Review – Achilles: Legends Untold

Achilles' Heel or Trojan Horse?

Overview

Developer Dark Point Games
Publisher Dark Point Games, Galaktus
Genre Action RPG
Platforms PlayStation 5 (Reviewed), PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox Series S | X, PC
Release Date November 2, 2023

Call me a sucker for isometric games. I’ve been playing the Diablo franchise for nearly a quarter century and the Fallout franchise even longer. Suffice it to say, when I got a gander at Achilles: Legends Untold, I knew I wanted to see what it had in store. What I got wasn’t the loot-crazy action-RPG I’d associated with the camera angle but a more calculated, story-driven experience I quite enjoyed instead. It’s just a shame I’m not driven to go back for more.

Content Guide

Violence: Achilles features animated combat. There is dismemberment with extremities flying wildly away sometimes. Vanquished foes otherwise disappear into smoke.

Sexual Content: There is no sexual content of concern here.

Drugs and Alcohol: There are no drugs or references to alcohol.

Language/Crude Humor: There is a bit of foul language akin to primetime television with Achilles. Enemy soldiers often bark curses.

Dark/Spiritual Content: The game is loosely based on Greek mythology. This involves deities and other ethereal beings.

Review

Achilles: Legends Untold is not a Diablo clone but something more akin to the classic Crusader: No Remorse if it were set in ancient Greece. Players take on the role of the titular ancient Grecian hero, Achilles. Some years after being killed in the attack on Troy, he awakens, confused, to find himself in a world altered by the very events that took his life. In a journey that leads him from revenge to divine justice, he’ll get help from some unexpected gods to save both his world and realms beyond.

Initially, I didn’t care too much about the narrative. Achilles has always been just some goofball who was doomed because his mom was too lazy to get his ankles wet. Achilles: Legends Untold actually did a good job establishing him as an interesting character and, moreover, giving him a story and supporting cast I found interesting enough to see to the conclusion. It has vengeance, mythical creatures, and all the things that Greek mythology is so good at tying together.

While Achilles’ gameplay is serviceable, it does nothing particularly stand out. The game actually prides itself on having “deep Souls-like combat.” The problem is that, as a long-time fan of Souls games, I didn’t get that sense at all. The intention is that you’ll guard, parry, and dodge to deliver attacks to topple your enemies. In practice, I went with all-out offense and ultimately settled on a dash-attack cheese with the longsword I used for 95% of the game. It literally crushed everything I encountered, including all the bosses.

Combat aside, I’ll give the development team points for some interesting ideas in their gameplay system integrations. The idea of the skill tree igniting stars in a set of constellations is a stroke of genius that operated well and provided a fantastic visual. The ability to outfit and upgrade yourself with different gear for different playstyles worked well enough, too. Like Titan Quest, I also loved seeing the variety of mythical creatures strewn around the world. Finally, I think the idea that you can choose whether the bosses you encounter live or die offers an interesting twist on future possibilities, too.

From a visual standpoint, I thought Achilles: Legends Untold did a fine job translating mythical Greece into a beautiful isometric experience. I would’ve liked to see some more variety in terms of monster variants and armor you could wear, but everything from Cyclops to wraiths to soldiers was well done. The sound design largely worked but the voice acting just felt a bit jilted.

I really did enjoy my time with Achilles: Legends Untold. Unfortunately, I just don’t believe they delivered on their sales pitch of being a “legendary Action RPG with intense Souls-like combat.” In spite of repetitive (easily cheesable) combat mechanics, the characters and story were interesting enough for me to see the game to its conclusion. If you don’t mind looking past a weak voice-acting performance, there’s definitely fun to be had, particularly with the game’s budget price. I genuinely hope to see some killer DLC in a few months that’ll give me a reason to come back for more.

Review copy generously provided by the publisher.

The Bottom Line

 

Achilles: Legends Untold brings a character many of us have written off back for an intriguing adventure, despite overselling their combat system.

 

6

Joe Morgan

Husband, gamer, software developer, animal lover. When he's not writing for GeeksUnderGrace, he's probably fishing or working on content with his wife for Coffee and Adventure, their YouTube channel

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