Apotheon Arena: Free Mythological Multiplayer Murder

Greek god-a-thon Apotheon has released a free multiplayer standalone named Apotheon Arena [official site]. “For know that no one is free, except Zeus,” once said Ancient Greek tragedian Aeschylus. Well, aye, except Apotheon Arena, mate, I just told you that was free. C’mon Aeschy, keep up!

When Pip murdered her way through Greek mythology back in February, she enjoyed Apotheon’s art style yet didn’t get on with its combat, noting that “the blows and parries aren’t nearly as satisfying as they need to be.” I’d mostly agree and felt that – although I personally enjoyed the game’s conflicts overall – combat felt a wee bit weightless at times. I was apprehensive, then, about how this would translate to a multiplayer game.

Somewhat surprisingly, it works well. Yes, Apotheon’s combat probably could do with being less clunky, but it serves to add excitement and tension to fast-paced battles, particularly when characters harness an otherwise impressive move set. What’s more, once the main game’s largely flimsy story is dropped in favour of all-out, dogged warfare, the game’s colourful silhouette-woven backdrops become fab battlegrounds.

It’s worth noting that some folks appear to be having problems connecting or staying on servers, but having dived in and out of several games throughout the day I’ve not experienced any issues myself.

You can grab Apotheon Arena for free via Steam, or within the main Apotheon game if you already own that. Here’s the launch trailer:

6 Comments

  1. ThomasHL says:

    Holy crud, when Apotheon first came out it looked like it was a spiritual sequel to the well loved multilayer flash game (arcane arena? Or something) that people have always been demanding. And now they release this.

    It must be the same developers or something right?

  2. protorp says:

    Have to re-state it each time this game comes up on RPS, in the hope that more people give this game a go and support Alientrap in the process… imho it’s a much, much better game than the RPS review would have you think. It is differently paced from a lot of other games, I can see how the lag (weapon strike animation time) between action and effect feels jarring at first, but once you get used to the contrast between fast movement and slooooow action there’s a very solid combat system. Button-mashing is replaced with a need to plan ahead in the middle of fights, to an extent which I’ve not experienced in other platformers.

    The art (and it should also be highlighted, the music) is indeed absolutely sublime; the story may not be original but I hardly think this would be possible for anyone working with such well established material.

    In the end the game is setting out to be a stylish evocation of a captivating mythos, and to my mind it does this better than anything else I’ve ever played.

    • Xander77 says:

      Gonna second that comment. I really loved the game in general (minor issues aside) and thought the combat worked quite well.

    • Beefenstein says:

      I didn’t like this very much, and I am sure other people might not like it very much either.

      And that’s fine.

      (Also I can see why the mp is free now because it wasn’t much of a draw. You can now find out yourself, for free!).

    • InternetBatman says:

      I love the art of Apotheon, and I get what they were trying to do, but I’m going to have to argue about the mechanics and combat system:

      The movement was waaaay to floaty. You would fly way too far when knocked back, and the animation to get up took forever. There wasn’t a feeling of friction. And when you had to chase someone, it was pretty common that you would overtake them and have to turn around. This made the Demeter fight supremely annoying.

      The amount of breakable stuff they had was nice, but it would bump into each other all the time, and have ragdoll ridiculousness. Stuff would get dragged for far too long.

      The weapons system was excellent; the difference between spears, axes, and knives was palpable. I used all the weapons in the game and had to adjust my playstyle accordingly.

      While the weapons were quite good, it felt unrealistic having the full 360 degrees of motion. Attacks from both the enemy or player neither looked nor felt realistic. This was probably less the animations, and more the result of the movement and control issues.

      It’s a shame that the most core gameplay was weak, because I thought everything else about the game was quite well done. Hidden areas, light, switches, levels, weapons, sound, sidequests, crafting, and animations were all done well. But movement and attacks need to be virtually perfect in a metroidvania.

  3. GomezTheChimp says:

    The whole thing is on Steam for £2.74.