Developed and published by Dark Point Games, Achilles: Legends Untold is an action RPG that was originally released back in 2022 as an Early Access title on PC. However, now almost spending more than a year in Early Access, the developer is ready to release the full version of Achilles: Legends Untold on PC along with Xbox Series X and PS5 allowing console players a chance to dive into this unique Greek adventure as well. In Achilles: Legends Untold, you will explore a mythical Greece and fight some of the most iconic creatures and animals featured in Greek mythology. This is our review of Achilles: Legends Untold on the PS5 in which we fight a Minotaur and gather spices by breaking some vases.
If you love Greek mythology, the story of Achilles: Legends Untold will bring a lot of familiar characters and creatures to the table that you will love. The game follows the adventure of Achilles, one of the strongest warriors in the Spartan Army who is trying his best to recover Princess Helen who the Trojans have kidnaped. In a brutal assault on Troy, the Spartans are trying to recover the princess however Achilles arrives on land after being cut off from the main supply of troops. However, while Achilles manages to hold on his own quite well and even manages to defeat Hector but Paris, the lover of Helen manages to finish Achilles, but fate has other plans for Achilles as he wakes up 10 years later and finds himself in Greece that was unknown to him. From there, your journey begins as you try to go back to Greece and re-unite with your men, but the path is dangerous and there are a lot of things to be done before returning back home.
Starting with nothing but your armor, and sword that you have equipped from 10 years ago, you will explore the new world and build up yourself before figuring out what has happened and what you should be doing next. While Achilles: Legends Untold gives you the freedom of exploring the whole map right from the start of the game, certain elements are closed behind barriers which can be accessed later when you have access to more skills and items. Apart from this tougher enemies will require better equipment and higher skills as well so you cannot just waltz around everywhere without any worries. You have to follow the main quest, level up, buy new skills, craft new gear, and become powerful enough to beat tougher enemies and boss battles. If you are focusing on the main story right from the start, it will give you a sense of direction and allow you to get comfortable with game mechanics before you can explore to your will.
Each level of Achilles: Legends Untold is divided into different areas and levels. To save your game, you will need to visit the Shrines of Hades. However, every time you rest, the enemies will respawn and if you want to re-visit the previously visited areas, you will fight all of the enemies again apart from the boss battles. Nearly all of the enemies respawn in the game which makes for a lot of great grinding spots if you want to level up and unlock some new skills. Achilles: Legends Untold features a massive skill tree which is in the form of different star constellations. While the UI is a little confusing at first, you will unlock new skills and improve your passive attributes on this screen such as strength, luck, endurance, and more. Investing Skill Points here will add more stamina, and health and make you powerful for the tougher enemies and creatures waiting for you in its various locations.
The gameplay of Achilles: Legends Untold is similar to what you would expect from isometric action RPGs. You can move around using the left joystick and for attacking, you have a light attack and a heavy attack. Attacks consume stamina while skill attacks consume your Fury which is shown by the blue bar at the bottom of the screen. To dodge incoming attacks, you can sidestep and roll away from incoming attacks. You can equip items to your quick-use menu such as health and Fury potions along with different food items which will either give you health or Fury boost. Apart from this, you can increase your combat effectiveness by applying different oils or boosts to your weapons as well. You can have different fighting styles as well such as using a dual-handed weapon, equipping two swords, or the classic, one sword and one shield configuration. Skill slots are separate, and some skills are assigned to you passively which means that you do not need to assign a specific slot in order to use them.
All of this combines together to deliver a gameplay style that can be customized based on your own playstyle. You can choose whatever weapons you want to use and whatever skills prefer your style. In addition, you can complement different mechanics like charging a different type of damage with a booster or oil. Each weapon that you equip in the game offers a focus on a particular type of damage such as physical, divine, and more and you can pick the one that caters to your build. The same goes for your gear and other items like throwables including darts, or grenades that may deal physical damage or divine damage to your enemies. The skills range from the classic Spartan Kick that knocks the enemies off their feet to a special healing aura where you will regenerate your health. These skills need Fury that you can refill with your Fury potions or other eatables.
As you explore Greece, you will meet tons of different NPCs and some of them will be friends while the others will be your enemies. In certain situations, you are given the option of selecting the fate of particular enemies which has an impact on the ending of the game. The level design of Achilles: Legends Untold will have you exploring tight mountain passes, large grasslands, deserted cities, and dangerous caves and dungeons. Each location has multiple approaches and hidden areas where you will encounter mythical creatures and also some cool loot. Exploration is fairly rewarding in Achilles: Legends Untold because if nothing else, you will come out with at least a new weapon be that a basement or an entire underground dungeon based on an iconic location. Apart from your main quest, you will also get side quests from either picking up different items or speaking with NPCs scattered around the maps.
The side quests are nothing too special and you will mostly rescue someone’s son or figure out what happened to a greedy group of bandits inside a dungeon filled with loot. There are some really cool boss fights in the game as well and you will fight some of the coolest creatures or human enemies from Ancient Greece. These boss battles will close off all exits and then you will need to either defeat the boss or get killed by them in order to return to the freeroam. Once you die, you will leave all of your earned XP at that point, and you then must return to this very point to recover it and you only get one chance for it as well. If you die on your way to it, this is lost. Experience is crucial in Achilles: Legends Untold because it will allow you to level up and earn Skill Points to make yourself stronger and more powerful. While the lower difficulty sounds easy, it still requires careful and strategic combat gameplay, or you will die a lot.
Combat in Achilles: Legends Untold is a miss or hit for me. Sometimes, it works like a charm and executes every move that I want from the game but sometimes I really feel frustrated because of how certain things are designed. One of the most annoying aspects of Achilles: Legends Untold’s gameplay comes in the form of its locking mechanic. For fighting enemies, if you lock on to them, you will focus on that one character but it means that it is really hard-locked on them unless you unlock it and lock on another enemy, This becomes frustrating in group battles because some enemies, closer to you and are about to strike, you cannot attack them because the game has auto-locked to an enemy which is too far for you to even hit. This causes a hindrance in an otherwise really silky smooth combat experience, and it is more of an annoyance than a bug. Apart from this, you have to hard press triggers to land skills and sometimes you will get stuck in groups of enemies while rolling from them which is also annoying.
The PS5 version of Achilles: Legends Untold runs really well and there are no performance issues or glitches. There are a few areas in the game where the character gets stuck every now and then, but these areas are random and sometimes you will get stuck and sometimes you will not. To counter this, the game offers a ‘Unstuck’ option in the pause menu so this means that the developers were aware of the issue, and this might be fixed post-launch. One of the best bits of Achilles: Legends Untold is that the load times are non-existent. When you start the game or load into another area, you will see the loading screen, but it feels more like a transition than a loading screen. It is instant and you can play the game without any sort of delay. I still think that the controls could be made a little tighter and more responsive and the lock-on mechanic should be flexible and should move around based on proximity rather than focusing on one enemy.
Achilles: Legends Untold is a great and fun Action RPG and it is not too difficult if you play it on the normal difficulty as well. It mentions soulslike in its description however that should not be too off-putting if you love casual action RPGs. The world of Achilles: Legends Untold is great and I love the dark and gritty theme of the game as well. The lighting is pretty low in different areas, and you will not get to see what is up ahead until it is right on your head but in most cases, the music gives it away because it picks up when an enemy is about to attack you. Overall, if you love Greek mythology and are looking forward to picking up something along the lines of a serious, open-world action RPG, you must give Achilles: Legends Untold a chance.
Achilles: Legends Untold excels when it comes to its world and enemy design but lacks when it comes to dialogue delivery and crisp controls. There were different instances where I pressed a key, but the game did not respond to it and that causes a problem when it comes to titles like Achilles: Legends Untold where timing is of the essence. Overall, the theme of Achilles: Legends Untold is excellent and the story is pretty okay as well for an isometric action RPG, but the real fun of the game is its open-world exploration. It keeps you glued to the screen as you will just ignore the main quest and would like to explore everything first. Highly recommended for PS5 players looking for more games along the lines of God of War or a top-down soulslike experience. A little more refinement of the controls would be excellent for the gameplay.
Final Score: 7.7/10