The higher levels even demand unique items that are only provided by specific enemies, defeated in specific ways. In other words, not only do you have a grossly inflated armoury to manage, but it's an absolute grind getting the few genuinely essential weapons up to full fighting strength. Chances are that you'll end up finding four weapons that work best and stick with those.
All this information is conveyed in the most confusing manner possible, not helped by those obtuse menus, but by the end of the game this bloated pile of ideas actually starts to coalesce into something that is almost interesting.
Enemies start to demand a more tactical approach, the higher-level abilities start to shape the gameplay in almost-clever ways, and you're left wishing this evolution had taken place much earlier. As it is, just when things are reaching the level where good melee combat games are made, it all stumbles to a halt.
Progress is made via a series of over 100 "quests", although since these invariably last less than five minutes and involve nothing more than entering a map and killing everything that moves, the RPG connotations are undeserved.
You'll see a lot of these maps as well, as each area of the game sends you back into the same places over and over until it's time to move on. Objectives range from finding fish or herbs to defeating guardian bosses, but the net result is always the same: jog through empty spaces until monsters spawn.
Even in such a restricted world, navigation is a pain. The map is completely useless, showing only your position - no enemies, no objectives, nothing - and you'll often find yourself laboriously trudging down numerous dead ends before stumbling on the path the game wants you to take.
It's at the technical level that the game really struggles. The cut-scenes are truly atrocious, populated by stiff robotic mannequins speaking their lumpen dialogue with awkward pauses and sloppy lip-syncing. Perseus himself looks like Wayne Rooney crossed with a confused turtle.
In-game, things are no better. Animation is rudimentary, with the jump move particularly hilarious in its jerky weightlessness, while nothing seems to match up. There's just no physicality to the game world; no sense that these might be solid objects interacting with one another, and the relentless combat is deadening as a result.
Relentless combat is all you're getting though, which makes the length of the game problematic. My playthrough clocked in at almost 16 hours, a stultifying amount of time for a game so mired in mediocrity.
It doesn't know when to stop. Each stage churns out waves of easily-dispatched enemies long after you're bored. The game hits a natural high point with the boss battle against Medusa, but then continues to spin its wheels for hours more before you reach the climactic confrontation with the Kraken. Even with that behemoth defeated, it plods onwards. By the time the credits roll, you feel bludgeoned rather than elated.
Even at its best, Clash of the Titans barely succeeds on its own terms. Consider the similar titles vying for your attention and its small victories are almost completely diminished. From God of War, the spectre of which inevitably hovers over this mythological copycat, to the sublime Bayonetta and even the dumb-but-fun Dante's Inferno, there simply isn't room in the limited confines of the hackandslash genre for a wonky also-ran like this.
3 / 10