Rise of the Argonauts - exclusive screens

Above: Hercules will be one of the many Argonauts that Jason can recruit. As a bonus, he also comes packed with the largest nipples you’ve ever seen

So don’t expect Jason to “ding” every time he kills a hundred thousand boars, or collects twenty pieces of bear meat with which he can craft a bowl of HP-increasing bear stew. Instead, Rise of the Argonauts’ leveling system tries to avoid the typical number-centric stat porn in favor of a deity system that plays off of Jason’s favor with the gods.

You’ll be presented with the familiar list of canned dialogue responses when adventuring and talking to NPCs - that range from proper and polite to rude. But your choices are all tied to various gods. So consistently responding in a way that pleases Ares will increase your favor with him and unlock special powers exclusive to the god of war. Each god also has a list of Achievement-like deeds that can be completed for new special abilities, so killing “X” amount of enemies or completing a lengthy side quest may unlock even more powers for Jason to wield.

And these special abilities won’t give your spears plus-one-to-damage or grant your shields plus-five-to-defense. When it comes to new gear and abilities, Rise of the Argonauts is all about making you feel stronger in the game, not stronger on paper. One such special ability revealed so far was the Gates of Tartarus. Activating it opens a portal to the underworld and sucks enemies into its void. We have to admit, watching enemy warriors flail their arms helplessly as they flew towards their doom looked impressive.

Above: Achilles, son of Peleus and slayer of Hector, sports some perky pecks of his own

But Rise of the Argonauts’ real ace in the hole so far is its cinematic combat system. Every enemy you encounter will potentially be one hit away from death. Knock away a soldier’s shield or sidestep a clumsy attack, and Jason will do terrible things to finish his opponents. The 300-esque slow motion effect that kicks in during these kills adds flair to these finishers, making them more like a scene from a blockbuster action movie and less like your everyday hack-n-slasher.

Rise of the Argonauts probably won’t go down in history as the first “true action/RPG,” but its cinematic combat system and anti-numbers take on RPG elements looks promising and suggests that it’ll make some waves when it releases on the Playstation 3, Xbox 360 and PC this September. Expect more updates as the game’s release date draws nearer. In the meantime, check out the latest screenshots - along with a few exclusive images by clicking here.

Apr 25, 2008