1UP writes: "Ten minutes into a conversation about Rise of the Argonauts, lead designer Charley Price struggles to describe the game's combat -- not because it's complicated, but because it's simple. "In most games, combat is a hit-point thing," says Price. "I punch you 20 times until you fall over and fade out. It's a classic representation from Dungeons & Dragons, but the player doesn't feel very powerful." In researching ancient Greek mythology and history for the game, which follows mythic hero Jason of Iolcus on a liberally reimagined quest for the Golden Fleece, Price and his Liquid Entertainment team found tales of brutal violence that clashed with the old tabletop game conventions. "When we look back at Greek mythology, people aren't parrying and trading blows -- they're cutting each other in half and smashing shields apart. So we're emphasizing lethality. If I'm able to connect with an opponent's flesh, there's a good chance that that guy's going to die in some horrific and glorious way."
It's a small example of Liquid Entertainment's approach to Rise of the Argonauts, an effort to deemphasize the back-of-the-box bullet points gaming audiences fetishize -- combat systems, customization options, and the minor tweaks of game design wankery -- in favor of a simple, story-driven virtual experience. Liquid's president, Ed Del Castillo, clarifies: "For us, the experience drives everything. If this story hadn't been about combat, there wouldn't be any combat in our game.""