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We need more games set in the Antiquities

February 25, 2018 2 min read

I remember the first time I got my hands on God of War. Not the new game -- I'll get to that one in a second -- but the original title back on the PlayStation 2. I was in between housing at the time, one of the most frustrating months of my life. Staying at an acquaintance's house, everything I owned was in storage so all I had access to was their PS2. For the week and a half I was there, they rented two games: Gran Turismo 4 and this blood-soaked brawler set in the era of Greek gods. For that week, whenever I could, I eviscerated hoards of harpies, dogs, gorgons, minotaurs and more. I powered up every weapon and defeated every diety that stood in my way, and as I watched Kratos take his rightful seat among the gods at the end, I wanted more. Not just more God of War, but more Greek Mythology.

That game sparked my interest in the era. I wanted to know everything about it. I wanted to know every god, every hero, every trial of Heracles, everything. Mostly, I wanted more games set in the period. So I bought Spartan: Total Warrior for my GameCube, Glory of Heracles for my DS, and of course I have the entire Kid Icarus franchise on my 3DS. But that wasn't enough. I wanted more, but unfortunately, gaming didn't have too many answers for me.

You can barely swing a controller without hitting some game set in an Arthurian/Tolkien fantasy inspired setting, yet games that take place in the Greek and Roman Antiquities are few and far in between. Why is that? Why are we drowning in swords and shields but nearly bone dry when it comes to swords and sandals? Just look how sad this Wikipedia Category page is for the genre. Shameful.

There is absolutely no reason why developers can pillage this particular part of our past for new video games. The new God of War is leaving it behind after three fantastic games set in the period (and also two so-so games and whatever the hell God of War: Ascension was supposed to be) and without a new Kid Icarus on the horizon, it's slim pickings for Antiquity games. I can't be the only one who wants to try my hands at the labors of Heracles or play an aerial action game as Bellerophon atop Pegasus. There are just far too many great myths out there to be ignored and any developer looking for inspiration for its next game should open up an ancient world studies textbook.

We need more games set in the Antiquities screenshot