Achilles: Legends Untold – review on Steam Deck

Achilles: Legends Untold is the debut game from the Polish studio Dark Point Games, in which we step into the shoes of the titular Greek hero to fight for a future that was never ours to know. The title is a hybrid of isometric action RPG with soulslike-style combat. Was this combination successful? You’ll find out in the review below.

Comparing the outline of Homer’s epic with Wolfgang Petersen’s Troy, it can be said that decidedly more people are familiar with the film adaptation. Therefore, the introduction to the game strongly references the film, but with its own solutions, and focuses immediately on the best moments.

Isometric Dark Souls in Greek

In Achilles: Legends Untold, we are introduced to the game with a short story about current events, and then we land on the beach where the Myrmidons, along with our hero, begin the attack on Troy. Here we are acquainted with the controls and combat as well as our initial goal, which is to find Helen. After a brief introduction, we encounter Hector, whom we eliminate without a choice, and then Paris who tries very hard to kill us with a bow. I don’t know if there’s anything to gain by defeating him, but it seems impossible. He’s that formidable opponent from From Software games who, during the introduction, must deprive us of life. Here it happens just the same, Paris uses a powerful shot to the heel, and then…

We survive. We appear in the Temple, and a mysterious voice offers us a new beginning. Not wanting to spoil too much here, let’s just say that everything happens 10 years after the events in Troy. After a brief introduction, we find the first shrine, which reminds us of the bonfires from the Souls series. If you die, you’ll reappear here again. They also serve as a means of fast transport, which is very useful right from the start of the adventure. The enemies we kill offer us their fate so that we can make better use of it than they did. The currency works like souls in Dark Souls, which here too allow us to develop our skills. The skill tree itself is a huge constellation, upon which various beasts are imposed to suggest paths of development. This idea turned out really well for the creators and such character enhancement possibilities are one of the greatest strengths of Achilles: Legends Untold.

Combat system is very solid, but not everything works here

The combat system deserves a few warm words. There are various weapons available: such as axes, swords, or spears, and additionally, we have a shield. Each weapon has a fast and slow attack as well as its own combo system. You can strike multiple times with a single attack, or mix them together. In all this, one must remember that the combat style is modeled on the works of From Software, so hasty button mashing soon ends with the inability to dodge and the iconic “You Died” screen.

Another plus is the RPG element of enhancements. We have consumables like potions, but we also have oils… I mean powerful lubricants. Additionally, we have the ability to strengthen weapons at the blacksmith using resources collected during our bloody journey. The whole inventory system reminds me greatly of The Witcher, which is why I really like such solutions.

Achilles: Legends Untold has two different difficulty options: Warrior and Hero. In the harder variant, my enemies were like powerful tanks, and in the normal variant, they were like light combat vehicles. After a few hours, I changed my mind on this matter. Combat is a typical soulslike with a system of light and strong attacks. Additionally, in terms of defense, we can dodge, block, or parry. There are several types of enemies. That is great, but the problem lies in their quantity and how the map has been constructed.

Soldiers with various weapon combinations, powerful stone colossi, or even giga-spiders. Each has its own set of skills and that is great. The problem arises when two or three different enemies are together. At such moments, I got the impression that they were combined only to ruin our evening. Their attacks can come in combined series in such a way that our dodges look like a dance.

Achilles: Legends Untold on Steam Deck

Achilles: Legends Untold looks great in every variant I had the chance to play. Steam Deck on default settings offered a solid 40 FPS, which it maintained without a problem. Reducing all settings to the minimum allows for quite stable 60 frames per second, but the quality of the visual setting suffers greatly. The production obviously supports controllers, has legible subtitles, and the ability to save progress in the cloud, so it seems perfectly created for handhelds.

On my laptop, I usually maintained a steady 120 FPS on high settings at 1920×1080 (Ryzen 5 4600H, 16GB RAM, and RTX 2060). A few times I experienced lags and drops to 10 FPS for a few seconds – interestingly, I never encountered this on the Steam Deck.

Very solid graphics and sound design

The soundtrack is very well created. The first contact in the menu quickly reminded me of Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, which for me was a big plus. Story interludes with background stories and a comic book style similar to the aforementioned game are another huge advantage.

If you liked the underworld of Hades from Supergiant Games, the Greece created by Dark Point Games should also suit you. Stylisticly it is a completely different world, but the details have been finely polished.

In summary…

I enjoyed playing Achilles: Legends Untold and I can happily recommend this production. There were moments when I started to get very frustrated, but the combat system and character development, the graphic style, and the look of Greece were so good that they quickly made me forget about the moments of anger. I spent several really good hours in this title, and that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of the fun. Achilles: Legends Untold has two endings and has been enriched with a New Game + mode, so those who like to max out games and earn all achievements can spend even 40-50 hours here.

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