September 18, 2013 7:00 AM | Anthony Swinnich
It's hard not to notice Apotheon thanks to its rather unique, Greek pottery-inspired art style. It stands out even on a crowded PAX Prime show floor. It's more than just a pretty face, though. Alien Trap has assembled what feels destined to become an incredibly solid action title beneath its striking looks.
While we covered the visuals at great length just under a year ago, we finally had a chance to sit down and give the game a shot. The combat system is deceptively deep, despite looking relatively simple. Yes, your warrior can swing his sword. Where he swings it, however, is entirely dependent on where you're pointing the mouse. If you want to swing at someone's midsection, hold the mouse at that height. If you want to swing down at a dog, or maybe at someone's knees, hold the cursor toward the bottom of the screen. The reverse applies if you wish to swing upward. It's a subtle detail, but it goes a long way in making combat an engaging, interactive experience that's more than just click-to-win.
You'll need to make good use of your shield. If an enemy takes a swing or shoots an arrow in your direction, boosting your shield is a good way to avoid taking damage. There's also a bow and arrow, so there's an option for ranged combat for those who mostly prefer to stay out of the fray. You can and will need to pick up weapons from fallen enemies, since yours will wear down and break after lengthy use. It's adds a nice, unobtrusive touch of item management that reinforces the need to target your strikes. More accurate attacks means your weapons should theoretically last longer.
The game follows a level-based setup, though you'll be able to select which one you wish to tackle at your leisure through the central hub area. It's close to being finished, and Alientrap is planning on a Steam release for Windows in January or February. Mac and Linux versions are planned to follow.