Achilles Legends Untold (PC, PS5 [Reviewed], Xbox Series X/S)
Developer: Dark Point Games
Publisher: Dark Point Games
Released: November 2, 2023
ESRB: M – Mature
Developed by Polish studio Dark Point Games, Achilles Legends Untold first released on PC in Early Access in May 2022 and has undergone steady improvements and additions while in that state.
As of today, November 2, 2023, the game has finally exited Early Access and is fully released. With that launch means the game has now arrived on PS5 and Xbox Series X/S as well.
As a huge fan of Greek Mythology and (most) all things related to the Trojan war, I was very excited to finally get my hands on the game as a console player. I’m not normally a big fan of “Soulslike” games, but I love the isometric ARPG titles like Titan Quest and Diablo.
Titan Quest is one of my favorite games, and Achilles Legends Untold is definitely hitting all the right notes and will be high in rotation while I wait for Titan Quest II to release.
The great thing about Achilles as an ARPG is the blend of genres that it has. Combat is more Souls inspired, and that makes it more tactical. It’s not Diablo where you’re destroying huge mobs of enemies at once with abilities.
It’s the type of game where you attack a few times, block/parry or evade unblockable attacks. Failing to do so efficiently can and will get you killed quick. It’s also easy to get overwhelmed if you don’t slow down and play smart.
I love the combat, for me it’s the best part of the game. That’s surprising to me because I typically more enjoy the combat of a Diablo or Titan Quest, and don’t care for Soulslike games (with the exception being Lies of P, which I do like a lot).
The fact that there is difficulty option probably helps with that. There are two options, I play on the default setting. The other option, which I assume is hard, will probably be for the more hardcore Souls player. Frankly, I love having the difficulty option. And it feels like a normal mode, so it isn’t a dumbed down easy mode. You’ll still die quick.
As you play, you’ll get a ton of loot from killing enemies and opening chests. You have multiple different weapon types, be it one handed or two, and spears and shields. These come in Common, Rare, Epic and Mythic rarity. They all drop and start at Level 1 and can be upgraded 15 times to reach weapon level 15. Of course, that will take a quite a lot of grinding and farming to get the required materials and gold. Likewise, there’s an armor set that can be upgraded 15 times as well.
There’s a robust constellation-based skill tree system that has some skills to unlock, most of which are passive and not something you need to slot in your two weapon skills slots. Mostly though, it’s just ways to increase your health, strength, stamina, precision and wrath.
It’s a Souslike, so health is important, but strength is also important and you definitely don’t want to ignore your stamina (endurance) because that’s what you use to attack and dodge. I don’t know what the max level is, but you definitely won’t hit it or max out your skill tree on your first playthrough, especially if you ignore exploring and sidequest and just do the main quests.
Luckily, it’s the type of game that if you like it after completing, you can keep playing either in the open world to do stuff you missed or by starting a New Game +.
I don’t want to spoil any of the story, so we’ll keep this brief.
You play as the hero Achilles. The tutorial of the game puts you in Troy, where you’ll get to fight Hector and later Paris while learning the combat. Hector isn’t much a problem, but Paris you will of course die (during your first playthrough anyway).
In the legends, that’s the end of Achilles. But in this original story, Achilles finds himself brought back to life and returned to Greece some 10 years after the Trojan war. In the early part of the game, you’ll search for the remnants of your Myrmidons and hunt down both Menelaus (where you’ll learn what happened to Helen) and also Agamemnon.
After that, well you’ll see.
It is a Greek Mythology game though, so of course you’ll be fighting against human enemies and beasts a like. Giant scorpions and spiders, skeletons, griffins, you name it and you’ll probably face it. Even giant stone statues.
All in all, the story is enjoyable and what cutscenes exists are also typically well done.
Graphically, Achilles Legends Untold looks pretty good. It’s definitely not going to blow you away. Despite not being on PS4 or Xbox One, it’s definitely a game that looks like it is.
The art style itself is good and all the characters and enemy types (of which there are quite a bit) look great. The game is built using Unreal Engine.
I played the game on PS5 before the day one update came out. There were a few performance issues, namely infrequent frame drops but the bigger annoyance being stuttering whenever the game is autosaving. Not a problem outside of combat, but annoying while in combat.
Speaking of combat issues, I highly recommend going into settings and turning off auto-targeting. Leaving it on will just leave to frustration.
Sound wise, the music is good and the sound effects are great. Most of the voice acting is also great. Would’ve liked more variety of human enemies though. Felt like every other group was greeting me with “kill the bastard.” Got to be comical at a point.
All in all, it’s a very solid package, especially for the price (just $25, so more than reasonable and actually a bit of a steal).
The developers claim over 20 hours of gameplay here in Achilles Legends Untold, and I’d say more than that if you get into it. It might take that long to see and do everything once, but it won’t take 20 hours to complete the story.
But there is a large open world (a few actually), and it’s loaded with exploration. If you just do the campaign, you won’t see a lot of the world. If you’re a completionist, there’s a lot here.
Luckily there are 58 Shrines in the game, which when you restore serve as fast travel locations. These shrines are also where you can rest (which respawns enemies as well, great for farming), upgrade your skill tree, and you’ll also respawn at the last one you interacted with upon death (in most cases).
When you do die, it’s not a big deal. Just fight or run your way back to where you died at and reclaim your experience.
Considering all the cool weapons that you might want to upgrade and try out, the big skill tree, New Game +, there’s a lot to do and this is a game where if you like it, and I do a lot, then you’ll be spending way more than 20 hours on it. There’s two endings based on your choices, so it’s already ripe for replaying anyway.
On PC there’s a horde mode/co-op challenge mode (which can also be solo), and these will come to consoles at some point.
For $25, this is a no-brainer purchase if you like ARPG’s. If you like Soulslike games, even better, but like I said I typically don’t care for them and I still love this.
This is the type of game that should be supported. It’s got single player, it’s got co-op. It’s a complete game now at launch, and will continue to get better. There’s no stupid season/battle pass and zero microtransactions.
Dark Point Games didn’t get political and try to shove some woke agenda down your throat like so many of the bigger games do nowadays. It’s just good old Greek Mythology based hack and slash, and I love it.
The combat is satisfying, and gets better as you level up, upgrade your gear, and just get better at the game in general.
Achilles: Legends Untold is just fun. It doesn’t feel like a chore to play at any point. It’s what gaming like this should be. It’s amazing what some of these small teams with smaller budgets can do compared to massive studios swimming in money that phone in overpriced products packed with microtransaction and social pandering.
The stuttering during auto-saving is my only real complaint with the game. If you like these types of games, this is a phenomenal package at $25. I would probably be more nit-picky or harsh on some stuff if it were priced at $60 or $70, but as is this a wonderful game. It’s certainly better than, and with more content, than a lot of games I’ve spent a lot more on.
Dark Point Games has done a wonderful job here with getting this game in the state it is in now compared to some of the stuff I saw during the seemingly very early Early Access. I look forward to seeing how they continue to better the game and what DLC, if any, comes its way.
Achilles: Legends Untold gets a four out of five: GREAT.
* A PSN code was provided by publisher PR for review.