E3 2008: Rise of the Argonauts
07.16.08 - 4:47 PM

Most people are at least somewhat familiar with the story of Jason and the Argonauts on their search for the Golden Fleece. What Codemasters and LiQUiD Entertainment are reminding gamers is that Jason had to kill a whole lot of people on his way to try to resurrect his dead wife. Slated for release on PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC, Rise of the Argonauts is an Action-RPG mix that combines the visceral action of a game like God of War with the dialogue and RPG elements of a game like NeverWinter Nights.

The first thing that was pressed upon us was that Jason was not a man with an endless backpack where swords and shields take up no space. Jason wields a sword, mace, spear, and shield, all of which are visible on his person and are used for different situations. Unlike most ARPGs, Rise of the Argonauts features combat with full collision detection and realistic use of shields. When blocking, there's not an invisible forcefield that blocks the characters - anywhere that Jason blocks physically is where attacks are blocked. The same goes for enemies in the game, anything that's not covered by the shield is open game for attack. Combat is not focused around statistics as much as other ARPGs, either. The majority of enemies in the game can be killed in one hit if the player uses the right tactics and weapons. Weapons will see upgrades over the course of the game, but don't expect to start with "Rusty Sword -1." Jason is a king and starts off with the best mundane armor available; the upgrades he receives are from mythical items, and players won't be upgrading every few minutes like they do in Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance and similar titles.

Codemasters is hoping to bring in a wider audience than most RPGs with the battle system, but that's not to say that they're abandoning RPG fans, either. Similar to the selection wheel in Mass Effect, players can choose from a great deal of different dialogue. Rather than being linked to good or evil, options are linked to one of four gods that Jason can worship. The more favor gained with an individual god, the more power Jason can wield in that god's sphere. This dialogue and improvement system is what LiQUiD and Codemasters help bring in the hardcore RPG players.

We're excited to see how Rise of the Argonauts pans out, as its visceral combat puts players in greater control than most other Action-RPGs on the market. Keep your eyes to RPGFan for more news on this upcoming title.


John McCarroll