PGC was the first media outlet in the world to play Saffire's upcoming Young Olympians: Mythos. Check out what Jonny Metts thought of it.
A few of us PGC staffers were lucky enough to play Saffire's upcoming fighter Mythos in a private showing. The game was running on PC at the time, but since it's being developed with the famous SAGE engine, it can easily be brought to any of the next-gen consoles. Just depends on the publisher. After getting my hands on even this very early build and hearing what the dev team has to say about it, I'm hoping the publisher really likes GameCube. :-)
At its core, Mythos is a fighting game, but it brings many new twists to that sometimes stale genre. The gameplay is totally 3D, not this 2.5D stuff in Tekken and Soul Calibur. It reminds me of Tobal No. 1, but faster. Anyway, control is kept simple because pressing up will always make your character go forward, regardless of the camera's position. It's a bit like Resident Evil's control, but less stodgy and actually very useful for the fighting gameplay. You had a standard weapon attack, a group attack for fending off swarms of enemies, a kick, and a magic spell each assigned to separate buttons. The game will have tons of special moves that require joystick motions in combination with one of the four attack buttons, but those were not implemented yet. You can also jump, of course, and switch control over to your henchman with other buttons.
The "henchman" system is really the strongest innovation for Mythos. Besides your chosen "champion", or main character, you can eventually have as many as four helper guys fighting by your side. This opens up myriad possibilities for battles, and since your opponent will have henchmen of his own, a simple one-on-one duel can easily blossom into an all-out war. The henchmen will have individual AI, and you can also issue commands to them or take over their bodies at any time. They also represent the RPG-ish side to Mythos, since henchmen will gain experience from battling and get new powers and stronger stats.
The demo we played was just one level and two champions with one henchman each. The level was very large, with staircases leading to higher areas and cool statues and aquaducts all over. Eventually all the levels will have numerous interactive elements, but that wasn't implemented yet. You controlled the hammer-wielding Argus, and the enemy was Athama. Argus had a couple standard hammer swings that could be linked into combo, plus an area-clearing swing and a magical fire attack. The action is fast-paced and pretty simple at this stage, because most of the moves haven't been included yet. Each character will eventually have about forty moves in total. We were promised that in the final game, rushing in and pounding the action button will get you killed fast. Mythos is aiming to be very strategic, and certainly part of that will involve the use of your henchman.
The graphics looked great for such an early build. All the polygonal models were very detailed and fluidly animated, thanks to SAGE's sleek animation engine. The final game may include some inverse kinematics to touch up the animation IF it doesn't hurt performance. As it is though, the champions react very realistically to each other during battle, and animation never looks choppy. The framerate was also quite good, but I don't know what kind of PC this demo was running on. Saffire is working on the shadows so that they bend realistically against walls, something that even Rare is having trouble with on GameCube (judging by Star Fox Adventures).
I'm looking forward to learning more about the henchman system and how much you can control them. The final game should feature two-player cooperation mode in which one player is the champion and the other is a henchman. There'll also of course be a deathmatch, and for that, the henchmen will be upgraded with champion-like stats so you have that many more fighters to choose from. I'm hoping for more interactive environments; otherwise the one we saw looked great. Mythos is currently without a final publisher, and we remind you that the game may or may not be released for GameCube depending on what the publisher decides to do.