In regards to exploring Ancient Greece through the magic of video games, I’ve only been subjected to the delightful, whimsical tales of Kratos, the God of War. In the God Of War franchise the residents of Mount Olympus were slain by a single bloke, a brutally powerful bloke at that, but still a single human. Were the Ancient Greeks tired of all the BS they were handed by these supposed all powerful guardians? Did they not rise up, unite and fight the common enemy? Well apparently it could have been possible, or at least that’s what Okhlos has led me to believe, and even I don’t think Kratos himself would have stood a chance against this angry mob!
Okhlos is an action strategy game releasing soon on Steam from the folks at Coffee Powered Machine and published by Devolver. The premise of the title is simple, the Greek Gods have pissed you off for the last time and so you must gather an angry mob and destroy everything and everyone in your path. Controlling a Greek philosopher, you must induct the local townsfolk into your mob and the more destruction you cause the more powerful you become, leading you eventually to one of the many Greek Gods that must pay for their crimes against humanity with their blood. The strategy comes from your ability to choose wisely who to put into your mob as each resident is split into a number of units, each of which has a unique ability key to reaching victory. Citizens are the most common unit with basic attack stats and you’ll find them everywhere you look, whereas the other common unit you’ll recruit is the humble slave, who may lack great attack but can carry health items and power-ups to steer victory into your direction; animals are also very common however they have been put on this planet solely for trading reasons, activists assemble! Dressed in blue are the Defenders, who like the slaves lack any real penetrating damage but can protect against enemies and keep you alive longer, whilst the chaps dressed in red are the Attackers who do the opposite. The final unit you can control is The Hero, a figure from Ancient lore who will provide your mob with a mighty helpful perk, whether that be raising the mob size cap, boosting stats or distracting enemies. With an angry mob assembled you must defeat every enemy on the map which will then open the gates for the next area, eventually leading you to the level’s boss.
Everything about Okhlos is simple, and honestly that’s what has made this title such a joy to play. Using nothing but a mouse and a couple of keyboard keys you can easily take control of your angry mob and cause havoc with absolute ease, however the same cannot be said for your objective. As we’ve learnt in recent times, the more simplistic a game looks, the more difficult it probably is and Okhlos is exactly that. The game requires you to keep your eye on 2 things, the direction your mob is traveling in and the position your philosopher is left in. You can always restock your army with more patrons, but lose all of your philosophers and you’ll find yourself restarting at the very beginning. If you’d rather take down Greece with a friend, or release your angst against one, then no doubt you’ll appreciate the local multiplayer option, so once I’ve made a local friend I’ll investigate further. Interestingly enough there doesn’t seem to be a hint at online capability, which is rather alien these days, so if in fact this comes into fruition then the appeal of this instant arcade classic will rise tenfold! In its current state, Okhlos is a very enjoyable, rather addictive game that surprisingly requires a little bit of thought, so it will be great to see what else comes to the title upon its full release, or indeed if anything actually does, as at the moment it’s pretty damn fun.