There’s a really interesting approach to making a Metroidvania packed into Apotheon.
Imagine a 2D side-scrolling discovery game which is influenced more by The Elder Scrolls than by The Legend of Zelda. Wrap your head around that idea — it’s a good one. The trouble is that Skyrim (2011) is an imperfect game, and any game that takes inspiration from it is also taking on the burden of having to include things like weapon variety and guiding a player through its enormous map. Apotheon is very much that game, one that crumbles under the weight of its many ambitions. All these little things stack up: it’s a game with a vast map, but ruins its own sense of discovery with an unabashed blinking quest marker, a game whose combat is handled by the right stick, making for a variety of different approaches to combat, none of which are more effective than wildly charging in every direction. Dabbling in all of Apotheon’s systems is neat, but it lacks all the fit and finish of a meaty Metroidvania. Experimenting and trying things is always a commendable goal, but this isn’t a well worth tapping.