We like Steampunk, we like Greek mythology but would we like to see them combined in a game? Well, it’s absolutely worth finding out isn’t it and Ilios: Betrayal of Gods is our chance.
Ilios is a 2D side-scrolling platformer that puts players in control of Polites, the last royal survivor of the Sack of Troy, who has been gifted divine powers by Poseidon so that he can find his sisters who have been captured by the Achaeans.
One of the powers Poseidon gifts Polites with is the Vision, which gives him the ability to move between the human and the divine worlds. This is incorporated into the game’s battle system which appears to work on a fight and evade strategy; by entering the divine world Polites becomes incorporeal and able to dodge his enemies. It’s a gameplay element that really reminded me of Guacamelee! and it worked extremely well there so hopefully it will also be used to good effect here.
His other gift is a mechanical arm to replace his own that was ruined in the attack on his city. This is where you see Steampunk design influences come into play and Polites can use his arm to fire powerful energy attacks. Aside from these special powers, Polites also has an ordinary sword and fighting is based mostly around using a combination of these tools to string together powerful combos.
Something really cool is that Polites can also get his hands on the weapons used by the gods – Ares’ spear, anyone? – but to do so he has to defeat them in battle. Once they’re defeated it’s up to you whether or not you spare them or kill them but either way there will be consequences. Each divine weapon has its own special attacks you can build on to customise your battle style.
The game is classically linear and has you fight your way through nine different levels but there’s an emphasis on story and your choices can affect the eventual outcome of the game.
Combining Greek mythology visuals with elements of Steampunk is an interesting decision but it appears to have been done extremely well in Ilios with a result that’s more on the side of subtle than overwhelming. The team wanted to achieve an aesthetic similar to the arcade games created by Capcom in the 90s and so they’ve used traditional frame by frame animation techniques alongside painted background to ensure that “each screenshot of Ilios can be seen as a painted illustration.” Some artwork for the game has been created by Street Fighter IV designer Kazuma Teshigahara and it looks incredible.
Ilios is currently seeking funding on Kickstarter and approval on Steam Greenlight. It’s raised €19353 of its €90000 goal with 27 days of the campaign left to go. If you’d like to pledge and make the game happen, £12 will get you a digital copy of the game when it’s released in December 2017.