Asterigos: Curse of the Stars Hands-on First Impressions
Explore a land inspired by Greek and Roman mythology.
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is a challenging title in which you take control of Hilda, a child from the Northwind Legion in search of her father, who went out on a quest to explore the ancient and mythological city of Aphes.
Gods, Titans, and Mythologies
It won't take long for players to see the resemblance between Asterigos: Curse of the Stars and Greek architecture, as the game is entirely built around Roman and Greek myth. Although Hilda, our protagonist for the game, seems to resemble a Nordic Viking, she ventures into the city of Aphes to look for her father, who went missing after venturing forth to explore the ancient city in search of a cure for the king. It is here, immediately after exploring the tutorial of the game, that you will venture into the gorgeous city and be presented with a curse that's made the inhabitants of Aphes immortal and who have lived for over 1,000 years.
This story introduces us to numerous characters (including some mythological entities I'd rather not spoil), most of whom are very lovable and charismatic. Every personality in the game has deeper lore connected to them in the numerous areas of Aphes you will explore, rewarding those that care to pay attention to detail and search for more regarding their favourite characters.
An Extraordinary Northwind Girl
Once you've embarked on a journey to fight against the curse that has befallen Aphes, you will be able to harness the full power of Hilda and her numerous skills. Whilst she's adept at using six different weapons, you'll only be able to equip two of them to wield in combat. This offers over a dozen different setups that you can opt for to truly make Hilda unique and fight like you'll want her to and provides replayability for those that wish to experience the title with other weapons in her arsenal. Choosing your favourite weapon — from a selection of sword & shield, daggers, hammer, spear, staff, and knuckles — will be a difficult task, as all of them feel sufficiently unique and fun.
Once you have, however, your decisions aren't over, as you'll be able to wield numerous other talents that will let you customise your loadout further, allowing you to take four skills into combat. Each talent point is exhilarating to attain, as you'll be able to get skills that are incredibly fun and powerful to use in combat, which oftentimes makes swarms of enemies far less menacing than they usually are.
A Beautiful Greek World
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars has one of the most gorgeous environments that I've had the pleasure of exploring in recent times, as it isn't exactly realistic. Resembling Kena: Bridge of Spirits in the graphics department, it's a great art style that I was personally very fond of — I wept after realising that Asterigos: Curse of the Stars did not have a dedicated picture mode. Greek environments paired with Kena: Bridge of Spirits-style graphics are something I never knew I needed.
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars backs these environments up with gorgeous background music, especially during the exhilarating boss fights that make the bosses feel all the more daunting. Nothing quite like a great choir to make you feel scared and minute in contrast.
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars may not be the soulslike title we expected it to be, but it performs phenomenally as a challenging experience at the hardest difficulty. The difficult combat doesn't gatekeep the game from those that aren't as skilled at gaming, and it's a good thing — more people get to enjoy the title. This combat-heavy experience is a great experience, even if it isn't as daunting as typical soulslike titles.