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Rise of the Argonauts - All News

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Box Art

Saturday - March 28, 2009

RPGWatch Feature - Rise of the Argonauts Review

by Dhruin, 00:03

Mike 'txa1265' Anderson suits up and sails out on the Argo to check out Liquid's mythological action/RPG:

So the story is linear and you get very few choices of any impact, what about exploration?  Well, once again the 'tutorial' area tells the tale.  You feel from the start like you have some ability to go wherever you want - but quickly discover that isn't the case.  The areas you encounter as you make your journey are all required, and the progression is entirely linear as you complete quests on each island and each area.  Each area has plenty of running back and forth just to accomplish the core tasks to progress through the game, but you can engage in side-quests given out by various folks you meet along the way ... if you are willing to trade off even more pointless backtracking for a few more 'deed' points.

Read it all here.

Monday - February 16, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ RPS

by Dhruin, 21:20

John Walker's latest Wot I Think column at Rock, Paper, Shotgun reviews Rise of the Argonauts.  There's no score but the description of the game as a "shitty port" and this quote should set the scene:

If anything, ROTA was meant to be a Bioware-inspired RPG. For the vast majority of the game you’re traipsing around the enormous, bland, empty locations occasionally dialogue-skipping your way through another ghastly conversation, until you, the king, are asked to deliver someone’s pie or something. Except you’re not really gathering quests, you’re just building up a list of destinations you have to lethargically jog toward, desperately hoping for a fight along the way. The lengthy opening, in Iolcus, defies previously known boundaries for tiresome time-wasting. After being forced to run back and forth through the castle, making moral decisions of no consequence whatsoever, you’re then charged with sauntering your kingly arse down to the docks were your new boat, the Argo, is waiting. Get there and a woman asks you if you can give a message to someone back in the castle, and an old man tells you his son is missing.

Rise of the Argonauts - Silly PR Stunt

by Dhruin, 21:06

Codemasters sent out this PR, outlining a silly promo campaign for Rise of the Argonauts:

CODEMASTERS® TO BRING JASON BACK FROM THE DEAD
Videogame publisher sponsors campaign to encourage new parents to name their children Jason
Monday 16th February/...Leading videogame publisher Codemasters is embarking on a quest to re-populate the nation with Jasons.

The firm, whose videogame Rise of the Argonauts™ launched on February 6th 2009, is looking to knock Jack, Thomas, Oliver and Joshua from the top of the UK’s favourite boys' names by encouraging parents to name their sons after the game’s hero.

The name ‘Jason’ is from Greek origin, meaning “healer”. It has been considered an English name since the 17th Century, yet – whilst it consistently ranks as one of the US’s most popular names – its popularity has faded in the UK over recent years, dropping down out of the top 50.

It’s now time to bring it back: Codemasters’ goal is to elevate Jason’s ranking in the end-of-year boys names, issued in December 2009.

Over the coming weeks, Codemasters will be running editorial at www.bringbackjason.com in an effort to rejuvenate the popularity of the name. The blog will look at naming and social trends as well as asking: just what has the UK got against Jasons these days?

Any parent who names their new son “Jason” will be eligible to win a year’s supply of the firm’s videogames on their chosen platform. All they have to do is fax, post or email a copy of the birth certificate to bringbackjason@codemasters.com for the opportunity to enter the prize draw. *

“These days, babies names are influenced by celebrities – and there aren’t that many famous Jasons any more,” says Richard Eddy, Director of Communications, Codemasters. “We hope our Rise of the Argonauts hero can act as a ‘virtual’ star, encouraging new parents to rejuvenate this one-great English name. Jasons, friends of Jasons, and anyone interested in onomastics should keep an eye on the blog over the coming weeks, as we document our quest to re-populate the nation with Jasons.”

Rise of the Argonauts is available now 2009 for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®, the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and the PC.

The campaign to bring back Jason can be followed at www.bringbackjason.com
Watch out for our review in the next week or so.

Friday - February 13, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ Gamebanshee

by Magerette, 18:01

Gamebanshee's Thomas Beekers (Brother None) does a review of Codemaster's and Liquid Entertainment's mythologically-themed action rpg Rise of the Argonauts, giving the game an overall score of 5.7/10. It's an in-depth review covering most aspects of the game, but here's a quick cut to the conclusion:

The odd thing about Rise of the Argonauts is that it is not really a badly executed game. It does what it was designed to do fairly well. The problem lies a step below that; what it was designed to do doesn't really work in the first place. Take the basic design of Mass Effect, put in a functional but not particular inspired combat system and make the rest of the gameplay uninteresting, without offering enough narrative strength to make up for any of it. No doubt it wasn't planned like that, but it doesn't seem set up to focus on making any one part of the game particularly enjoyable.

As a result, not a single element of design is strong enough to carry the game. However, switching between normal fights, boss fights, dialogue, and walking alleviates some of the tedium and the handful of boss fights and gameplay moments mentioned above help to redeem the game a bit more. But even so, I lost interest in the game long before I reached the end, and I have a hard time imagining that many people will enjoy this game all the way through to the finish without getting bored.

 

Wednesday - February 11, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ RealGamer

by Magerette, 17:29

A late review is up over at RealGamer for Codemasters' and Liquid Entertainment's action rpg, Rise of the Argonauts. This one gets a composite score of 7.4/10, mainly because the graphics and audio scores rate a 9,apparently:

The games story is fairly complex! However, Rise of the Argonauts is not the longest role-playing game offering around 10 to 12 hours of gameplay. The challenge on offer is pretty limited as well. Enemies attack in overwhelming numbers, and not only will you be fighting men, but minions and beasts from mythology however it’s far too easy to dispatch of them as they all behave the same during combat and, despite being equipped with shields it is relatively easy to break their guard. You will also come up against some pretty formidable looking boss battles that are sadly far too easy to overcome once you figure out what attacks work on them. Some of the bosses are huge and could have made for very entertaining level end climaxes! However you can’t help feel they’re too weak. The game also insists on you having to sit through some fairly long dialogue sequences time and time again after being defeated, this can be fairly annoying as you will simply want to resume the battle you lost.

Source: Blues News

Thursday - February 05, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Hits UK Tomorrow

by Dhruin, 21:54

PR below:

"Big Finish" Exclusive UK Launch Trailer Now Available To View Or Download From www.rise-of-the-argonauts.com
Thursday 5th February/...Codemasters today announced that Rise of the Argonauts™, an epic action RPG developed by Liquid Entertainment and published by Codemasters, will be available to buy from UK retail stores from tomorrow (6th February 2009) for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®, the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and the PC. To see the exclusive “Big Finish” UK launch trailer and for more information about the game, visit www.rise-of-the-argonauts.com.

Rise of the Argonauts immerses players in a gladiatorial adventure set in a wondrously imagined vision of ancient Greece. Taking the role of Jason, a hero and weapons master, players will battle alongside Hercules, Achilles, Atalanta and other Argonauts as they engage in brutal combat and enchanting dialogue against formidable beasts and enemies, in a vast world alive with fickle gods, jaw-dropping panoramas, deep exploration and epic quests. The search for the Golden Fleece is not only one of exploration, but of transformation: from warrior king to exalted hero touched by the gods.

Monday - February 02, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ Eurogamer

by Woges, 01:11

Tom Bramwell disses RotA, and grades the game 3/10.

Simplification isn't always a bad thing, but sadly the result here feeds into a bland combat system, where despite the impressive towers of boons and god powers available to consider in the menus, the majority of conflicts are decided by two medium attacks followed by a hard "execution" blow, or by two successive execution strikes. From beginning to end, the most considered thing you have to do is occasionally switch from your favourite weapon to one of the others to suit a particular boss, or activate a god power to buff your attacks or reinforce your comrades, the choice of which doesn't have much bearing on wherever you're currently carving up the enemy, apart from different quips and incidental conversation around about the place. There are no combos to work towards, or ways to cooperate with your pals, and most of your enemies' attacks are basic, while their masters simply follow scripted patterns.

Friday - January 30, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ Gamepyre

by Magerette, 17:09

Gamepyre has kicked up a review for Codemasters' action rpg Rise of the Argonauts, and the author is less than impressed, giving it an overall score of 68/100:

This game had a lot of promise but I have to say no sale. The storyline, although very inaccurate compared with the actual story found in mythology was the best aspect that this game had to offer. Mixed with great voice acting the game is at best entertaining for a couple of days, but once your boredom spell is broken you will not look at this game again.

There is very little action compared with all the running around that you have to do. The game feels more like you're running errands instead of actually playing a game. And when the action does come around, the whole strategy to fighting in this game revolves around button mashing. Only the boss fights offers some sort of challenge. It also seems that in the entire game there are only like maybe five or six unique enemies. From a gaming perspective this game is boring. The only way I would recommend getting Rise of the Argonauts is if you're going through a terrible spell of boredom.

Source: Blues News

Thursday - January 29, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ Ars Technica

by Dhruin, 20:15

Saying Rise of the Argonauts is occasionally on the "cusp" of "hittings its stride", the ultimate result in Ars Technica's review is "only worthy of a rental, at best":

For a game that's supposed to tell an epic story of love and vengeance, Jason spends far too much time running around huge, empty environments with nothing to do. When he does get to do something, a large portion of his activity is spent engaging in long-winded and exceedingly dull discussions with people who want to lecture him about the nature of their gods or ask him to do some random quest for them (which means running across the empty environments all over again).

Monday - January 26, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ Edge Online

by Dhruin, 20:50

A harsh, though scoreless, review for Rise of the Argonauts at Edge Online:

It’s hard to single out just one tragic flaw in the final product, which is buggy, crude, plodding and sure to disappoint gamers and mythology nuts of all stripes. Throwing out the original story of Jason and the Golden Fleece, Argonauts opens when Jason loses his new bride Alceme to assassins. Distraught, he sets off to bring her back from the dead, and tangles with a Hecate-worshipping cult along the way.

Saturday - January 24, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ Gbase.ch

by Dhruin, 22:30

GBase.ch writes they have a German language review of Rise of the Argonauts online.  Two different opinions are given, with the PC writer scoring 5.5/10 after crashes and control issues, while the PS3 author comes in at 6.5/10 because it didn't crash.

Friday - January 23, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ GPM

by Dhruin, 12:02

Next up with a review of Rise of the Argonauts is Gameplay Monthly.  Their rating is B- and here's a snip:

However, the game biggest flaws are in its main focuses: the combat and the RPG aspects. Oversimplified, the combat becomes repetitive after a while, and the many powers you can acquire don’t change that. While I didn’t miss it, some may don’t like the fact you cannot control your allies, and since their A.I. isn’t that much brilliant, you will be doing the combat almost on your own. Also, if you’re expecting a dialogue tree that affects the storyline as in Mass Effect, Knights of the Old Republic, etc. you will be disappointed, since your choices rarely will affect anything, and just express your attitude (bitter, lawful, etc.). As commented above, your dialogue choices will also give you points in the Aspect System, though not much as the Deeds.

Source: Blues News

Thursday - January 22, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ YouGamers

by Dhruin, 20:55

63% is the score for Argonauts at YouGamers in their new review.  Here's the intro, which sets the scene:

When I first saw Rise of the Argonauts in action at Leipzig over a year ago, it looked very good and very interesting. A western action-RPG built upon the classic Greek mythology, complete with head-chopping melee combat and some unique design ideas. Cue forward to the end of 2008 and Rise of the Argonauts is finally released at the very last minute before the holidays - always a sign of of a potentially rushed release.

Unfortunately Rise of the Argonauts is not just a simple rushed release with a few outstanding bugs stemming from the panic to finish the game for the holidays. Instead, we have a jumble of great design ideas, uneven art, poor implementation and bad design ideas that somehow survived to the final code. All that is then thrown together with a licensed engine for the Xbox 360 and quickly recompiled for the PC.

Source: Blues News

Monday - January 19, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ Games.on.net

by Dhruin, 11:25

Based on the PS3 version, Games.on.net has a review of Rise of the Argonauts.  Technical and other issues hold it back to 3.5/5 but the reviewer still seems to have enjoyed it:

At first, Jason is fairly weak, and the battle system seems a bit shallow – you're able to switch between weapons, and execute either a “normal” attack, or a “powerful” attack. As you progress through the game, gaining God Powers and favours of the divine themselves, the real-time battle system reveals some more depth, resulting in a unique character development mechanics and combat system, which is best manifested in each of the boss fights.

Boss fights in the game are a truly gratifying experience, with a real sense of accomplishment left with you once their often dismembered corpse is abandoned on the battlefield behind you. Boss battle difficulty ranges from incredibly easy to challenging – nothing is exceptionally difficult to accomplish in combat, but the use of tactics and strategy is favourable over mindless button mashing.

Thursday - January 15, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 23:35

Worthplaying has reviewed Rise of the Argonauts, awarding one of the higher scores at 8.3/10 and saying the game has received a "bum rap", despite a myriad of technical issues.  Apparently, the game is too old-school for many:

The other problem some may have with Rise of the Argonauts is its pacing. While the game bills itself as a Western-style action RPG, many of its non-combat aspects are a clear throwback to the JRPGs of old. For instance, in the first two hours of the game, there is almost no fighting whatsoever. Things kick off with an intense sequence of combat as you try and drive the Blacktongues out of the palace, but after that, the game quickly descends into the minutiae of naming a new captain of the guard, running errands for people who were injured in the attack and trying to find just the right person to talk to in your labyrinthine palace in order to advance the story. This issue crops up fairly thoroughly throughout the game, and at many stops along the way, you may be doing just as much talking and investigating as fighting. While old-school RPG gamers won't mind, those who expect constant combat and excitement will likely lose interest before long.

Wednesday - January 07, 2009

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ Big Download

by Magerette, 16:05

GameDaily's Big Download posts a polite and bland scoreless review of Codemaster's action title Rise of the Argonauts:

While Rise of the Argonauts is far from being a bad game, it's not a great game either. The combat is too simple and the story isn't strong or deep enough to keep players fully engaged. Bosses generally come off being annoying at first, but turn out to be easy once their pattern is figured out. Even the final boss confrontation is a generally short-lived one. At the end of it all, we were left feeling indifferent toward the whole adventure. It's a decent way to pass the time, but we wouldn't have regretted walking away from the game at any point.

Source: Blues News

Wednesday - December 31, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ The Escapist

by Dhruin, 23:33

"Compromised" is how The Escapist sees Rise of the The Argonauts.  From the opening of their review:

You've felt that sinking feeling before. Maybe you ended up at your safety school, or stayed at your boring desk job to keep up with your mortgage payments. You bought the minivan instead of the sports car. You settled.

The real world is chock full of these decisions, but you shouldn't expect to have to settle in a fantasy setting. Sadly, that's exactly the experience that Rise of the Argonauts offers. An ambitious fusion of God of War-style combat and Mass Effect-like roleplaying, Argonauts falls flat on both counts. You occasionally get glimpses of a genuinely good game, but it's clear the developers just didn't have the time or resources to pull it off. Argonauts tries for the chariot, but ends up with the mule cart. In other words, it reeks of compromise.

Tuesday - December 23, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ Crispy Gamer

by Magerette, 14:43

Crispy Gamer is the latest to review Liquid Entertainment's Rise of the Argonauts and find it wanting. On their review baseline of three options, buy it, try it or fry it, the game is recommended for the saute pan, though with a nod at some good points:

Dialogue, rather than combat, is your primary interaction with the game. This might have been refreshing, but Argonauts features reams of dialogue, almost all of which is delivered by nearly static characters in frequent cut scenes. The upside is that it's all rendered live, and you can button through the dialogue line-by-line. But the game is written so that the incidental details revealed in conversation are important -- they'll recur in later conversations, and may be needed to complete dialogue trees in which you can curry favor with the gods.

So you don't want to skip too much of the dialogue, but that means sitting through a Metal Gear's worth of cut scenes in which you'll stare at homogenous character models acting out a script that plays like a first draft. There's so much unnecessary, extraneous detail that I'd swear no one ever took a red pen to the massive script.

Conclusion:

There is enough narrative ambition here that I hovered over a "Try It" rating for a long time. But the more I played, the more the game just felt like work. It's not just the script that feels unpolished; the entire game feels as if it was rushed to get out the door in time for the holidays. Twenty years ago, this would have been a killer title from SSI. Now it feels all too much like shovelware. That's anything but mythic.

Friday - December 19, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ Gamespot

by Woges, 12:50

Gamespot chirp in with their 6/10 review for RotA (for Xbox 360).

To say that Rise of the Argonauts has pacing issues would be an understatement of Olympian proportions; so much of your time is spent running around and talking to people that combat feels like a rare treat rather than a focus of the game. It's a real shame that getting to the end of this adventure is as much a test of patience as it is a test of skill, because the combat gets increasingly satisfying as your arsenal of moves and equipment grows. It's true that only boss encounters will pose any real challenge on the default difficulty setting toward the end, but by then that feels appropriate because you're wielding godlike weapons and powers that can literally call down lightning from the heavens. With a greater emphasis on combat and fewer technical shortcomings, Rise of the Argonauts could have been easy to recommend. As it is, though, this is a great story poorly told.

Thursday - December 18, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Review Roundup

by Dhruin, 00:13

The Rise of the Argonauts reviews are starting to hit with articles at UGO, 1Up, TeamXbox and Destructoid.  None of the scores are particularly encouraging but let's start with UGO, who refer to "unfulfilled potential" on the way to a score of 'C+':

Combat, though rewarding with its frequent decapitations and bursts of blood, also becomes a repetitive process of light/light/heavy and light/light/light/heavy combos before long.  Things are kept somewhat fresh by Jason’s range of weapons and his ability to string together multi-weapon combos, but there’s rarely any need to employ any strategy beyond the basic combos.  Some enemies are better able to deal with certain weapons than others, such as shield-bearers turning away Jason’s sword with ease, but Argonauts’ combat in general feels unpolished and clunky.

Combat isn’t the only mechnical issue either.  Navigating Argonauts’ load-free environments can be quite a chore thanks to the total lack of an on-screen minimap or directional finder.  What’s more, actually getting to the map requires pausing the game and selecting the map option while the gamepad’s Back/Select button remains unused.  While I can respect Liquid’s desire to maintain a HUD-free presentation, would it have been so difficult to at least allow players quick access to the map?

1Up were even less impressed, handing down a 'D':

But even that doesn't offset my biggest complaints. You'd think that -- for a game where most of the "action" takes place in conversations -- the developers would take special care in making the characters interesting to the degree that you actually care about what happens to them throughout the journey. But upon interacting with most of the game's main characters, it's clear that they all fall into archetypal roles that we've seen countless times over in other games and in completely different genres. The brute with the heart of gold, the egotistical and skilled fighter, and the tough warrior-princess -- they're all here, and they're just as predictable as you might expect. Granted, since Argonauts is based off the myth of the Golden Fleece, it's logical to assume that the writers didn't want to get too crazy...but given the considerable liberties taken with the mythology throughout the game, they don't have much of an excuse for making the characters this cookie-cutter. On top of that, the conversational fetch quests (where you're constantly forced to run back and forth) and dialogue trees do little to make any of them interesting.

TeamXbox says 5.2/10, describing it as "incompetent":

Going long stretches without having fun is Rise of the Argonauts final error. This game could have used a lot of tightening, perhaps even a little grinding. But it’s clear Rise of the Argonauts doesn’t want to be that kind of RPG. But building attributes and unlocking God Powers is something you see in straight up action games these days. It seems like they want to be a bit more like God of War meets Fable. But without all the cool stuff.

...and Destructoid goes for a low 3/10, saying Argonauts is plagued with technical issues:

It pains me to begin this review with a damning criticism, but it is a problem so great that it overshadows anything good that Rise of the Argonauts accomplishes. Let me start then by saying that RotA is the most broken, glitchy, buggy, unfinished videogame I have played all generation. Possibly ever. This game is so badly made, I cannot even comprehend how it got past QA, let alone made it far enough to be released.

It will be interesting to see some PC reviews for comparison.

Source: Gamerankings

Wednesday - December 17, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ IGN

by Dhruin, 11:40

The first major review for Argonauts is out, with IGN taking a look at the X360 version.  Despite noting some interesting ideas, the stripped-back RPG elements, combat and minimalistic HUD all come in for criticism, as well as performance problems on the console.  The score is 6.2/10 and here's an early excerpt:

Trimming the number-crunching aspects in which the obsessive-compulsive and RPG hardcore so ravenously revel while keeping in lengthy, fully-voiced conversations between characters and an accessible real-time combat system seems to be an appeal to the mainstream. By removing the typical RPG genre complications and adding a simple combat engine with a heavy emphasis on passive abilities and the mechanical repetition of light and heavy attacks, block, and dodge moves, the game can't fully satisfy action or RPG appetites. It feels like Liquid sacrificed too much for the sake of its genre fusion.

Tuesday - December 16, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Review @ MSXBOX

by Woges, 23:25

A meagre 5/10 for RotA in its first(?) review.

Rise of the Argonauts is not a terrible game, and in some respects is quite enjoyable, especially in regards to its story. However, the low production values in the gameplay and graphics department, does mean that you’ll possibly find enjoyment is severely hindered and your patience somewhat tested. There’s some really bad design choices which may help prolong the game, but ultimately could turn gamers off completely. If you like action/adventure, then there are probably a lot more games out there worth spending your money on. If you are a fan of Greek Mythology and can overlook some of the game’s negative issues, then you’ll garner some enjoyment, albeit somewhat muted. I would recommend this game as a rental only, because there’s really nothing worth shouting about here; it’s adventuring by numbers, and its only real saving grace is a semi-engaging storyline.

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - December 15, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Interview @ Drinking Coffeecola

by Dhruin, 21:33

Drinking Coffeecola has an interview with Andrew Rubino from Liquid about Rise of the Argonauts.  The answers stick the company line we've seen before, espousing immersion over "complex menus", such as in this first answer:

Your website's mission states that Liquid's philosophy is: Through the creation of rich characters and universes, and by creating technology that tightens the player's emotional experience, liquid hopes to distill the most enjoyable elements of any given genre and create the best games out there. How does this apply to Rise of the Argonauts, and what particular niche do you see this game filling?
.
At Liquid, we believe that the best games provide the player with an emotional experience, one that sticks with him after he’s done playing the game. Everything we created for Rise of the Argonauts was created with that goal in mind. We want players to feel Jason’s anger when his wife is taken from him and then feel his despair when he realizes she may be gone forever. We want players to feel like they are truly part of an epic myth.
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When we looked at a lot of RPG conventions, however, we realized that they worked against the feeling of immersion we were striving for. Things like menus, complex stats, inventory management; they all have their merits, but they also break the illusion we’re trying to create. So, we streamlined a lot of the RPG elements. Menus are designed to be fast, Jason’s upgrades are clear without being confusing, the player doesn’t have to worry about money, etc. Doing this allows players to spend more time exploring the world, making meaningful decisions, and slaying cool enemies.
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By focusing on creating an emotional experience without sacrificing the action, we think that Rise of the Argonauts will appeal to a variety of gamers. If you are looking to really experience a true action/RPG, or if you love the world of mythological Greece, then we think you will love Rise of the Argonauts.

Source: GameBanshee

Friday - December 12, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - New Video

by Woges, 15:36

Blues' News points to a new Allies video on the offical site and states that the UK version isn't due till Feb, and something about Pan's Flute.

The Movies section on the Rise of the Argonauts Website now offers a new "allies" launch trailer for Rise of the Argonauts, Liquid Entertainment's action/RPG that will launch today in much of Europe and next week in North America, though it was recently revealed that the game is not due in the UK until February. The allies on display are the various mythological figures who will help with your quests in the game, portraying Hercules, Atalanta, Pan, and Achilles. Hercules was actually the Roman name for the hero named Heracles in Greek mythology, but he's usually called Hercules in portrayals of the Argonauts these days, and we're more than willing to forgive departures from history if it means Pan won't be playing too much of his panflute.

Tuesday - December 09, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Release Date?

by Magerette, 16:32

Several sites are reporting that the action rpg from Codemasters loosely based on the mythogical exploits of Jason, Rise of the Argonauts, now has a release date in NA of December 16th. The last news we had was that the game was being delayed to 2009, so who knows, but here are links to some of the newsbits reporting it at Voodoo Extreme, Video Game Generation (which sports a press release also indicating a UK ship date of February 9) and ShackNews.

Friday - November 21, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Delayed to 2009

by Dhruin, 21:24

According to Shacknews, Rise of the Argonauts has been delayed to 2009 - no doubt the media in the nearby newsbit is to soften/disguise that news:

Liquid Entertainment's Rise of the Argonauts has suffered another delay and is now expected to hit store shelves in early 2009, publisher Codemasters has revealed.

Rise of the Argonauts - New Media @ GamersHell

by Magerette, 16:01

GamersHell has added two new trailers and some screens for Codemaster's and Liquid Entertainment's action rpg, Rise of the Argonauts. You can stream one trailer, titled 'Honor the Gods' and  download the second, called 'Leveling Up Walkthru', from this page, and the screenshots can be found in the gallery.

Tuesday - November 04, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Delayed to December

by Dhruin, 21:02

No particular surprise with this, because the lack of hype  buildup gave it away.  From Eurogamer comes news of a delay to Rise of the Argonauts:

Codemasters has told Eurogamer that action role-playing game Rise of the Argonauts has slipped out of November. The plan, however, is still to launch before Christmas.

That leaves a rather small window in early December - in a Christmas period already stuffed with two of the biggest RPGs of this generation. No reason was given for the hold up.

The publisher also explained there will be no demo, as chopping the sprawling story into pieces for the sake of a 10 or 15 minute sampler would apparently not do the game justice.

Tuesday - October 14, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Team Q&A #5 @ RPG Vault

by Magerette, 19:58

In this fifth talk at RPGVault with the developers of the action rpg Rise of the Argonauts from Codemasters and Liquid Entertainment, they're asked what they're most proud of in their own contributions:

Vernon Andrew Dunmore
Designer

...What I'm most proud of here is that in the height of an epic boss battle with one of Greek mythology's most well-known beasts, we offer the player a meaningful, compelling choice: you can choose to redeem her, or to destroy her for the evils she's committed. In the first case, she will revert to human form and join you on your quest. Annihilate her, and you'll never see or hear from her again - instead, you'll receive both a different ending and a different Argonaut that not only completes the story, but also hearkens back to the classic tale.

Andrew Rubino
Game Designer

Personally, I spent a lot of time working on the Aspects, god powers, and equipment that Jason can gain throughout his quest...

We wanted players to be able to craft the Jason that each one wants, without any arbitrary restrictions or ho-hum abilities. A big part of Rise of the Argonauts is choices, and I feel that with aspects, god powers and equipment, we've given each one the power to make him match his or her play style, whatever it may be.

 

Monday - October 06, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Team Q&A #4 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:12

 Jonric's 4th Q&A with the Argonauts team asks for interesting things for players to watch out for.  Here's a different idea:

Steve Cornett
Designer
One thing we haven't talked about much is our constellation screen. On this, all of the standard Deeds in the game - there are more than 200 - are represented by individual stars in the sky. They are grouped together to form groupings, with each one sharing a theme.

In addition to tracking your progress through the campaign and looking fantastic (and it really does), this screen is a great way to get hints about what you need to do to earn more deeds. There are different ones for almost everything, so this feature can serve as a great way to make sure you haven't overlooked anything.

Thursday - October 02, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Team Q&A #3 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 01:12

It's been a little while since RPG Vault started this Team Q&A series on Rise of the Argonauts but Part 3 has finally come along, with various Liquid team members offering interesting places or people:

Steve Cornett
Designer
In general, I've been really impressed by the depth of our NPCs. Every one has his or her own story and personality, and it really comes through in their dialogue. Some of our articles have already talked about major ones in the game like Pytheas (an indebted merchant sentenced to death in the arena) and Daedalus (the genius behind the Labyrinth and Icarus' wings), but even the least of them have real character - try speaking to Pathras, a grieving guard whose brother was killed in the assassin's attack, or Georgidos, a centaur who is trying to keep his tribe's spirits up with some truly awful jokes.

Wednesday - October 01, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Interview @ GameZone

by Dhruin, 12:06

A different face represents Rise of the Argonauts this time with one Andrew Rubino answering GameZone's questions.  A bit on Jason:

Does he have any powers or special abilities?

AR: Jason starts his journey as a warrior without peer, but he can continue to grow even stronger by earning favor with his patron gods. Each god will grant Jason Aspects, powerful abilities that reflect that god’s ideology. For example, Ares is all about wading into combat with no concern for defense, so he gives Jason Aspects like Conquest, which gives Jason health whenever he kills a foe, and Rampage, which temporaily gives Jason the strength to toss enemies across the battlefield with every blow. Hermes, on the other hand, is more about trickery and agility, so he bestows Jason with Merciless Strikes, which lets Jason deal massive damage if he can get behind his enemies, which works great with Quicksilver, an Aspect that increases the speed of Jason’s dodges. There are 25 Aspects per god, so players have 100 Aspects to choose from!

The gods will also sometimes directly intervene on Jason’s behalf though God Powers, such as Gates of Tartarus, in which Hermes opens up a gateway to the Underworld that acts as a mini-black hole which will rip enemies’ souls out of their bodies if Jason can knock them into it. Jason can call upon Athena to grant him Storm Spear, which let’s Jason hurl bolts of lightning at his foes, blasting through their shields and tearing through their bodies. These are just two examples of the sixteen God Powers players can get in the game, but they are all very powerful and very cool.

There's also a new video out titled "Kythra", which you can grab at FileFront.

Source: Blues News

Monday - September 29, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ Eurogamer

by Magerette, 18:07

Eurogamer  posts their hands-on preview of Codemasters' and Liquid Entertainment's Rise of the Argonauts:

It's clear that in making Rise of the Argonauts the Liquid Entertainment team decided to tear up the Diablo/Dungeons & Dragons rule book in search of a third way. Every feat you achieve in the game, every fetch mission completed, every 'convey this message to my dying parents' errand, every titan toppled, diplomacy struck and moment of justice meted is rewarded with a deed point (our term). This deed can then be attributed to one of the four Greek gods who preside over the game: Ares, Hermes, Athena and Apollo...In reward for attributing a deed to a god they, in turn, bestow a gift on you: upgraded resilience to enemy attacks, proficiency in a certain weapon type, a magical healing move and so on.

It's an interesting system but, as this is a game built on fighting fundamentals, one which perhaps doesn't provide the range of reward types and nuance one might hope for. The vast majority of rewards from the gods you serve have a combat theme, upgrading different aspects of your power, always working towards making you a stronger and better fighter. Indeed, the 25 god powers, which are mapped to the d-pad, almost all result in impressive-looking death and destruction, revealing the keynote of violence that runs throughout.

Conclusion:

Rise of the Argonauts has enjoyed some creative game design in its foundations which appear to have led to a solid and interesting world now that it's nearing completion. Whether the overarching mechanics can lift the game from a mere action brawler, and whether the world of Greek gods and heroes can inspire players to stick around long enough to find out, remains to be seen, but if God of War's success is anything to go by, there's still a thirst for ancient blood among the ranks of its target audience, which may answer both points. We'll find out in just over a month.

Source: GameBanshee

Thursday - September 25, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Screens & Videos @ RPS

by Dhruin, 00:44

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has kicked up the latest Rise of the Argonauts with two videos and a bunch of screens on offer.  I think we may have linked the screens recently but the videos (titled 'Finale' and 'Pan') should be new.

Monday - September 22, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - 10 New Screens @ ShackNews

by Magerette, 18:23

Codemasters sets  ShackNews  up with ten of the latest screenshots for their action rpg slated for release this fall, Rise of the Argonauts. They're also on view at Voodoo Extreme.

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - September 15, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ VideoGameMedia

by Dhruin, 14:28

Obviously intended as a general introduction for console audiences, VideoGameMedia has a preview of Rise of the Argonauts:

So you've got some friends to back you up on your epic journey. As we already mentioned, Hercules and Achilles are your chums, Hercules using his brute strength and fists in combat and Achilles utilizing a double-sided spear. Also in the game is the sexy jungle tribeswoman, Atalanta, whose weapon of choice is her trusty bow. The wise Pan acts as your party’s spellcaster and healer, though he can whack a fool with his staff if he needs to. Here’s the bad news: none of that really matters because you can’t switch between the different characters! You’re stuck as Jason throughout the game while the AI handles your comrades. In fact, there aren’t even any multiplayer modes! Hopefully, the game can survive without them and be just fine, like Bioshock.

Saturday - September 13, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - November Release, Video, Peek #5

by Dhruin, 01:56

According to a newsbit at Eurogamer, Codemasters plans to release Rise of the Argonauts in November:

Codemasters plans to unleash Rise of the Argonauts across Europe in November.

This PC, 360 and PS3 action role-playing game reinterprets the story of Jason and the Argonauts and promises distinctive RPG mechanics that do away with endless inventory-surfing, status bars, experience and levels.

RPG Vault also has a new Peek offering a look at the god Apollo and his powers and there's a new trailer you can grab at AtomicGamer titled "Pan".

 

Friday - September 12, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Team Q&A #2 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 00:45

Gods' powers is the subject of RPG Vault's second Team Q&A for Rise of the Argonauts.  This quote talks about one that affects player death:

Steve Woyach
Design Intern
The greatest thing in this game is what we call State of Grace. When an enemy beats that last sliver of health out of you, instead immediately of loading up the last checkpoint, your video and audio change as though your character has a concussion and everything slows down a bit. Your health begins to regenerate slowly, but if you get hit again you're really dead.

This is fantastic to me because as a player, you don't have to worry about your health until it's actually important - right as you're about to run out of it. Not having to check your HUD constantly makes the game feel more tactical than strategic, which makes the combat a very strong, personal experience instead of a mechanical risk vs. reward assessment.

Thursday - September 11, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ Strategy Informer

by Magerette, 17:43

Strategy Informer does a beta preview of Codemasters'  mythologically-inspired action rpg,  Rise of the Argonauts:

Whilst we are on the subject of choices, the developers have done things in a slightly different way than most games with RPG elements. Whilst the choices Jason makes do effect your environment and the story, these changes generally apply to the immediate time-frame, as opposed to the ending or the wider game. Things like which Argonauts he takes with him, which God he favours, or a conversation or action he has on a particular island will affect how that island plays out. As for the ending, Liquid has designed it so that you can actually see each of the different outcomes by simply reloading the last hour or so of game-play, as opposed to having to play through the whole game. An interesting design choice, and in a way risky, as most people may just skip the main part of the game and just view all the endings. On the other hand, this way almost guarantees at least one replay, even if it is just the end due to the increased accessibility.

Wednesday - September 10, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Team Q&A #1

by Dhruin, 23:23

Four developers from Liquid have spoken to RPG Vault about their preferred play approach with Rise of the Argonauts:

Andrew Rubino
Game Designer
When I play Rise of the Argonauts, I prefer to talk to everyone and get a lot of information before I draw my sword and get into combat. Because of this, I lean towards the goddess Athena, whose choices show Jason considering all sides of a scenario before making a decision. This approach isn't always the nicest, but I like it because it shows how different the ancient Greek world was. In battles, she makes me a master of the spear, giving me aspects that allow me to do massive damage with a single strike as well as to call lightning down on my foes, which is always nice.

Despite all this, I can't help but go with Hermes a lot of the time, if only because the choices aligned with him are usually very funny. Embarrassing the Ionian mercenaries with insults is a nice change of pace from simply decapitating them, though he does make this easier with aspects that favor the sword.

Tuesday - September 09, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Trial of the Bull Trailer

by Dhruin, 22:31

Kotaku has a Rise of the Argonauts trailer titled Trial of the Bull.  Here's their blurb:

Codemasters is giving gamers a taste of the mythological stylings of their upcoming action RPG Rise of the Argonauts with a series of animated shorts featuring the trials of the game's hero, the legendary Jason. In this short, Zeus tasks Jason with the retrieval of the Golden Bull, held captive by ancient warriors. While the animation is a bit crude, I really dig the atmosphere they're setting up for the game.

Monday - September 08, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Peek #3 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 23:24

The Argo itself is the subject of RPG Vault's latest Rise of the Argonauts Peek:

Named after its brilliant creator, the Argo herself is the pinnacle of Greek engineering, a testament to Argos' lifelong pursuit of craftsmanship, invention and artistry. Although it bears many of the hallmarks of a classic ship of war, it distinguishes itself in a host of ways. Most strikingly, the vessel is truly massive, dwarfing even those that may be found in the great harbors of Mycenae. But its inner workings reveal why it is truly without peer in the ancient world.

In designing and building his masterwork, Argos drew upon all of the knowledge he had amassed over a lifetime spent primarily at sea. While another ship of this size might have a hundred oarsmen, he constructed an ingenious system of pulleys and counterweights that virtually allow the Argo to row itself. Other large craft might employ two or three navigators to keep a constant watch, but the great craftsman distilled his understanding of the heavens into a great orrey that would be capable of keeping the vessel on a steady course through even the roughest of seas.

Saturday - September 06, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ Games Radar

by Dhruin, 13:26

Games Radar serves up a preview of Liquid's Rise of the Argonauts:

But the RPG side of things also appears to be as watertight as its titular Argo barge (which you’re free to explore between missions, surveying your booty and chatting to comrades a la Mass Effect). The devil, however, isn’t in the details. In fact, compared to most other western RPGs, it’s been scaled back considerably. Instead of leveling up and improving your stats by affixing gauntlets to your arms and goblets to your, er, teeth, instead you’re restricted to just four upgradeable items – mace, spear, sword and armour. Each additional piece of armour collected is visually designed to remind you of the arduous task performed to obtain it. Liquid want you to see your progress etched not on a progress screen but across Jason’s face.

Wednesday - September 03, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ 1Up

by Dhruin, 12:01

A little bit of criticism accompanies 1Up's latest look at Rise of the Argonauts:

The actual gameplay is similar to most action beat-em-ups in its use of light attack/hard attacks, and you can perform special flourishes if you press the buttons in a particular sequence. The game's three main weapons (sword, spear, and mace) each have their own fighting style that can be further modified by your favor with the gods. The developers stressed that they wanted these upgrades to be immediately tangible; in many games, a passive +3 percent bonus to dexterity is only noticeable on the menu screen. They certainly accomplished this goal, as abilities that we used from later in the game were full of explosions and lightning effects, allowing us to overpower enemies, set up lightning traps on the ground, and even become temporarily invincible.

Even so, the gameplay felt fairly simplistic, and repeatedly whaling on an enemy with one button was usually enough to get the job done. The game's various death animations were a nice touch, but they quickly became repetitive, as the game went into cinematic slow-mo yet again when I beheaded Cannon Fodder Soldier No. 27,150.

Source: Blues News

Monday - September 01, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ IGN

by Magerette, 16:47

In this preview, IGN does a short summary of features and gameplay for Codemasters' action rpg Rise of the Argonauts:

The RPG side of things is very streamlined. There are no loot drops, no stat sheets and no inventory screens. You earn new weapons -- we saw the mace, sword and spear -- which can be upgraded through the smith on your ship, the Argo. None of the micromanaging of items to be found here, which makes for a friendlier game for those who don't play a lot of RPGs. But this could be a drawback for folks who like having a greater hand in evolving their character.

What makes this an RPG then? Well, there is a copious amount of dialogue. Jason visits a number of areas where he'll speak to others and gain side quests. And you do upgrade Jason by dedicating deeds to higher powers. Choice also plays a role. At one point you can decide whether to kill Medusa or save her. End her life and Perseus joins the Argonauts. Save her -- and return her to human form -- and she will join your team.

This is an RPG-lite, but there is action aplenty....

Conclusion:

There's still a lot to be done to make Rise of the Argonauts a winner this holiday. Bugs need to be squashed, the framerate needs to be smoothed out, and the visual fidelity could use a boost. While Argonauts still looks a little rough around the edges, it does show some promise. The skill tree is actually very slick. Hopefully the story and the boss battles can deliver.

 

Sunday - August 31, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ UGO

by Dhruin, 04:53

Rise of the Argonauts has been previewed at UGO's Gameblog after a viewing at PAX:

Combat in Rise of the Argonauts makes use of two attack buttons: a light attack and a heavy one. I was immediately surprised by how smooth the whole affair was. Slashing and thrusting with the spear was responsive without feeling empty. Every time I made contact with an enemy, I could almost feel the weight of the weapon, the impact of the blade on flesh. Most of that is thanks to a clever combat camera that speeds and slows key moments of action. Think of it like those scenes from Brotherhood of the Wolf, where the action would enter slow-mo just before a thrown punch or heavy kick hit its mark. The effect is satisfying visually without feeling like it’s belaboring the entire fight.

And that’s without even mentioning the procedural death animations.

Source: GameBanshee

Sunday - August 24, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Medusa Trailer

by Magerette, 17:23

Codemasters has released a 3.53 min trailer for their action rpg Rise of the Argonauts featuring the art team discussing concept art, modeling and animation of the Medusa. You can catch the download here at GamersHell. It's also mirrored in streamable form at FileShack.

Thursday - August 21, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Screens @ VoodooExtreme

by Dhruin, 11:16

VoodooExtreme has a batch of Rise of the Argonauts screens.

Saturday - August 16, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Interview @ GameSpot AU

by Dhruin, 02:53

Ed de Castillo is the face of Argonauts, talking to GameSpot AU about the game's offer.  For me, the PR gets in the way of real answers:

GSUK: What sort of abilities will be bestowed on Jason by the four gods he can follow? Will it be viable to try to balance all four?

EDC: [There are] some really cool abilities that will be both passive (meaning that they always work) and active (meaning that the player has to turn them on); all mappable to the D pad on consoles. The powers are in line with the ethos of a given god, and they serve the greater narrative in some way. Sure, it'll be viable to try and balance all four if that's how you want to play--that will all depend on how the player wants to progress Jason. One example of a god power that Ares will bestow upon Jason is the Ares Armour. Once mapped to the D pad, Jason can call upon a shining metal suit of armour that will make Jason invulnerable to enemy attack for a period of time.

...and you can nab a new trailer about the Argo itself from Codemasters.

Source: Blues News

Monday - August 11, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ CVG

by Dhruin, 22:13

Rise of the Argonauts has been previewed at CVG with a re-posting of an Xbox World 360 article.  Here's a bit on the RPG stat system...or lack thereof:

But the RPG side of things also appears to be as watertight as its titular Argo barge (which you're free to explore between missions, surveying your booty and chatting to comrades a la Mass Effect). The devil, however, isn't in the details. In fact, compared to most other western RPGs, it's been scaled back considerably. Instead of levelling up and improving your stats by affixing gauntlets to your arms and goblets to your, er, teeth, instead you're restricted to just four upgradeable items - mace, spear, sword and armour. Each additional piece of armour collected is visually designed to remind you of the arduous task performed to obtain it. Liquid want you to see your progress etched not on a progress screen but across Jason's face.

Sunday - August 10, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Departure Trailer

by Dhruin, 10:57

Codemasters has released a Departure trailer for Rise of the Argonauts.  The ~36Mb file offers a story primer through a combination of in-game cut-scenes and gameplay footage.  You can grab it from the official site or Worthplaying if you don't want to fight with Flash.

Thursday - August 07, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Screens @ Worthplaying

by Dhruin, 22:50

Four apparently new Argonauts screens are on offer at Worthplaying.

Monday - August 04, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Community Site Launched

by Dhruin, 22:13

A community site for Rise of the Argonauts has been launched by Codemasters.  There's the usual media and links, as well as a "Which Greek God Do You Worship" test and a Treasure Hunt game using Google Maps.

Source: GameBanshee

Saturday - August 02, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Interview @ TVG

by Dhruin, 00:57

Liquid's Ed Del Castillo has been interviewed at TVG about Rise of the Argonauts.  The questions wander around the genre and development rather than delving deeply into the gameplay:

TVG: Rise of the Argonauts is Liquid Entertainment's first foray into the RPG genre, let alone the first action RPG for the studio. With a heritage steeped in the RTS genre, what were some of the challenges faced in designing and developing the game's mechanics compared with how the studio would approach an RTS?

Well, some of the first games I ever worked on were RPGs, but that was for a very small company. At Liquid we have a lot of passion for RPGs and fantasy and it's great to be in the position now where we have this rich world where we think we can push the genre forward, put that passion to good use, and have the technology and team to realise this new project properly. That doesn't mean it's all been easy - of course taking the "double jump" (platforms and genres) was a trick. Two things made that less painless. First was middleware - Unreal has really helped us bridge the gap without having to spend much longer developing our own tech. Second was experience - we have lots of folks on staff with the talent and right experience for the job.

Thursday - July 31, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Storyline Trailer @GamersHell

by Magerette, 16:40

Codemasters has released another developer diary-type video for their mythological action rpg, Rise of the Argonauts. In this one, lead writer Rico Sablan describes the story structure, which like Mass Effect and KotoR, has the game's hero Jason, visiting various islands, each of which has its own subplot to unravel. You can stream the video here at GamersHell or download it at the official site.

Saturday - July 26, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Choices Trailer @ GamersHell

by Magerette, 17:58

GamersHell has a developer diary style trailer up for Liquid Entertainment's Rise of the Argonauts, featuring Rico Sablan discussing some of the various plot and quest decisons available in the game. You can watch the steaming version here

Friday - July 25, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Peek # 2 @ RPG Vault

by Magerette, 19:02

RPGVault posts their latest look at Liquid Entertainment's upcoming action rpg title, Rise of the Argonauts. This one focuses on the patron God angle, the concept of Deeds and Favor, with Hermes in the spotlight:

In Rise of the Argonauts, the player character's progression is governed by his Favor with his four patron gods - Ares, Hermes, Apollo and Athena. It can be gained through Deeds and dialogue choices. The former are Achievement-like records of Jason's accomplishments that can be offered to the gods as a means of honoring them, whereas each dialogue option is aligned to the unique personalities and values of the deities; with every choice he makes, his favor with the associated one will increase accordingly, allowing him to choose from a host of god-specific special abilities that will shape how he fights over the course of his journey.

Saturday - July 19, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Peek #1 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 01:05

RPG Vault's first Peek at Argonauts looks at the effect of gods' influences in the game:

Ares' ethos
A warrior who thinks long, lives short. Trust your instincts.
- Ares


Classically, Ares is the god of war and battle. Because of this, when you see him represented in most modern media, he all too often he comes across as very flat and one-dimensional. He just wants to stab people in the face - over and over. I get it. Next?

We really wanted to lend depth and richness to each of our gods. As such, Ares is more than just the berserker. In Rise of the Argonauts, his followers believe that instinct is our truest guide in all walks of life. Politics, poetry, debate and the like are the breeding grounds of deception and cowardice. We are most truly alive when our actions and thoughts are as one. And what better place for that than on the battlefield? Beyond the familiar domains of war and combat, Ares is the god of focus, determination and persistence. Men and women honor him through stalwart courage in the face of overwhelming adversity, and bold choices made without hesitation.

Thursday - July 17, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Interview and Previews

by Dhruin, 22:55

Let's start this Argonauts newsbit with a link to Polish site gry.o2.pl's interview, discussing the game with lead designer Charley Price:

Klecha (Gry.o2.pl): How are quests handled in the game and what kinds of quests can we expect to see?

Charley Price (Liquid Entertainment): Another common RPG element we wanted to avoid was the "laundry list" feeling that quests can sometimes give players. In most RPGs, you run around town, talking to everyone, and when you are done you've got a bullet point list of all the things you need to do. This doesn't make you feel heroic; it makes you feel like an errand boy.

Instead of performing quests, Jason earns Deeds. In Rise of the Argonauts, we are constantly tracking what Jason is doing, even if he wasn't told specifically to do it. Whenever he does something heroic, he earns a Deed, a record of his accomplishment. Jason can then dedicate his Deeds to his patron gods to earn Favor with them. Deeds range from something as simple as outwitting a gambler, to performing Last Rites on a fallen friend, or slaying the beast that lurks in the jungles of Saria.

IGN has a "brief look":

New weapons are also acquired as Jason moves along, all with their own unique appearances and effects. Some spears, for instance, can puncture enemy shields, which some maces have special damage abilities. These are all displayed in a special room of your ship, set up something like a trophy room so you can admire your collection. Armor is another factor to consider, as Jason will acquire several suits, some of which can be upgraded with special attachments that provide better defense or other effects. Your loadout needs to be selected before you head out, though, as you can't swap equipment in the field.

While those elements seem like they belong in a game being called an RPG, there aren't any kinds of genre staples like vendors, items, or in-game currency. It's just the weapons, armor, and magic powers. Each weapon does have its own fighting style, though, and depending on where you're standing relative to your opponents you'll perform different attacks. Two companions can be brought with you into fights to help out, but you don't have any control over them. In the demos we've seen, they'll run around in the background, smashing enemies that get near or firing off magical blasts. Should you get close to them and enemies happen to be around, you'll occasionally perform tandem attacks.

...and GameSpot has a hands-on preview:

These finishing moves play into the concept of lethality being pushed by developer Liquid Entertainment. Lead designer Charlie Price kindly pointed out that games are the only medium in which you can attack an enemy with a sword over and over and he won't die. Usually when you attack someone with a sword, he loses at least a limb or a vital organ. To address this issue in Rise of the Argonauts, almost every enemy can be killed with one hit. Figuring out how to do so will take some experimentation, usually with a bevy of X,X,Y combos, but knocking away an enemy's shield will almost always result in a split second where his torso is exposed. At that point, you can slice it in half. Sweet.

What's nice about the combat in Rise of the Argonauts is that it isn't based on back-end dice rolls or hit points. If you slice an enemy in the neck, he'll lose his head. It's that simple, and it's a refreshing change of pace in the hack-and-slash action RPG genre. Along the way you'll also recruit the legendary heroes Hercules, Achilles, Atalanta, and Pan as your Argonauts, and one hero at a time can join you in combat. Each hero will fight enemies independently, but they will also unlock special attacks if you are fighting close to each other. Hercules, for example, will lift enemies in the air and hold them while you carefully aim a decapitation strike.

Source: Blues News

Wednesday - July 16, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - E3 Preview @ Gamespot

by Magerette, 16:49

E3 brings another preview to light, this one over at Gamespot, featuring a hands-on write-up of Liquid's and Cinemax's action rpg, Rise of the Argonauts.:

 What's nice about the combat in Rise of the Argonauts is that it isn't based on backend dice-rolls or hit points. If you slice an enemy in the neck, he'll lose his head. It's that simple, and a refreshing change of pace in the hack-and-slash action RPG genre. Along the way you'll also recruit legendary heroes Hercules, Achilles, Atalanta, and Pan as your Argonauts, and one hero at a time can join you in combat. Each hero will fight enemies independently, but they will also unlock special attacks if you are fighting close to each other. Hercules, for example, will lift enemies in the air and hold them while you carefully aim a decapitation strike.

In addition to pulping enemy's heads with the mace or tossing spears into the hearts of foes from afar, you'll also have access to god powers. Your choices in the dialog tree will curry favor with either Apollo, Hermes, Aries, and Athena, who is actually an omnipotent hottie. Our Jason was currently in the good graces of Hermes, the smart-aleck god of cunning and trickery. Being the guide to the underworld for wayward spirits, Hermes granted us the power to create a portal to hell that would suck any enemy that we knocked into the air quickly into the afterlife.

Source: GameBanshee

Rise of the Argonauts - Screens @ IGN

by Dhruin, 00:18

IGN has over a dozen Rise of the Argonauts screens.

Monday - July 14, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Video Documentary Announced

by Magerette, 19:10

Gamebanshee posts a press release from Codemasters for their upcoming mytholgically themed action rpg, Rise of the Argonauts, announcing a new video:

Monday 14th July/... Discover what will make Rise of the Argonauts™ a unique epic action RPG experience, in a new developer commentary video from Liquid Entertainment, released today by Codemasters® and now available to view and downloadfrom www.rise-of-the-argonauts.co.uk.

In the Immersive Game Experience video, Liquid Entertainment’s President Ed Del Castillo and Lead Designer Charley Price reveal the thought process behind the creation of Rise of the Argonauts™ and its express aim of creating a role-playing game like no other. Key to this was streamlining the traditional RPG menu systems, ensuring that the player is always immersed in the extreme Greek mythology action.

In Rise of the Argonauts, Jason and his trusted band of Argonauts embark on a quest to find the Golden Fleece and revive his beloved slain wife while exploring the vast Aegean – a dynamic world of forbidding islands, shining cities, lush jungles and deep forests – in a vibrant realization of ancient Greece. As Jason, players will carve a unique journey through the game world as their choices bring favour with the gods, shape the plot, change the outcome of quests and open up new story arcs.

Mixing deep exploration, grand-scale quests and gladiatorial combat in a story powered by the timeless motives of love and vengeance, Rise of the Argonauts is coming this autumn for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft®, the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system and Games For Windows®. For the videos and more, head over to the website at www.rise-of-the-argonauts.co.uk.

GamersHell also has the file available for download here. My machine couldn't open it, so hopefully others will have better luck.

Source: GameBanshee

Tuesday - July 08, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 12:23

"What RPG fans really want" seems to be the theme of Eurogamer's preview of Rise of the Argonauts, which features input from lead Charley Price.  Here's the intro:

What do RPG fans want? Rise of the Argonauts' lead designer Charley Price believes they want a strong, customisable character with choices to make. And beyond that, it should be simple. Price says he's been busy "discarding the baggage of Dungeons & Dragons" for Argonauts - due out on PC, PS3 and 360 later this year - because it's laborious and repetitive. There's no juggling inventory items, no health or mana bars, no levelling up, XP or grind, and menus are few. This is a third-person action-RPG built on Unreal Engine 3. And Argonauts doesn't stop at reinterpreting the genre; it also wants to resurrect Ancient Greece.

They also have another piece with an excerpt from Charley, who claims gamers really want shorter play times:

"Every time someone invests 25 hours of their life into a game and then realises there's another 75 hours to go, they just can't stomach continuing and they walk away with a sour taste in their mouth - no matter how much fun they had with the game.

"They need to be doing something achievable with the end in sight; people's expectations are evolving for what they want to get from the experience," he added.

Friday - July 04, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Interview @ RPS

by Dhruin, 00:54

Rock, Paper, Shotgun has an article format interview with Rise of the Argonauts lead designer Charley Price, who draws parallels with Mass Effect:

Okay, but what kind of RPG are we looking at here. Is it really Titan Quest with 3D visuals? God Of War with level-grind stats? “Every choice has a demonstrable impact on your character and the world,” said Price. “Beyond that, we offer a rich, cinematic narrative experience akin to Mass Effect, with all the great characterization and important decisions that fans of that game will appreciate.”

The parallel between the two games could indeed go further: both use the ship as a means of travel, story-telling, and quest-bridging, as Price explained. “The Argo is Jason’s mobile headquarters, home to him and the Argonauts on their voyage. In a way, the Argo becomes another means of chronicling Jason’s journey. As he travels from island to island, gathering Argonauts to his side – they will occupy various rooms aboard the ship, reflecting where Jason has been and the choices he has made.”

Tuesday - July 01, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Developer Diary:Gods part 2 @ Eurogamer

by Magerette, 17:50

Eurogamer has a streaming developer diary up for Rise of the Argonauts, the upcoming action rpg from Liquid Entertainment and Codemasters.Called Gods, part 2, it deals with how the skill system interacts with the concept of deeds derived from picking a sponsor god. You can also find Gods, part 1 here which gives background on the traits relating to Aries, Hermes, Athena, and so forth.

 

GamersHell also mirrors the trailers here along with their usual gallery of screens and concept art.

Tuesday - June 24, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ NextGen

by Magerette, 16:30

NextGen takes a look at the upcoming title Rise of the Argonauts from Codemasters and Liquid Entertainment, and examines its divergence from the usual action RPG format:

When we first saw Rise Of The Argonauts, three distinguishing factors were immediately apparent. It was rooted in the Greek myths. The realtime combat was pivotal and held great promise. And although its classification as action game made perfect sense, the other half of developer Liquid Entertainment’s definition – RPG – could have been a mythologizing flourish rather than a taxonomical aid. The fighting was present and correct, and a strong narrative emphasis was promised, but where were the stats?

Argonauts’ action RPG credentials are lent by the fact that the plot and player attributes are advanced by victory in battle; it’s a genre-bender because there are still no stats. No trading of numbers. No default onscreen furniture – HUD, life bar, lock-on circles.

No experience points, even. In their place, Jason completes ‘deeds’, which he can then redeem with his chosen deity for new attributes. Arguing that the BioWare/Fable model of selecting a good or evil path penalizes the less partisan adventurer with lesser rewards, and that such dualistic extremes don’t fit the nuanced, humanistic morality of ancient Greece, Liquid is instead offering a choice of four gods. Allegiance to each develops a particular fighting style and weapon specialism, and the developer claims its weapon-balancing and fair distribution of spoils means players can roleplay without having to remove themselves from the story to manage the math. The game’s rethinking of action-RPG convention is loving but also blasphemous, and may be its defining feature. It seeks to both honor and improve upon the core components of the genre.

Source: GameBanshee

Friday - June 20, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ UGO

by Magerette, 18:17

UGO Gamesblog takes a look at Codemasters' crossplatform action rpg for PC, Xbox 360 and PS3, Rise of the Argonauts in this preview:

One of the better-looking titles glimpsed during last week’s pre-E3 media blitz in New York City was Liquid Entertainment’s Rise of the Argonauts.  Set to be published by Codemasters for a September 2008 release on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Argonauts is an action-RPG which follows Greek hero Jason and his Argonauts on a world-spanning quest for the mythical Golden Fleece.  Brief though our time was, it was more than enough to whet our appetites for the good things to come.

Those who are unfamiliar with Greek myth have nothing to fear, as Rise of the Argonauts takes a fair few liberties with the canonical version of the story.  Rather than being sent on a king’s errand by a monarch in the twilight of his rule, Jason’s quest is instead motivated by the ever-popular damsel-in-distress.  In this case the damsel in question is Alcmene, Jason’s wife-to-be, and the distress is death.

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - June 16, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Three Key Elements @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 22:15

It seems Liquid likes making lists.  We recently had four things that made Argonauts different and today at RPG Vault there's an article that details three key elements in the title.  Combat, menu clutter and a "fresh approach" are their choices.  Here's a snip about this new approach:

In labeling Rise of the Argonauts an RPG, my single, biggest fear was that every RPG gamer in the world would have a 50-point checklist of "Things that absolutely must be in an RPG" tacked to the wall next to their consoles or PCs. You see, I'm a pretty hardcore gamer myself. I'm into video, board, card and paper games. I'm a regular at comic book and hobby stores in the LA area, and a frequent visitor to board game sites, so I know how "by the numbers" we can be sometimes.

We've learned that not all points are created or spent equally, and how to min-max the most perplexing systems out there. Deconstruction and analysis have become second nature to us on our path to squeeze every mote of power out of the rule sets we choose to play, but in doing so, we sometimes stop seeing the experience as a whole. I have so many memories of arguments over tiny little things in this game or that. I'd forgotten the first rule. It's a game. Have fun.

Somewhere in my gaming "career", that changed for me. I got bored of bickering about rules or relying on the roll of the dice for my fun. I discovered that the power of role-playing games came from reversing the order of the words and participating in games playing roles. I started to change the way I GM, and started telling more story, having more dialogue, creating more interesting characters, and letting my players have heroic moments in the games.

Rise of the Argonauts - New Screens @ Strategy Informer

by Magerette, 20:29

Also at Strategy Informer, you can find some new screenshots for Codemasters' upcoming action RPG, Rise of the Argonauts. You can check out the game gallery here

Saturday - June 14, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Trailer @ GamersHell

by Magerette, 16:41

 Codemasters has released another short(39 mb) but visually impressive trailer for their upcoming action RPG based on the tale of Jason, Rise of the Argonauts. GamersHell has added it to their gallery for download here. The game also has a new Flash-based website.

Friday - June 13, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ Kotaku

by Dhruin, 22:25

Head over to Kotaku for a quick look at Rise of the Argonauts:

I guess you'd call it a little bit action, a little bit RPG (but mostly action). The rep who showed me the game told me it's based in good old Gods-and-heroes Greek myth, but takes a little liberty with the canonical facts. For example, the hero is Jason, he of Golden Fleece fame, and in the game, his wife has been killed and he's seeking the fabled Fleece in order to resurrect her. If Kratos has learned us anything, it's that dead wives plus mythology equals a recipe for high drama and pathos.

Monday - June 09, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - What Makes it Different @ Destructoid

by Dhruin, 22:40

Codemasters has sent Destructoid a piece with a "manifesto" on four things that makes Rise of the Argonauts different.  Heres one of the four points labeled "Choice: One Story, a Hundred Paths":

In many ways, the path before Jason is clear and distinct, and he walks it unerringly, no matter what the cost: Find the Golden Fleece, and bring his wife Alceme back to life. 

Yet from this simple story begins a legendary quest, a sprawling adventure about a true hero on an epic journey.  You are not simply playing a village boy who found his father’s magic sword in the attic and earns his chops fighting rats in the fields.  You are Jason, King of Iolcus, and your quest is to bring the love of your life back from the dead, gathering heroes to your side, and leaving the bodies of countless foes in your wake.

Nearly every action you take will have some sort of effect - on your character, on the way the Gods perceive you, and in the way the story responds. Save a merchant from certain death, and you will encounter him later, reunited with his family, which triggers its own unique arc.  Let him die, and you will instead discover his distraught widow in utter despair, generating a different set of quests.  Run through the city of Mycenae with Atlanta and Pan by your side instead of Hercules and Achilles, and the island as a whole will react accordingly.

So while there is no doubt that, like all great stories, Jason’s journey will one day come to an end, the choices that you make, the impacts that they have, and the stories that will be told, are yours, and yours alone.

Source: GameBanshee

Monday - May 26, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Interview @ GameSpot

by Dhruin, 12:20

Liquid's Ed Del Castillo chats with GameSpot about Rise of the Argonauts:

GS: Rise of the Argonauts features one of the more, shall we say, aggressive combat systems in an RPG. Can you break down the concept of lethality and take us through a few of the more gruesome attacks? Is death-and-dismemberment insurance required or recommended?

ED: Simply put, for Rise we ripped out the traditional hit point systems found in most RPGs and replaced it with a more action game style of combat. That isn't to say that it's an action game. We still have much of the great character development, story, and choice that you have in other RPGs, but this is definitely our own take on them. I'm hoping action gamers see it as a game with more freedom than they are used to and that RPGs see it as a game with more cool fighting and less menu tedium.

Getting back to combat...It's lethal and HUD-less. Most combat is like chopping down trees, and I can't remember the last time I thought that was fun...ahhhh childhood. Anyways, we thought that the players might like a taste of something new, so we came up with something more lethal. Hitting stuff in our game has a tendency to kill it. If it doesn't die, it's usually because it blocked, dodged, parried, or is just damn tough. Tough things (like our hero) that don't die right away show the damage on their bodies rather than on a bar. There are lots of moves. You shouldn't expect as many as a dedicated action game because we're also an RPG, but there are enough to be effective. Other than that, I'd rather the players discovered the moves for themselves. Talking about them individually is kind of like opening the watch and looking at the gears.

PS. If you really can't live without the HUD, you can turn it on in the options.

Source: GameBanshee

Tuesday - April 29, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Impressions @ Gamespot, Interview @ Videogamer.com

by Magerette, 18:00

More information on Codemasters' and Liquid Entertainments' mythically inspired action rpg, Rise of the Argonauts, comes to light in two articles online today.

Over at Gamespot, they give the latest build a look, focusing on locations, quests, story and action:

 You'll have access to several fighting styles depending on what class of weapon you use...each one will determine your fighting stance and where your shield is placed. The game will apparently model physical collisions between your character models and your enemies', and all your gear, so weapons will physically be deflected from your shield. You'll be able to make use of various divine powers awarded to you by the gods, and these will also have spectacular effects...

Videogamer.com  talks to Ed Del Castillo, president of US-based developer Liquid Entertainment, goes into more detail on why the health bar's been eliminated and the temporary nature of HUD elements in the game:

 "Every time I look at a health bar I'm reminded that it's a game. So take away the health bar. There's something subconsciously distracting about having to constantly dart your eye up into the upper corner, or into the lower corner, or any corner. Film doesn't do that. Film keeps your attention to the centre. I want to do the same thing with games. It's more powerful when you're staring at what Jason is doing all of the time. When we do it we want it to be temporary...

...You will spend more than 50% of your time in menus in all RPGs. You can't find a single one that won't do it. I think that's an enormous mistake. This is part of the reason why RPGs are so inaccessible to the mass market, that they don't want to dive into RPGs. They feel like they have to learn so much and they have to constantly be learning so much to play the game. We've streamlined the hell out of that. We want to give players the option to use those menus but we're going to push them all to the Argo. We're going to make it so that their gameplay experience is not hampered midstream. It's a choice. It's like going to a closet. That's your choice to go to that closet. It's not like every time you do something the closet appears right in front of you and, oh I have to organise the closet now? F$!k! Or even worse, so I'm in the middle of a fight, oh I want to use a power. Oh pause the fight, oh cycle through menus, oh pick the power, oh look I'm back in the fight! Oh I just fired that power and I want to use another one right away! Oh, get back in the menu, oh pick the one that I want, oh confirm the choice. It's super slow. Why am I doing that? Every time I do that it breaks my fiction, it pulls me out."

 

Monday - April 28, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - 12 New Screens @ Voodoo Extreme

by Magerette, 16:37

Voodoo Extreme has added twelve screenshots of Codemasters' action rpg, Rise of the Argonauts, to their gallery. You can view them here.  If you haven't caught the short trailer yet, it's also available on the site.

Source: GameBanshee

Sunday - April 27, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Progress Report @ IGN

by Dhruin, 00:34

A so-called Progress Report for Argonauts is online at IGN, although it is essentially a preview based on a new demo.  Here are two snips:

It looks quite a bit like an action game because the combat takes place entirely in real-time and features an extremely minimal heads-up display (HUD) in an effort to maximize the player's immersion into the game world. Without a multitude of on-screen bars and gauges, you'll instead have to pay attention to your character's posture and wounds, which will show up on the character model wherever they're hit. [...]

The mission shown off during the demo was Mycenae, an urban island and homeland of Jason's departed wife. Before Jason gets tossed into the city's dungeons for reasons we won't go into, he has a chance to talk to the townsfolk and power himself up. Dialogue trees function sort of like they do in Mass Effect, where you select a general mood or tone of response, not the actual text of the response. So you'll see something like "You're crazy," as an option for response and instead of Jason simply saying "you're crazy," he'll perform an action or spew forth words that correspond to the general emotion of the response. In addition, each dialogue response is aligned one of four gods (Ares, Apollo, Athena, and Hermes) who watch over Jason. The choices usually correspond with the personality of the gods, so, for instance, picking an Ares conversation response will sometimes result in Jason planting his fist in an NPC's cheek. Choices made will also work to increase your favor with that particular god.

Looks like the Mass Effect dialogue system is all the rage these days. 

Tuesday - April 22, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ IGN

by Magerette, 19:42

IGN has posted their most recent and somewhat syrupy look at the upcoming mythologically-themed action rpg from Liquid Entertainment and Codemasters, Rise of the Argonauts, focusing on two of the main charactors in the game, Jason and Hercules:

The young king of peaceful Iolcus, an isle of tranquil villages and rolling farmlands, Jason expected to live a quiet life of service to his people. His sole desire was to marry his childhood friend and beloved fiancé, the Princess Alceme. But on the day of their wedding, an assassin's arrow cut through the clear morning sky and pierced her through the heart..Unwilling to accept this terrible fate, Jason sets out on an epic journey to find and recover the legendary Golden Fleece, a powerful artifact lost for centuries. Along the way, he gathers to his side a crew of the greatest heroes and legends of the Greek world...

The son of Zeus and strongest mortal ever born, Hercules is a celebrated hero whose exploits are already a legend told throughout Greece. Despite his fame, he remains boisterous and good-natured, as fond of a good jest as a good fight...Hercules will have Jason's back every step of the way.

Thursday - March 27, 2008

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ 1UP

by Magerette, 19:13

In this preview , 1Up looks at both the gameplay and the ideas behind Codemaster's and Liquid Entertainment's mythologically inspired action rpg, Rise of the Argonauts.  Lead designer Charley Price and Liquid's president, Ed Del Castillo talk about what they're aiming at:

  "In most games, combat is a hit-point thing," says Price. "I punch you 20 times until you fall over and fade out. It's a classic representation from Dungeons & Dragons, but the player doesn't feel very powerful....When we look back at Greek mythology, people aren't parrying and trading blows -- they're cutting each other in half and smashing shields apart. So we're emphasizing lethality. If I'm able to connect with an opponent's flesh, there's a good chance that that guy's going to die in some horrific and glorious way."...

So in the midst of explaining the various ways of dealing death and destruction available to players in Argonauts, Del Castillo calls the whole thing off: "I can't remember the last time I saw a movie trailer that said, '15 guns will be fired in this movie!' As an industry, we are leaving behind the realm of selling games as experiences. Now they're just a bundle of features." We talk about games like the machines we play them on, breaking down the constituent parts into numbers that can be measured against the competition. How many guns? How many levels? We want to know about the engine before the story. We want to know how to level up before we know what it means for the character. Gamers obsess over minutiae while ignoring the bigger picture.

On being based on the lore of Greek myths:

...says Del Castillo. "For anyone who hasn't read the Greek myths, I can tell you: They're so rich and so deep. What really drew us is that the stories aren't about good and evil. They aren't about black and white. They're about human triumph and human failings. And that was a really great and different direction to go."

Thursday - December 27, 2007

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ Hooked Gamers

by Magerette, 22:23

Hooked Gamers has a preview up for Codemaster's forthcoming mythologically inspired, multi-platform action rpg, Rise of the Argonauts:

In the game you play as Jason, King of the island nation of Lolcus. ...

The sea faring tale, in gameplay terms, means that you will be traveling to many different islands in search of the elusive relic. On the way, you will acquire team mates, the titular Argonauts who will journey and fight with you, items and abilities. And, perhaps most importantly, you will obtain leads as to the whereabouts of Colchis, the home of the Fleece.

...Each island is under the control of a different Greek God and designed around their particular characters. For example the island belonging to Artemis (Goddess of the hunt) is covered in forest, with huge trees looming above, giving the feeling of being consumed...

Each island, when completed, will give Jason a new ability that will open up new areas and options for the player when returning to previously completed islands....

...Codemasters says that they are striving for ‘lethality’, with regards to the combat. Meaning that their engine detects whether Jason and his allies’ weapons have struck a shield, or flesh, and causing the characters to react accordingly. This will lead to more realistic and strategic battles, where approaching the right enemy with the right weapon, and even from the right angle, will make a huge difference.

Source: Bluesnews

Friday - August 10, 2007

Rise of the Argonauts - Interview @ Eurogamer

by Dhruin, 13:44

Rise of the Argonauts lead designer Charley Price is once again answering questions about Liquid's upcoming action/RPG, this time at Eurogamer.  Here's a bit on RPG systems and dialogue:

Eurogamer: What sort of role-playing elements are you including and how do they work?

Charley Price: When we sat down to make Rise of the Argonauts, our goal was to make a series of systems that exist to reward the player's choices in cool and unique ways, while removing a lot of the minutiae that can often bog down games in this genre.

As mentioned earlier, Jason's progression and character development is centered on his favour with his four patron deities: Athena, Ares, Hermes, and Apollo. While just about anything the player does in the game can affect his favour with one of the gods, the primary means are through Deeds and Narrative Choices.

Deeds are our means of cataloguing the player's epic trek through mythological Greece. Any meaningful action within the world can trigger a Deed. Killing 20 Dryads, discovering the cave where Zeus was hidden from Cronos, saving hunters from certain death, or successfully outwitting or intimidating an NPC are all some examples of Deeds the player could acquire.

When players come across a temple, they can dedicate their Deeds to one of their patron gods, proclaiming that they performed it in question in their honour, thus increasing esteem with the god in question. Each god holds dominion over a certain set of powers and abilities that reinforce specific domains and play styles. Thus, as Deeds are dedicated to a given god, Jason will be able to select from a wide assortment of powers and abilities appropriate to each one.

The other way to gain favour with the Gods is through narrative choices. Dialogue in most games requires players to choose from a list of options that generally include a right choice (maximum reward), an evil choice (tempting, but often just "gets you in trouble"), and a filler choice (which splits the difference). We contend that this is a false choice, where the player is merely attempting to decipher the intonation and intent of each of the lines before picking the right one. As such, the player isn't really making a decision about what kind of character they are or how they want to handle a situation, they're just trying to get into the designer's head and figure out what answer they wanted them to pick.

In Rise of the Argonauts, the gods are always watching Jason's actions - even in dialogue. As such, when you enter a conversation, each of your choices is represented with an icon reflecting one of the patron gods - each of which infers a tone for the line in question. An aggressive or confrontational choice will please Ares, causing your Favour with him to increase, whereas a cunning or manipulative choice would please Hermes, and so on. As such, every narrative choice that the player makes will level-up their character. This is something very unique to our game and to role-playing games, and it very quickly reinforces our primary goal - make every choice meaningful.

 Thanks, Prime Junta!

Wednesday - August 08, 2007

Rise of the Argonauts - Interview #2 @ RPG Vault

by Dhruin, 23:53

The second part of RPG Vault's interview with Charley Price from Liquid is now up, discussing the "combat system, enemies, items, quests and more" in Rise of the Argonauts:

Jonric: Let's talk about combat system in Rise of the Argonauts. First off, what's the basis for the claim we've seen that your game will offer a different kind of experience in this area?

Charley Price:
I think players will really get a kick out of how refreshingly different our combat system is from those in most RPGs, and from action / adventure games in general.

First off, our combat is executed in real-time, which in and of itself is a significant departure from the turn-based approach found in many RPGs. The next layer that we have added is a true sense of lethality. We are able to detect if Jason's weapons strike shield or flesh, which allows us to use an opponent's shield as a kind of health bar, thus granting him the potential for one-hit kills if he can find a way to bypass it. As a result, unlike many other games where the hero needs to strike a lowly enemy 10 to 20 times before it falls down for good, he will be able to deliver one-hit kills right off the bat, provided that he is able maneuver himself to strike flesh and not armor.

Furthermore, our combat system makes extensive use of our own internal procedural animation system as well as Unreal's physics capabilities. This allows us to have high-power attacks dynamically knock an enemy's shield to the side, thus exposing his flesh for a follow up strike. This adds tremendous variety to combat encounters and rewards the player for watching how the combat scenario is developing, dramatically reducing the sense of tedium that ultimately manifests in most combat-driven games.

Saturday - August 04, 2007

Rise of the Argonauts - Interview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 02:03

Rise of the Argonauts Lead Designer Charlie Price answers questions from Jonric at RPG Vault in the first interview for Liquid's action/RPG we've seen:

Jonric: How did your decision to focus on the play experience impact the design of the actual systems? Are you willing to share an example or two?

 Charley Price: In examining combat, we really wanted to convey a sense of weight, impact and lethality that is so prevalent in the stories of the time; just read a battle sequence from The Iliad to get a sense of what we're talking about. Therefore, we felt that we not only needed real-time combat, but also a flexible and dynamic system that would keep every fight fun and interesting, rather than dry and repetitive. This led us to a physics-driven approach to combat, where power and resistance are more important than damage and hit points.

Early on we knew that reinforcing the pervasiveness of the gods was key to recreating a mythological Greek atmosphere. As such, we constructed our character development mechanics to impact and leverage Jason's "Favor" with them. Furthermore, given the vast array of places, characters and events with which we wanted the player to become deeply involved, we knew we needed robust storytelling tools and a means to make meaningful narrative choices - as such, we have an interactive dialogue system.

Taking it one step further, each of Jason's narrative choices is aligned with the gods in some particular way; e.g. Hermes rewards cunning and manipulative tactics, Ares rewards those who are more impulsive and confrontational, etc. With almost every conversation then, the player is impacting Jason's favor with the gods, and thus the progression and development of the character as a whole.

While some aspects of each of these systems are familiar, we feel that by thoroughly integrating them with one another we've created an entirely new experience that will really appeal to fans of both RPG and action / adventure games alike.

Friday - June 29, 2007

Rise of the Argonauts - Preview @ IGN

by Dhruin, 12:23

IGN has a pre-E3 preview of Rise of the Argonauts, which must be good because apparently some elements are "totally badass":

One thing we know for sure, though, is that in battle Hercules and Atalanta are invaluable teammates. Combat happens entirely in real time with moves taken right out of competitors like God of War and The Mark of Kri. Hercules, for example, is a giant mountain of muscle that's capable of ripping his enemy's arms off (with appropriate blood fountain in tow) or deracinating half-ton objects to use as weapons. Atalanta is the exact opposite -- opting for a speedy long-range bow attack that keeps her pretty face from getting too close to the action. In total, players will be able to select up to two support buddies for Jason at a time and we're told that each and every one of them will be "totally badass."

Thursday - June 28, 2007

Rise of the Argonauts - Screens & Trailer

by Dhruin, 23:52

VoodooExtreme has posted some screens and a trailer from Liquid's Unreal 3-powered Rise of the Argonauts:

Prepare to live a life of brutal combat as Codemasters reveals the gladiatorial adventure that awaits in Rise of the Argonauts. Now in development at Liquid Entertainment, this grand scale action-RPG is scheduled to launch in 2008 for Games for Windows and major console platforms.

With deep exploration and epic quests, players will take the role of Jason, King of Iolchis, and battle alongside iconic mythological heroes including Hercules, Achilles, Atalanta and others. As Jason grows from young king to true legend, set sail aboard the Argo and explore the vast Aegean - a dynamic world of islands filled with shining cities, lush jungles and deep forests.

Wednesday - May 16, 2007

Rise of the Argonauts - Details @ FiringSquad

by Dhruin, 01:29

Actually, "details" would be an overstatement but FiringSquad has a few tidbits on Liquid and Codemasters' Rise of the Argonauts via GI magazine:

The new print issue of Game Informer magazine also has the first details on Rise of the Argonaunts, the upcoming Greek-Roman themed action RPG from developer Liquid Entertainment and publisher Codemasters. The game, due for release in 2008 for the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC, is a loose retelling of the ancient myth of Jason and his Argonauts as they search for the Golden Fleece. The game will have Jason piloting his ship the Argo across a number of islands and as the game progresses Jason gains companions that help out and even the Argo changes to reflect the travels in the game's setting. Combat will be in real time and the player can even call on the gods for extra power. The Unreal Engine 3 based game will also have a two player co-op mode.

Thursday - April 19, 2007

Rise of the Argonauts - Announced

by Dhruin, 22:31

Codemasters has announced a new action/RPG for 2008 titled Rise of the Argonauts.  Here's the press release:

Codemasters announces Rise of the Argonauts™, an epic action-RPG for 2008
Codemasters added a further property to its 2008 portfolio today with the announcement that Rise of the Argonauts™, an epic scale action-RPG, is now in development at Liquid Entertainment for leading console platforms and PC.

Rise of the Argonauts will immerse gamers in a gladiatorial adventure, set in wondrously imagined vision of ancient Greece. With deep exploration and epic quests, players will live a life of brutal combat as they lead a team of iconic warriors - including Jason, Hercules and Atalanta - through a world ruled by mythological gods.

“Rise of the Argonauts is a further key property in our 2008 portfolio,” says Barry Jafrato, Codemasters Senior VP of Brand. “Codemasters’ investment in developing new I.P.s, which will sit alongside the new extensions of our existing brands, reinforces our ongoing commitment to bring original and thrilling new gaming experiences to market.”

Source: RPG Codex

Information about

Rise of the Argonauts

Developer: Liquid Entertainment

SP/MP: Single-player
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Hack & Slash
Combat: Real-time
Play-time: 10-20 hours
Voice-acting: Full

Regions & platforms
North America
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2008-12-16
· Publisher: Codemasters

World
· Platform: PS3
· Released at 2008-12-16
· Publisher: Codemasters

World
· Platform: Xbox 360
· Released at 2008-12-16
· Publisher: Codemasters