Asterigos: Curse of the Stars Is a Promising (if Unpolished) Mythic-Fantasy Action-RPG

As somebody who enjoys the melding of classical fantasy and epic fantasy, in addition keeps getting Netflix propose him “shows with a potent feminine guide,” Asterigos: Curse of the Stars very easily caught my eye when it was declared previous fall. I was a short while ago despatched a demo make of an early phase, and while it may not be as polished as it could be at this stage, I unquestionably set down my controller curious to see how this fantastical adventure encouraged by a combination of Greek and Roman mythology will arrive together.

Asterigos casts you as Hilda, a warrior of the Northwind Legion as she investigates the ancient city of Aphes in look for of her missing father and its prolonged-buried tricks. The city is claimed to have been cursed by the gods for its careless overuse of the world’s magic–which Hilda herself appears to be to be ready to harness, though no matter if this is frequent for her people today or she’s just Excess Special™ is unclear– and the after-great spoil is now loaded with hazardous beasts and monsters. I did not operate into something as charming as some of what is been proven in trailers, even though the Pixar-esque layout aesthetic (reminiscent of Blizzard’s cinematic model or the latest legendary adventures like Immortals: Fenyx Rising and Kena: Bridge of Spirits) made even what boiled down to “big alligator” or “giant boar” exciting creatures to square up towards.

I at first considered Asterigos was presenting alone as a spouse and children-pleasant FromSoft homage. You acquire “Startdust” from just about every enemy you defeat, and when the initial movement tutorials pale offscreen the up coming massive instructing level was about how you can relaxation at a Conduit (essentially a “magic fountain”) to produce a checkpoint and refill your HP and mana reserve—but that undertaking so would respawn any enemies you’d defeated considering that your very last relaxation. You’ll also respawn there (for the cost of some collected Stardust) if your HP drops to zero—an “emergency teleportation” they get in touch with it, generating sure to be quite crystal clear that you have not died.

Even on the most difficult problems, defeat was uncommon

Nevertheless, which is about as much as the KidSouls gimmick runs, it appears to be. Sure, dodge-rolling is critical and using enemies on a person at a time appeared to be the greatest system to keep away from shedding any health and fitness, but apart from the past manager I ran into, I was tricky-pressed to locate myself being despatched again to the last checkpoint—though that appeared to be demo-precise when a “this dude killed you – thanks for enjoying!” card confirmed up and the demo finished. The bigger difficulty mode did sense notably different, with standard enemies introducing new tactics, and manager creatures certainly hit a lot harder—though even right here, defeat was exceptional. Which is not a terrible matter, of class as another person who scarcely made it out of Limgrave in Elden Ring, I’m the previous particular person to say a activity desires to be hard to be pleasurable.

As these, Asterigos’ fight process is relatively very simple, but pleasant: you can equip two magic-infused weapons, each of which has a exclusive potential in addition to its simple attack combo. The sword and shield, for instance – which counts as one particular weapon – allows you parry incoming attacks, leaving your opponent momentarily open to a counter, when the twin daggers let you to make a very long dash previous (or at times via) nearby enemies. My go-to combo for most of my demo was the sword/protect merged with the prolonged get to of a spear – though I uncovered also late how beneficial Hilda’s bracers had been, which not only allow for for both equally close and mid-array magic attacks but also permit you fall arcane land mines, which were being primarily beneficial for dealing with generally melee-centric monsters that inhabited these locations.

The most significant hurdle to get more than in the course of the approximately 50 %-hour span it took to research just about every nook and cranny of the demo’s two areas had been its controls. Although not inherently awful, there were being surely some decisions that designed guiding Hilda all around the environment a bit unwieldy. Not currently being capable to jump without the need of holding Run and having those two buttons mapped under the exact finger, for instance, produced fluid exploration challenging, and having to open up a radial-menu to just before using one particular of Hilda’s exceptional skill powers will cause the circulation of fight to stutter.

That clunkiness did get better as I turned far more snug with the controls, but in no way went away wholly. On the other hand, the capabilities themselves look to present a vast wide variety of options—the demo powers ranged from only “doing a bigger hit” to making a short term shield all around by yourself to absorb harm or building an arcane lightning storm that tracked enemies to deal problems above time, and trailers have demonstrated what appear to be like even much more sophisticated maneuvers—meaning gamers of all battling kinds need to have a lot of tactical selections.

Asterigos: Curse of the Stars – Formal Screenshots

We didn’t get a complete photograph of the progression system, but it seems to be a blend of pretty typical motion-RPG conventions. You’ve bought your RPG-style attribute factors (Precision, Constitution, and Arcana, which establish your assault hurt, HP and endurance pool, and magical strength/defense, respectively) or passive perks you unlock as you level up together with these weapon competencies, and can acquire equippable trinkets with different resistances/vulnerabilities all over the environment., While I wasn’t capable to do everything with the 1000’s of Stardust factors I didn’t spend on unexpected emergency teleportations, I’m advised it gets to be a valuable currency after you get even more into the environment.

Yes, it is still a little bit rough around the edges—with some lurching animations and unsynced dialogue—but in general I’m curious to see how the complete variation of Asterigon will come collectively. Odds are my concerns with its button structure will be alleviated the moment we’re ready to configure our have controllers, and ideally the story and ongoing action will turn out to be as powerful as its novel art style. Its Greco-Roman mythic fantasy vibe is just one I can very easily see myself getting misplaced in, and I’m generally activity to tinker with a litany of tactical alternatives to hone the just the suitable establish for my arcane war maiden in what was in the end a promising, if simplistic, overcome system.

Adhere to together for much more on Asterigos: Curse of the Stars as we approach its scheduled launch window of Tumble 2022, and for other animated mythic fantasy adventures (and serialized titling) check out out our evaluations of Immortals: Fenyx Climbing or Kena: Bridge of Spirits.

JR is a Senior Producer at IGN, you can adhere to him on Twitter for far more movie game titles and tabletop RPG shenanigans.