement epidemic, making them relevant to you progress, using them as a replacement for XP. These go on the d-pad, and are used in combat. But despite all this, it’s not a third-person action game.

The fighting, the game’s strongest feature (to put that in context: you can get through almost every fight by randomly pressing the two attack buttons, and the occasional god power if you can get it to bloody trigger – it’s nothing spectacular), is astonishingly rarely used. Fights are few and far between, and in a cosmic reversal of most story-led games, they’re a moment of respite from the utter tedium that makes up the rest of the game.

Cris Angel makes a surprise guest appearance.

If anything, ROTA was meant to be a Bioware-inspired RPG. For the vast majority of the game you’re traipsing around the enormous, bland, empty locations occasionally dialogue-skipping your way through another ghastly conversation, until you, the king, are asked to deliver someone’s pie or something. Except you’re not really gathering quests, you’re just building up a list of destinations you have to lethargically jog toward, desperately hoping for a fight along the way. The lengthy opening, in Iolcus, defies previously known boundaries for tiresome time-wasting. After being forced to run back and forth through the castle, making moral decisions of no consequence whatsoever, you’re then charged with sauntering your kingly arse down to the docks were your new boat, the Argo, is waiting. Get there and a woman asks you if you can give a message to someone back in the castle, and an old man tells you his son is missing.

So in case any of it is critical to the main plot you slog all the way back up again, Hercules faffing around behind you, talk to people, and then all the way back down, getting spun around every step of the way. The map is available through the options menu, which after appearing takes an agonising couple of seconds before it will let you select anything. There’s no mini-map, nor any compass, which makes the constant 180 turns in the corridors each city is made up of incessantly confusing and disorientating. This is not helped by Jason’s companions apparently on a sponsored attempt to perform non-stop Marx Bros routines by wedging themselves into every doorway and corridor such that you can’t get past them. Because oh boy, does this game like clipping.

Don't bother going for his heel. Or trying to poison him.

Every object you see is a good foot wider than it appears. Every wall, every door frame, every rock and gatepost, is surrounded by an impenetrable force that Jason collides into. You start to see the world this way, aiming for the middle third of staircases, taking wide arcs around children in the street. However, there’s no manoeuvring around the idiots who accompany you, leaving you to scream at the screen until they eventually shuffle out the way. (A highlight was Hercules’ crazy spinning dance he performed with a nearby guard, during a conversation Jason was having about how much he missed his dead wife.)

There are a few traditional characters you meet along the way. Medusa appears, although appears to have been cured of being a gorgon and is instead a giant blue monster with giant eels for limbs. She has a brother, rather than two sisters, and you get to cure her and make her back into a regular human… Oh, okay, I’ll stop complaining about it not having anything to do with the mythology. But seriously, Medusa? Can you really change Medusa? There’s also Achilles (apparently in his Iliad form where he’s vulnerable, but that’s about it for matching any of his various histories), who you get to fight in battle, while he makes smug comments. Which is quite fun.

Ah, familiar old Medusa, and her snakes for...

As levels progress you get to take your choice of characters with you (although there’s only three occasions of this, the game being around 15 hours long), which again echoes Bioware’s approach. Who you have with you slightly alters the experience, in as much as the comments interjected by them during conversations. But not much more. This, and the occasional moral dilemmas, are poorly understood. Say what you like, really, because it’s not going to make any difference, beyond gathering slight favour with that choice’s god. And unlike Bioware games, there’s no attempt to disguise this. Various ideas are quite nice – restoring a village of inhabitants turned to stone, giving last rites to ghosts haunting an island – but they don’t really have weight. Once sequence which could have been great, where you are charged with a philosophical debate, is reduced to randomly guessing the ambiguous answer until you get them ‘right’, repeating the sequence after each failure until you reach the end. It’s all so watery-thin.

Naturally it climaxes with at least three false endings, then a boss fight utterly incongruous with the entire game, and then doesn’t give you any closure on any of the stories of the accompanying characters, other than to see them all standing together, laughing and waving goodbye. (They might not have been waving goodbye.)

The god of moss.

It’s all so frustrating not because of the shitty port, horrible staggering, laughable animations when going up and down steps, the slowest doors in gaming history (okay, it IS so frustrating because of these godforsaken doors – they’re not hiding loading, they’re simply the stupidest near-static animations you could ever imagine, especially after the game has forced you to run through them for a fourth time on your constant back-and-forth labouring), nor even the occasional crashing to desktop during conversations. It’s frustrating because it’s half a good game. You can see why it should have been good, what it could have been, and yet you’re always chugging along the boring corridors, rattling on about your dead wife. During the combat you’re happy, it’s fine. But wow, it needed more of that.

Oh, and missing out the fighting skeletons. Good grief.

, , .

84 Comments »

  1. teo says:

    Great opening paragraph =)

  2. Über Nerd says:

    So Jason is the King of LOLcus?

  3. GriddleOctopus says:

    Seem to remember that Alceme was Hercules’ mum… Harryhausen might not have been totally accurate himself, but he stuck pretty close to the myths wherever possible and he made it fun. Come on chaps, subtle Edutainment is fine – look at Bookworm Adventure!

  4. The Poisoned Sponge says:

    Hasn’t this only just come out on all formats? It’s certainly newly in the charts on 360 and PS3 at GAME.

    It is, however, very dissapointing that it is so god-awful, and really, why use a famous story if you’re not… gonna use it?

  5. Bobsy says:

    Okay Argonauts, you can sit back down now.

    Shame, really. I suddenly recalled its existence a few days ago and it piqued my interest, but yeah, it’s sounding a bit half-arsed. How can you change medusa? Easily the best known Greek myth-monster.

    Incidentally: on skeletons, while it was easily the best bit of any Harryhausen film ever, it does have a really ridiculous shot in the sequence, where the skellies are marching ominously towards the camera, pause, shriek and then run off in a completely different direction. Never fails to make me laugh like a drain.

  6. Heliocentric says:

    Hah.. The joke is ol’ greek storys were an utter mish mash anyway, parts swapped characters added and removed. So thats fine. They were really harping Mass Effect: The Greek years that i thought it was developed using the mass effect underpinnings (like how ifinity engine and neverwinter nitghts were pimped out).

    Shame it wasnt, another game to ignore then.

  7. Azhrarn says:

    “It is, however, very dissapointing that it is so god-awful, and really, why use a famous story if you’re not… gonna use it?”

    Ownership of the IP, what else.
    It’s not as if they tried to make a good game or even tell a good story (which Jason and the Argonauts certainly is).
    They violated a beautiful story and 2 millennia worth of mythology to make a quick buck, that is all they did.
    And with such an abysmal result I doubt they intended anything else.

  8. John Walker says:

    Gril, Alcmene was Hercules’ mum. Alcimede was Jason’s mother. And Aeson his father. Did that confuse someone? Alceme appears to be completely made up, however.

  9. Ian says:

    What I want to know is if you can sway to the Dark Side (or whatever) by eating the pie you’ve promised to deliver.

  10. shon says:

    The 14 year old myth-nerd in me would die of a stroke if I ever played this game.

  11. Tei says:

    Of course, Jason. King of Lolcats.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iolcus

  12. Markoff Chaney says:

    Excellent review! I hope it steers more people away from this little game. It is decent in that it is talky, but nothing seems to have lasting impact and you know what god you will appease by, as you mentioned, the symbols of the gods right next to the dialogue choice! The real fun stuff is the smashing and there’s far too little of the smashing to go around. Of course, the smashing is utterly mindless as well and can be beaten without any thought or skill. Interface is pure console and it does play best on the 360 pad. That pad has served much better games, however. I maintain the game will be worth it at 10-20$ (maybe) but it’s sure not worth full price.
    -EDIT- I almost forgot my CTD every hour. Good Times!

  13. dazed says:

    Weirdly, I am enjoying the fuck out of this game… so… peaceful… Like taking a nice nap. Very soothing.

    Kind of like the way my GF likes me watching Star Trek: DS9 at night while she is trying to sleep, sooooothing banal background noise.

  14. phil says:

    Didn’t pretty much every myth have more distinct versions than Street Fighter 2 – perhaps the developers just dug deep into the ancient texts and discovered an authentic retelling where Medusa chooses to model herself after the villian in the Little Mermaid?

  15. Ian says:

    @ Phil: I almost commented on the Ursula-alike but I wasn’t sure whether it was more likely that Ursula was modelled on some famous image of Medusa that I was unaware of.

  16. Gap Gen says:

    An Archimedes game would be great. I mean, it has vast war machines, and at a pinch, “disturbing someone’s circles” could be a euphemism for kicking them in the nads.

  17. Catastrophe says:

    You could use that shield as a tent at night. Genius efficiency. Weapons that double as sleeping quarters.

  18. Pags says:

    I posted my thoughts in the forums, but I’d like to say that playing the thing on a console does not make the thing handle any better except perhaps for during the combat which is the one saving grace.

  19. Heliocentric says:

    @Catastrophe

    Thats no shield, its someone’s pie or something

  20. flo says:

    sounds a little bit like someone tried to make a pc/console version out of “Hero of Sparta” for the iphone, only that was fun at least. (the “story” is different, but at least the button mashing works and suits the device)

  21. Ian says:

    Maybe he was meant to deliver a cow pie to Desperate Dan, ate it, and is now using the enormous dish as a shield?

  22. Cooper says:

    Boo… I was looking forward to this game, it seemed like an agreeable riff off of Greek mythology (of which I am a bit of a hobby-fan – and subscribe to the idea that mythology is always a bit of fun, and over-the-top, so liberal license as in 300 is fine, if done well). But it seemswe’re left with a lazily ported half game. Disappojntment all round…

  23. Pags says:

    Also, it’s nice to see you picked up on the same things I picked up on John, particularly the infuriating map which does little to tell you where to go and the bizarre clipping that makes climbing stairs or walking through doors an unnecessary trial.

    Honestly, I thought the story bits were quite fun in a light-hearted way and the dialogue options were a damned sight more subtle than the stuff Bioware likes to smack gamers in the face with. Nevertheless, fairly similar impressions.

  24. Tei says:

    Let me defend all ridiculous games:

    The point of a game is having fun, and stuff like greek lore is not a end, but a medium. It could be distorted, if this helps the end. And theres something like a “temperature” or “flavour” for games. There are serius games, and there are more “pop” games. You guys can have your greek lore facts right on a serius game, but not on a gamey hack & slash light pop game ( or on a disney movie…). Is this why we have serius games, and no-serius games. Because the treatment of stuff like the original lore is different.

    I would love to (buy?) have a game with soo much greek lore, that is serius and kotor-ish. But this game is not, maybe is a bad idea to punish this game for what is not (not this other game), I think is better to punish this game for what it is.

    note:
    I guest this game is not great anyway. So don’t deserve this defense, but here goes anyway…

  25. John Walker says:

    Tei, the game is not bad because it’s a Michael Bay interpretation of Greek mythology. It’s bad because it’s tedious, half-arsed and crashes all the time. That it’s a Michael Bay interpretation of Greek mythology only makes the experience more bitter.

  26. bhlaab says:

    It is, however, very dissapointing that it is so god-awful, and really, why use a famous story if you’re not… gonna use it?

    Ask bethesda.

    Yes I take even the vaguest opportunities to bitch about fallout 3.

  27. CakeAddict says:

    Bought this game when it came out, brought it back to the shop after a few hours of trying.
    I’ve never brought a game back in the same day before.. it was bad, the combat was okayish though (I loveed to throw the spear)

    I problably would have kept it if it didn’t crash every 10/15 minutes and wasn’t littered with bugs and annoyances.
    I’ve always liked the Greek mythology setting to bad they messed it up this bad.

  28. Anthony Damiani says:

    So you recommend it, then?

  29. Tei says:

    @John Walker: What you say is Ok to me.

  30. Funky Badger says:

    Azhrarn: not sure you *can* have ownership of legendary IP.

  31. Brother None says:

    Good review. I pretty much agree and stated much of the same in my own review.

    However, I do strongly disagree that this game once had potential. It didn’t. This game, while obviously slashed down in content, ended up pretty much as they imagined it, I’d analyse. The idea was just stupid. If you take Mass Effect, put in swords and put it in a badly-written faux-Greek setting, then you have to be more careful in analysing what makes BioWare game funs. And in some ways that’s different things for different people, but everyone agrees narrative is a major factor, and narrative is what Jason and the Argonauts lacks. But I can’t imagine that’s a part of it being rushed (which it was), it looks more like it’s just badly written from the start (except a few segments which I quite liked, ref my review)

    Because in the end…it’s just boring. There’s not a single part of this game that’s fun. The dialogue is too pointless turning it into de facto monologue. The combat is too wonky meaning it’s safer to click-click-click. And “lots of walking” is a prototypical RPG crutch that’s been unforgivable for years.

    The only parts of this game that ever had any real potentials are the characterisation (which is occasionally well done but too uneven) and the God favors. They could’ve been really interesting, if it were more of a balanced system of hard choices to make and deeds pleasing or displeasing gods. Instead, Liquid Entertainment – like many modern developers – shies away from offering the player a true challenge, and instead goes back to the crutch of an XP system, only they don’t call it XP they call it favors.

    Bah. This game was a bad idea A to Z, and I’m not surprised Codemasters cut their losses, rushed it out the door and forgot about it otherwise.

    Ownership of the IP, what else.

    Greek legends are public domain, there is no ownership of Jason and the Golden Fleece, only of specific modern interpretations (meaning Jason and the Argonauts is now owned). For all intents and purposes it is a modern IP.

    And I fully agree.
    Since the characters are fairly divorced from their mythological roots, you can’t help but wonder if Liquid Entertainment would not have been better off dropping the idea of calling this a version of Jason’s tale, and instead building on a setting based on Greek mythology to create a whole new plot with a new set of heroes.

  32. Pidesco says:

    By this “Wot I Think”, ROTA really sounds like a Bioware game, only with good combat.

    Might be worth getting, if I wasn’t a total mythology geek.

  33. Über Nerd says:

    meh, Ulyesses game compelete with pron simulation for Ogygia… now that’s the stuff, perfectly linear with boobs, booze and…

    argh…

  34. N says:

    Honestly I did not have ONE crash in this game, plus the graphics were auto-maxed by it, prolly ’cause o’ my monolith-ike comput0r.

    The game is nowhere near as bad as someone would think after reading the article and the ass comments of people who haven’t even played the fuckin’ thing. Let me enlighten the scene with an ass comment from someone who not only played it, but actually finished it.
    So yeah, it’s actually pretty friggin’ decent, the way they replaced the xp system with favors is one of the most novel things I’ve seen in acton rpgs in a long time, actually it’s pretty novel for rpg games in general. They could have improved it by making you not know for which god which dialogue option is, but hey, still works great. Way better than just shifting you towards being “paragon” or “rogue”. The gods are well built and entertaining to hear, since I liked the design and voice of Hermes I took his path, and man his favors were bitchin’ to say the least. Nothing beats throwing enemies in a temporal rift. I also took favors from other gods, like shieldbasher or whatever from Ares, revive from Apollo and some lightning gimmicks from Athena.
    They all make combat more interesting and entertaining that’s a given, and yes you can slash around like a retard (although you will have a pretty shitty time doing it), but that’s like choosing plain toast instead of buttered toast.

    Saying that this game is not canon is like saying god of war ain’t canon for fuck’s sake. They made the bloated ursula medusa simply because it’s more slaughter-able than a scantly clad snakey haired bitch slithering around the screen.
    And why the hell would you like to just prance around the same goddamn’ thing you’ve read/seen is beyon- oh wait, fucking nerds, right, how could we forget. The fact that they turned jason’s little- [Oh dear, we appear to have lost the feed from N at this point. Hopefully he'll come back when he stops being offensive, eh?]

    It’s nice to see that Walker took the game as a shitpie from the very beginning, as a crap port or whatever.

    What I see as a trend in RPS is this way of NOT talking almost at all about visual design in games, it’s all about dialogue this dialogue that, never one comment about the aesthetic design of the leves, or the characters. Fucking journos only seeing to the end of their own thing (i.e. writing) and no further. Argonauts has some of the best visual design of any greek mythos game you will play up to this moment. Way better than god of war. Everything is vibrant with color in a gaming scene which everyone bitches about being “gunmetal gray” and “turd brown”. And yet no one sees this game as a splash of the good ole’ times with it’s lush worlds. Goddamn it, stop axing games just because some very specific aspect you wanted isn’t there, or more likely… stop axing games just for the fuck of it.
    The debate scene is easy as hell and damn fun to do, the fact that you didn’t have the necessary COMMON FUCKING SENSE to do it in one go (like most people prolly did) does not mean it’s retarded, it means you’re [Tragically we've run out of room for this comment - Ed]

  35. Jahkaivah says:

    Yknow, between this, God of War, and Age of Mythology video games have quite the talent when it comes to mutilating Greek Mythology worse than that disney adaptation of Heracles (Hercules).

  36. John Walker says:

    Oh, Pidesco, you!

  37. N says:

    Well who in hell didn’t see that one coming huh? It’s interesting to note that in my above post not only my comment about Jason’s original squad quality in comparison to the much more fit-for-game one we have been given by the devs now, but also my comment on the fact that this *mythos rape* you people cry about so much, happened in antiquity between writers quite often, or scribes or whatever the hell they were called back then. You should really stop with the whole censorship deal, it really detracts from… well, *you* as human beings with a spine.

  38. John Walker says:

    N – your comments were removed because you used homophobic and deeply offensive language. If one of your points got lost in that, well, I don’t mind. Make your points politely, like a decent human being, or go away. Thanks.

  39. Grimp says:

    I agree completely, your review captures the essence perfectly.

    One thing that really bothered me was the miniscule variety in enemies to fight. This is ancient, MYTHIC Greece… You go down directly INTO TARTARUS… the game could have thrown some more interesting stuff at us besides endless waves of hell soldiers and hell-minotaur things (which we saw back in the arena!).

  40. Brother None says:

    N, assuming that you’re actually up for making a point and not just abuse, I agree the aesthetic design in Rise of the Argonauts is fairly good. It’s not a pretty game considering the engine it’s running on, and I’d call its design spotty at points; I quite liked Kythra and Saria. But Iolcus and Tatarus were uninspired at best.

    And the game does have another strong point in some of its characterisation and party banter. But I’d call that spotty as well. Especially the lack of giving a proper, fulfilling ending, as John mentions, is inexcusable.

    And none of this covers the fact that the gameplay is just plain boring. I’m glad to hear you liked it, but honestly, I agree with John in the assessment that most people will be bored to tears by this game.

    As for the favor system: lots of potential, could have been novel, but in the way it is designed it is basically just an XP system that gives XP for dialogue choices. The fact that said choices rarely (never?) lead to different consequences kills it being anything more than that, since can just “invest XP” wherever you want.

    All this said assuming you’re interested in serious debate. I hope.

  41. jalf says:

    So much anger. It leads to the dark side, you know… ;)

  42. N says:

    Well OF COURSE you don’t mind since I dismantled the basis of your major complaint with the game. And DECENT human beings do not express themselves politely, they do it honestly.

    [Here's N's missing point that was lost in his offensive remarks, so his dismantling is complete]

    “[removed] into a more diverse bunch makes perfect sense. Instead of just having “the argonauts red shirts one two and three” you actually have some bitchin’ team mates, apart from the canon Hercules and Atalanta for example. And yes, she was raised by centaurs because IT’S FUCKING COOL. Greek writers took characters from popular works and created different tales or version of existing tales with them, so what the fuck.”

  43. Grimp says:

    >”NOT talking almost at all about visual design in games, it’s all about dialogue this dialogue that, never one comment about the aesthetic design of the leves…”

    While the Argo itself, as well as certain specific scenes were fairly good-looking, the aesthetics of the game were barely mentionable. Atalanta’s jungle wasn’t particularly lush (with the exception of Hermes’ shrine, that was nice); Achilles’ arena was well-made, too, but the town around it was a pretty simple affair… the palace wasn’t even particularly imposing, for such an aggressive king. There are single points here and there that are notable, but the overall design and art direction of the levels was uninspired.

  44. Grimp says:

    >”DECENT human beings do not express themselves politely, they do it honestly.”

    Wrong. Decent human beings express themselves both politely and honestly. Just because you have an opinion doesn’t mean you get to be an asshole about it. Come back to the internet when you’ve had some anger management classes.

  45. John Walker says:

    Let’s get back on track, rather than discuss N’s poor etiquette any further.

    Regarding the aesthetics, I found them mostly unremarkable. The Argo was nicely designed, with the moving parts in the hatches and so on (but oh good Lord, those DOORS), but most of the game was bland. I was surprised how clunky the Unreal 3 engine appeared, mostly smeared into monotonous corridors. There were a few pretty scenes, but I found running into invisible barriers in the more detailed areas too distracting to soak in the sights.

    The only outstandingly bad part of the design was the character design, which was mostly dreadful. But those bouncy boobies were amusing. Otherwise I found it, well, fine, a bit bland, a bit dull.

  46. Radiant says:

    Whoa someone’s off his meds.
    The article is titled “wot I think” as in this is what he thought about the game; you really can’t fault a guy because he didn’t follow rules of journalism you just made up.

    Nobody listened to Kieron when he did it.

  47. qrter says:

    Nobody listened to Kieron when he did it.

    Nobody at all!

  48. Radiant says:

    btw does this have any sex related quicktime events that get sprung on me during a family dinner?
    Cause that wasn’t awkward at all!

    Thanks David Jaffe!

  49. malkav11 says:

    Really the main article needs to mention the crashing. I may at some point play this on console, because I did like what little I got to see of it, but it’s got a checkpoint save system and while it saved after the opening action sequence, I never could get to the next save point before it crashed.

    I think the god favor system is quite cool in potential. If I don’t wind up liking Rise of the Argonauts in full, I hope that someone else picks the idea up and runs with it. Also – on the signposted dialogue decisions: there are four possible gods to approve of you, Liquid’s take on what they want you to say might be entirely different than you’d expect, and it’s sort-of Ancient Greece, which most people aren’t particularly familiar with. Without signposts, it would quite possibly be a nightmare to make the “right” decisions for your particular approach to the game.

    I can see an argument that we should be left free to make such choices on the grounds of moral reasoning, but remember that we come from a very different culture, and aren’t likely to know the factors involved the way Jason would. It’s similar to the way some of the encounter outcomes in the (lovely) 80s boardgame Tales of the Arabian Nights can easily surprise a modern American player – the game’s writing is directly inspired by the moral codes and beliefs of the Arabian Nights era setting. Such that “beating” someone can easily be the right choice, especially if you’re pious.

  50. Pidesco says:

    @John Walker:

    I know, I’m oh so clever and subtle. :P

    It’s just that: bland, getting stuck in magical scenery, bad art, bad writing really reminds me of KOTOR. Or NWN.