Asterigos: Curse of the Stars | PlayStation 5 Review
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars, developed by Acme Gamestudio and published by tinyBuild is a story rich, action RPG. It is currently available on Windows PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. For the purpose of this review, I was playing the PlayStation 5 version.
You play as Hilda who has been left behind by her father and his men who are known as the Northwind Legion. They are on a mission to visit the cursed city of Aphes to find out what is the cause of the treacherous problems that the city has. Unfortunately, the Northwind Legion failed to return from their journey, so our hero Hilda decides to follow their tracks and visit Aphes herself. Along the way, she finds graves for two members of the Legion and she quickly realises that things are far more sinister than they may have first appeared. To find the underlying cause of it all, Hilda must contend with ancient beings and monsters and then come face to face with the deepest, darkest secrets found within Aphes.
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is a really pleasant RPG adventure. On the Steam store it has the tag “Souls-Like”. In my view, it may have a few elements that are similar to Souls-Likes, but it is far more casual and far less demanding than your typical Souls-Like. The main similarities that I drew were that the exploration throughout the world are very much driven by your own organic exploration rather than the story pushing you to explore further. Initially, areas seem fairly linear, however I quickly realised after doing some exploring off the beaten path that I was quite wrong and that there were plenty of titbits to be found away from the main story. Other than this I couldn’t really draw too many similarities between this and your typical Souls-Like games. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, I simply think that people are seeing one or two aspects that are popular in Souls-borne games and are dubbing games as a “Souls-Like” because it's the “in” thing right now; but games can be good without having to be dubbed a Souls-Like. Example? Asterigos: Curse of the Stars.
Hilda comes equipped with an arsenal of weapons. She has a typical sword and shield, twin daggers, a massive hammer, a spear, and a staff. You can choose to equip any two of these weapons at one time but you can switch between them depending on what you need for the enemies you're facing and the situations that you are in. The combat generally felt nice but my only criticism is at times it felt quite floaty and with quite hectic combat that wasn’t a fun combination for me; however I adjusted to it and made progress quickly. The boss fights were certainly a highlight for me throughout the game and I almost always looked forward to what was going to appear when I found myself in a boss arena. The game overall was challenging enough to be enjoyable but still had that more forgiving feel than other games that may be regarded as “Souls-Likes”. You won’t often find yourself struggling for stamina during combat meaning you can pull off some lovely looking and satisfying combinations and alongside this if you're exploring areas well, you’ll likely never be short of health potions so you’ll not have to spend much time farming or struggling.
Visually, Asterigos: Curse of the Stars was really pleasant, and the style almost reminded me a little of Kena: Bridge of Spirits. Throughout the game really just felt like a showcase of different locations with different feels, yet somehow they all felt like they blended together relatively well for me. I feel like making a game LOOK good is certainly one of the biggest challenges for games nowadays and I’d certainly say that Asterigos hit the nail on the head design wise. Alongside this, there was a constant haunting tone throughout the game's soundtrack that always had me expecting something to jump out and attack me. Lastly, in the visuals and audio category, I found the voice acting to be good, but on the flipside of this the facial animations were poor.
There is certainly a lot of quality within Asterigos: Curse of the Stars but it is not without flaws and with some fine tuning I could imagine this game being even better. Unfortunately, I feel it tried too hard to BE a Souls-Like without BEING a Souls-Like. Whilst I like the idea, I feel like it tried too hard in this aspect and the gameplay suffered slightly for it. Finally, I’m slightly conflicted about the price point for the game. On Steam it’s £29.99 for the normal edition or £37.99 for the deluxe edition. On the PlayStation store it sits at £28.99 for the standard edition or £36.99 for the deluxe edition. I don’t like to discuss price often because I understand that games aren’t cheap to make, however, for the price point I would feel slightly disappointed with my purchase, but if found on a Steam or PlayStation sale it would feel like a fair value. Despite some of the flaws mentioned, Asterigos: Curse of the Stars is still a great adventure with some likeable personalities and an enjoyable story.
Lj’s Rating: 3.5 out of 5.
For more information on Asterigos: Curse of the Stars please use the following links...
Acme Gamestudio - Developer | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website
tinyBuild - Publisher | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Website
Many thanks to White Label PR for supplying the review code.
Asterigos: Curse of the Stars | Windows PC | PlayStation | Xbox
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