Rise of the Argonauts Review (PS3)
More action than RPG, Rise of the Argonauts offers a surprisingly well-written story that is dragged down by faulty gameplay elements.
Posted by Alex V (SpectralShock) on Jan 17, 2009 - 7:30pm EST (Jan 17, 2009 19:30)
Rise of the Argonauts was perhaps just released at the wrong time. During the pre-holiday rush, the game got lost among bigger titles out on the market. Also being often delayed and then deciding to release it last-minute did not help it any. But enough of the release details, lets get to the good stuff. Rise of the Argonauts is an ACTION-RPG. With a big emphasis on the action, and RPG being a tacked-on addon rather than a full feature. It follows the story of Jason, a man out for revenge after his wife is killed just before they were about to get married (literally minutes before). And that's where the player takes control.
If you take your Greek mythology seriously, you should step away from ROTA as fast as you can. It seems all the developers have done is grabbed a bunch of names and locations and crafted their own story with it. While that's not necessarily a bad thing, those who appreciate mythology will find alot to laugh at here. The story of Jason begins in a non-mythological way. As he is about to wed his wife, an arrow comes flying out of nowhere and stabs her right in the chest. She almost instantly dies in Jason's arms, and fury overwhelms our main character as he starts off clearing his castle from the bad guys. After that is done, Jason refuses to give up on his loved one. Instead of burying her body, he chooses to set out on a quest to bring back the Golden Fleece, an item which was lost many centuries ago that is said to have the power to restore life.
Right off the bat, Jason has his friend Hercules to help him on his journey as you start off completing a couple of simple quests of "go there and kill the x amount of enemies waiting". While that may not sound very original (and it isn't) it surprisingly never gets old, perhaps thanks to the solid combat system which I will touch on later. During his journey, Jason is guided by the gods of Athena, Hermes, Ares and Apollo - each with their own "favor" stats that you can fill up. He also meets a few characters along the way which offer (and sometimes you have no choice) to join you in your quest for the Golden Fleece. What developers have done with some of these historical characters is outright laughable. I have to mention this again, if you appreciate Greek mythology, you should expect to have all your hopes and character impersonations dashed to pieces here. Why Hercules is a steroid-pumped bouncer, the oracle is very reminiscent of Alma from FEAR series, or why Perseus and Medusa love each other so much - we will never know. The biggest question of course is why such an epic adventure was turned into a soap opera. I'll let you know if Liquid Entertainment gets back to me. Of course, perhaps I am being too critical - If you know nothing about the actual story behind the game, then you will actually enjoy the story quite a bit here. One thing that puzzles me, however, is that the biggest story twist is revealed literally within the first 30 minutes of gameplay. Non-the-less, the story is worth experiencing and the conclusion is rather satisfactory, which you can't say for alot of games these days.