PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series S and Series X
Action games are having a heck of a year in 2022. Acme Gamestudio continues the trend with their release of Asterigos: Curse of the Stars. Hidden behind the hype for Gotham Knights and the long awaited God of War: Ragnarök, Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is a nice looking gem in the shadows.
Our protagonist Hilda is a warrior from the Northwind Legion. Her mission is to find an expedition team that hasn’t returned from their important mission and get an update on their progress. It’s a good setup for a long adventure where anything can happen. Character and world development are enriched through text in a variety of parchments littered around the different biomes. Each character has their own unique motivations and backstory that are both interesting and easy to follow.
Aside from the usual cutscenes, some plot points, and lore are told through a still projected scene. The small script and voice acting bring it to life. Revealing what happened in the area, the projections can offer clarity or foreshadow what danger lurks around the area. There’s so much to uncover and learn as you investigate the whereabouts of your fellow warriors. It’s not necessary to sit through every memory projection and read every text. But the more informed you are about what’s going on around you, the better equipped you’ll be for the decisions to come.
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is one of the games where your actions, or lack thereof, affect the outcome of the story. Each area has their own set of side quests and a main objective for being there that ends with some form of choice. The route that you choose can change how characters in the game interact with you and also how they interact with each other. The impact of these decisions influences the player to have a more thoughtful and thorough playthrough.
Unlike the big title action games that have been pushing players through morbid environments and adventures, this game is set under a lighter lens with inspiration pulled from ancient Roman culture and architecture. The character designs and environment are beautiful and well thought out. The jovial and youthful look feels more approachable even in the darkest of places. Unfortunately the sounds and musical score doesn’t stand out enough to match the good looks.
Similarly with combat, weapons that gamers are conditioned to think are heavy and hard hitting don’t feel quite right. It’s a combination of sound, animation, and the scaling damage numbers. One example is when using ranged magic, it sounds way more explosive than the damage done. Another example is how inconsistent the stagger is when using the two handed hammer. The damage it gives isn’t even better than the other five weapon choices. I personally shelved the weapon finding its slow, uninterruptible animations replaceable with anything faster.
The game doesn’t have armor or weapon loot to min-max equipment. Instead, all of the weapons are given to you early. Each weapon has its own specialty and playstyle. There are six to choose from and two you can have equipped at once. For any ranged partial players, the staff is your only option for long distance. The safety of attacking from afar is nullified by narrow level designs and the enemies abilities or AI to close the gap. Fights are still manageable from range but can get stale quick. There are a few trinkets that have minor stat boosts and interesting passives, but nothing I would consider a must have to beat the game.
The value of this game is in its characters and lore. The decisions you make and how you develop the main character are impactful. Uncovering the secret stories behind other characters gives more depth into the importance of your own mission. There is a new game plus to add onto replayability but also encourage exploring opposite decision opportunities.
At the time of this writing, Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is priced for almost half ($35) of what usually a new game of this quality would come out to be ($60). There is also a patch that greatly improved on a few things the game needed. With this price, replayability, and more improvements to come. It’s hard to say no. Asterigos: Curse of the Stars soars above expectations and is worth a grab.
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars Review
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is a hit where it matters most
The connection players make with these characters will push them to fight for their ideal conclusions. The game has meaningful choices and consequences that makes it a joy to dive in.