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For those that haven't seen this game yet:



When I was twelve I discovered Greek mythology, and time an again I have found the stories to be rather enchanting; I have been waiting in anticipation for this one since I read about it a year ago. Forget what you read on IGN, this is a solid game.... IF you can overlook a few problems.

First the Good:

Art:
From the set design to the special effects to the creature and costumes to the animation, it's all beautiful with a scope in line with the story being told.

Music:
The composer from "The 300" signed on for this game, and the result was a perfect match for this digital representation of Ancient Greece.

The Story:
This is a perfect mix of various elements of the Greek myth with an eye toward making it all as cinematic as possible. This story could have made a pretty good adventure flick.

The Gameplay:
This one is likely to be controversial. I'm sure some will compare the gameplay to a Bioware RPG. With a few caveats that's the case.

Basically combat is button mashing, but it is only as random as you choose to let it be. My particular favorite combo was impaling foes with the spear in order to decapitate them with my shield. By the end of the game the various combos allow you to wade into a group of five or so and just sort of plow through them with various slow-mos as shields splinter and heads go flying. It's great fun

The Voice Acting:
Pretty much solid casting all around. Nothing amazing, but easily on the level of a good summer blockbuster.


Now the bad.....

BUGS:
Basically it looks like the game was rushed out into stores for Christmas, and a general lack of polish shows in several areas.

There are two main ones that plagued me for my entire play experience. Foremost is a crash bug that seems to occur during conversations, which are frequent. This first bug works in conjunction with a save game bug that will inconsistently save your progress. The result is having to replay areas that you already went through and redo your upgrades - one particular stand out, at a certain point in the game you will be run through a debate about the Golden Fleece. I loved it the first time, but six replays later I was thanking Athena that I finally didn't crash.

Also of note, this is the first Unreal3 engined game that didn't run smooth as glass in 1440x900 on my now outdated sig rig, and it runs Bioshock with DX10, 16x Af, and 2xAA smoothly. There are stuttering issues that really shouldn't be here, and I can only assume that the dev team didn't have enough time to tweak it before they had to produce a release candidate.

The graphical options consist entirely of your choice of resolution, and that's it. Anything more has to be configured by tweaking the .ini file. Controls are not freely configurable, but instead have a few built in schemes to choose from.

Level Design:
Get's the job done, but it's all boils down to narrow pathways to take you to your next objective. And not very many pathways at that.


Final Score: C

It would have been a "B+", but I'm not inclined to forgive the unfinished state. Still a thumbs up, especially if Codemasters ponies up the dough to patch the crash-bugs and the stuttering.