Okhlos is a comical look on Ancient Greece that showcases the violence of the era as you helm a horde of oppressed people who are standing up and revolting. Coffee Powered Machine have chosen to make this the setup for their “roguelike.”
Okhlos starts off with the narrator who is taking the place as Homer from The Iliad and The Odyssey. He will provide new gameplay tips relevant to what stage you’re currently on. The writing adds a nice touch making the experience fun and informative as you manage your growing mob.
The Gods Among Us
The control scheme allows the player to control his primary character and the mob simultaneously using both thumb sticks. It took awhile for my brain to learn the mechanic, but after a few minutes with the title it was a nonissue. What took the most time was using both units in sync when I wanted to engage an enemy.
Okhlos backbone is its “roguelike” design that challenges the player to proceed to the end without dying. If you parish, the game with you rest to the very first level, which makes every encountered calculated, cautious and intense. I approached each stage similar to the way I played Hotline Miami, where I would immediately jump in and play fast and frenetic. I found it worked against me to wait for the opposition to obtain position, making it harder for me to come away with clean victory.
Mobs are generally chaotic and encourage you to blitz into a situation. The mob’s health is not decided by individual members, but by the whole of the group. Because of this I found myself the mob to shield my philosopher to ensure that he doesn’t parish. Often I found enemies would position themselves to lure away from the mob to in order to sneak up on hero units.
Break It Down
A large part of the game can be beaten simply spamming the A button on the controller. While there is intent to make the player involve a strategy of sort before attacking using the controller sticks, but it felt unbalanced. The demo was the first four stages, and I did begin to waver when I hit stage three, so it might take multiple playthroughs to plan ahead when building your mob.
As you progress through each stage there are five to six short zones that you have to purge before proceeding. In between the action merchants will trade you items that will boost your armies stats with passive, passive buffs, healing increasing, and additional units. Knowing what you need to buy items on the market was currently only available when in the storefront, which was a common theme during my time. Okhlos at times required me to work around the menus and lack of customization options in order to get to the best parts. I wish the game was a bit more streamlined, but the content is well worth excavating when you see it.
Okhlos is a chaotic game with entertaining moments mixed in. My concern is how easy boss encounters were during my time with the current build. As each level progress you have enough chances to build up your mob, which lessens the moment-to-moment interaction. This could change when the game releases, but I was hooked on its addictive gameplay that has me interested on what its store.
Okhlos releases on August 18 for PC.