If I utter the words Soulsborne, do you groan, or does it force a wry smile? Well, whatever your reaction, you’ll be glad to know that Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is more of a Souls-lite title. Accordingly, it has similar traits to that of The Last Oricru. As such, this Greek and Roman-inspired title will test your mettle without breaking your mind.
Developed by Acme gamestudio and published by tinyBuild, this is an action-adventure RPG. Furthermore, it has a rich story, and its Souls mechanics add a layer of difficulty that is tough and rewarding. Yet, it is the fantasy elements of this game that make it stand out from its peers. Its wonderful blend of ancient architecture and its large roster of strange enemies will capture your attention and keep you playing.
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars tells a classic tale.
The story within Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is a classic and well-trodden tale. However, I loved how it evolved and the strange and amusing characters you encounter. The heroine is a young Northwind Region warrior called Hilda. She undertakes a dangerous adventure as she tries to find her father in the beautiful city of Aphes. Yet, unsurprisingly, things take a turn for the worse, and Hilda was called upon to help the locals in their plight. Consequently, to discover her father’s whereabouts, she must complete many quests and side hustles to gain their trust and gather relevant information.
As you can tell, this isn’t the most original tale you’ll ever discover. Yet, this matters not. Instead, you are swept along as the game moves at a generous pace. Moreover, there are plenty of fights, hidden paths, and bosses to defeat. What’s more, there are 6 unique weapon classes, a large and detailed skill tree, and magical elements to consider. On top of this, you must remember the Soulsborne mechanics, the risk of death, and a basic stat system that must be managed.
With nodes that replace the traditional bonfires, Stardust instead of souls, and various potions to refill your stamina and health bars, it feels familiar. Alongside this, the combat elements utilise the normal block, roll, and heavy/light attacks. However, the introduction of a primary and secondary weapon gives you more freedom. Accordingly, fans of Soulsborne games will feel right at home, even if the difficulty and danger are a little less daunting than normal.
A proud and strong female protagonist.
A linear adventure with plenty of choices en route.
Normally, if I hear the words linear adventure, I sigh with disbelief. Why? Well, I want the freedom to explore my surroundings and uncover hidden areas and secrets. Though Asterigos: Curse of the Stars sticks to quite a rigid path, it still has some variety. Thanks to the selection of weapons, and the mind-blowing skill tree, you can tailor Hilda to your game style. With a sword and shield for a balanced approach, a hammer for destructive blows, or a magic staff to dish out magical attacks, you are in complete control.
Alongside this, you are free to level your hero as you wish. By killing your foes, you’ll gain XP and this will increase your level. Here, you can enhance your strength, health, or agility. Alongside this, you can choose from a range of skills and talents to improve your chances during your adventure. Subsequently, the sheer volume of choices was mind-boggling, and picking the perfect combination was no mean feat.
On top of these options, you are then given elemental powers to contend with. Fire, ice, and lightning must be used to overcome strengths and manipulate weaknesses. I adored this minor extra as it gave the action a degree of tactical nuance while enhancing the fantasy theme.
Wield those daggers and kill your foes.
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars looks great.
If you’ve played or seen Immortals Fenyx Rising, then Asterigos: Curse of the Stars looks familiar. Consequently, you will recognise the beautiful architecture, the vast spaces, and the larger-than-life character models. Alongside this, I enjoyed the magic, the interesting use of echoes and the smooth combat. What wasn’t so great, however, was the camera angle when fighting. Though the developers have incorporated a lock-on system, it isn’t that accurate, and getting things right can be frustrating. Accordingly, this leads to problems and undermines the otherwise excellent combat elements.
Another aspect I liked was the atmospheric audio. The rich soundtrack complimented the Greek/Roman-inspired landscape while adding drama to the story. Alongside this, the acting was fantastic and energetic, while the captivating echoes broke up the continuous fighting and exploration elements. Then you must consider the loud sounds of your weapons and every spell you cast. Consequently, the cacophony of sound can be uncomfortable, but it works perfectly, nevertheless.
Focus and annihilate every foe.
The controls were a little confusing.
Though Asterigos: Curse of the Stars does its best to explain its fundamentals, it was quite confusing to get to grips with. Because of its submenus, its range of weapons, and the elemental options, it can be tough to master. However, once you nail the basics, you’ll enjoy the responsive controls and excellent combat mechanics.
Normally, a linear game has little to no replay value. Fortunately, Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is different. With around 15 – 20 hours of gameplay, you get a lot of bang for your buck. Yet, the developers weren’t finished there as they incorporated an NG+ mode to chuck you back into the action. On top of this, there are 100 collectables to find as you explore the city of Aphes.
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is an enjoyable adventure title.
The developers have done an amazing job of creating a story-rich adventure title that has distinct Soulsborne elements. Moreover, it doesn’t have that ball-breaking difficulty normally associated with the genre, and that was great. Instead, there is a focus on the heroine and her development throughout her journey. What’s more, each of the 22 bosses will test your skills, patience, and approach. Therefore, it is both rewarding and challenging in equal measure. I enjoyed its concept and I recommend you buy it here! Can you find your father and save the day? Help the locals, complete each quest, and become stronger, faster, and healthier than ever before.
Asterigos: Curse of the stars: is a Souls-lite title that is fun, rewarding, and challenging. Furthermore, it has a fascinating story, and interesting characters, and is reasonably long. What’s more, the atmospheric audio and fantastic environments make for a wonderful and fulfilling experience.
+ Colourful and exciting graphics.+ Dramatic and atmospheric audio.+ Responsive controls and excellent combat mechanics.+ Plenty of replay value.- The combat lock-on system isn’t great.- It’ll be too easy for veteran gamers.
(Rating: PEGI 7 Mild Violence, In-Game Purchases Release date: 11/10/2022 Price: £29.24)
(Reviewed on the Xbox Series X. Also available on Xbox One, PC (Steam), PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)
|7 Overall Score|