The back story:
The Xplay piece:
What G4 had to say about the first hands on:
Today, we were treated to a hands-on of Codemasters' new Rise of the Argonauts here in Germany, and we got to play amongst the Gods for a few minutes or so. Now, right off the bat, you're going to want to compare this game to God of War, and it's a fair comparison to make. Pawn of the Gods doing trials to try and please them? Check. Messing with the Titans? Check. God-like powers bestowed on your person and weapons by those very same Gods? You betcha.
The game is very pretty, even in an unfinished state, and there are a lot of really cool combat maneuvers to be had here, but make no mistake, this is an RPG, which will allow you to change the flow of the story based on the choices you make and the answers you give to questions that appear along the way. You're not funneled into making these decisions, but rather live and die by them, kind of like real life...if you happen to be Jason trolling around the Greek Isles with the Argonauts.
Jason is a master of weaponry, and if you make contact with your enemies, you're going to chop them up good. But making contact isn't always as easy as it might seem. You have to swing away from their shield, which functions as if someone was actually carrying it, as opposed to just being there for show. Luckily, you're pretty good with your shield as well, so there's always that.
You can change weapons on the fly, and sometimes these weapons (sword, mace, etc.) are imbued with the power of the Gods, so your mace might be aflame, for example, which means it does some pretty serious damage. Also, you have two modes for attack...light, and execution, and an execution isn't pretty, Basically, you're chopping baddies in half with these things, and there's blood everywhere, which is graphic, and graphically well-made.
We also got to play with some of the powers you can earn by accomplishing tasks for the Gods, like Hermes, Athena, et. al. These powers might be some sort of lightning attack, could turn you into gold, so your whole body is armor, or could open a portal to hell that you can throw your enemies in...which is nice.
Finally, we got to see a boss battle with the one and only Medusa, who is seriously ugly and seriously dangerous in this game. These boss battles are epic, and take time, strategy, and a little luck to execute, and they might come with a moral conundrum, which doesn't always set well with you when you just want to kill and kill.
We didn't see much more than that, but what we did see looks, at the very least, entertaining, robust, and worth picking up your controller for. It'll be out for the Holidays, which shouldn't surprise you at all. Kratos is still the king of the Godly hill, but this might be a surprising and interesting challenge to that dominance...oh, and you can play it on the PC and 360, as well as the PS3. Just sayin.