Apsulov: End of Gods is a narrative horror survival video game inspired by Norse mythology. Humans in Midgard have uncovered Yggdrasil and the method to travel to the nine realms. But what they found there was something that should have never been found. Now the Ghosts of the old worlds roam free to lay waste to Midgard.
When the game starts, you wake up in a room dazed and confused strapped to an operating table being worked upon by a robot. You are released and a voice gives a task to input numbers into a keycard, open a box, and interact with a desk. As soon as you put your hands to the desk the robot drags you back to the operating table and starts to work on your eyes. You are given special optical implants that lets you see in a different spectrum. With the implants, you can see in the dark, highlight special items, and give you the ability to see hidden words.
You eventually escape the room and the voice sends a huge beast to chase after you. As you traverse the corridors of the facility, you eventually find a portal that leads you to Helheim the realm of the dishonored dead. In this realm, you are greeted by spiders but not just ordinary spiders, you’ll find out when you see it. You try to escape but they eventually knock you down and rip your right arm off. You’ll think all is lost but then someone kicks the spiders off you and drags you away as you lose consciousness.
As you wake up, the person who saves you introduces himself as Dr. Henrik Andersson, the CEO of Borr Corp, who replaces the arm you lost with an ancient artifact called the Járngreipr which uses magic to force open electronics doors and hatches. Dr. Henrik gives you a task to collect keys to save Midgard from this apocalypse.
You go through Jǫtunheimr the realms of the frost giants where the world is filled with ice and snow. You search the abandoned facility till you find the key but as you try to escape you are greeted by a frost giant who is out on patrol. You avoid his gaze and eventually find yourself back in Midgard. Dr. Henrik explains that in order to save Midgard you must collect these keys and insert them into Apsulov, A giant stone relic that is filled with mysterious power. The Doctor also explains a little bit more about your new arm including its power source the massive Mjolnir.
Gameplay is simple, you walk around, crouch, run and jump. There is a little bit of platforming and it can be frustrating at times when you try to jump from box to box because it feels like you floated off and away. Animations are janky, from walking animations that look like your skating to running animations that feel like your just brace-walking while bobbing your head up and down. I know animation is hard but it feels really dated even for a game that came out in 2019.
Graphics also seem dated, from the character designs as well as the environment. For example, the texture of the Yggdrasil roots at some point you would think they’re pipes. Light is okay but some areas are too dark even when there is clearly a light source. But there are good points too, artifacts like Mjolnir and Járngreipr are well designed you can really feel that they are straight out of Norse mythology.
Luckily, one of the redeeming factors is the story. It is unique and well thought out. Not many horror survival games have stories but the ones that do really stand out. I only wish that they could’ve included more of the Norse mythos.
Overall, Apsulov: End of Gods is a fun, dark, story-driven horror survival game that does not over-utilize the jump scare mechanic and focuses more on their unsettling environments and creepy ambiance. The game will surely be a unique experience.
Apsulov: End of Gods – Review
It’s a good game, but the bad may be harder to ignore than usual.