There are a number of ways in which you become a more formidable fighter as the story progresses. You'll be joined by a handful of allies who will fight alongside you two at a time, you'll be able to add more powerful weapons and armor to your arsenal, and you'll learn new abilities by gaining favor with the gods Ares, Apollo, Athena, and Hermes. Each of the four gods has a skill tree composed of around 25 different "aspects" arranged into tiers so that more powerful ones become available only late in the game. The aspects vary a great deal and include both passive abilities and god powers that must be triggered manually in combat. Passive abilities include things like regenerating health anytime you kill an enemy, doing more damage to shields, and making your allies more powerful. God powers, which are fun but rarely needed outside of the most challenging difficulty mode, include temporary effects such as increased damage, explosions, and the ability to turn enemies into stone.
To purchase any given aspect you need to earn enough favor with the appropriate god to unlock it, which can be an interesting challenge in itself. The most obvious way to earn favor with gods is by dedicating to them any deeds you've accomplished. You can do this at shrines scattered throughout the world or, less elegantly, via an option in the pause menu. When you dedicate a deed to one of the gods, you earn an amount of favor proportional to the scale of your accomplishment. Settling a dispute among two traders is unlikely to impress in the same way that lopping off the heads of 25 enemies is, for example. The second way to curry favor with a god is by selecting dialogue choices that are clearly labeled as being appreciated by them. This can make the act of choosing dialogue a mechanical one if you care more about pleasing a specific god than you do about your interaction with whomever you're talking to, but the conversations feel so unnatural anyway that this is as good a way as any to get through them quickly.
It's unfortunate that so much of your time in Rise of the Argonauts is spent in conversation, because much of the dialogue is poorly written and the voice acting is even worse. It's conceivable that one is the victim of the other, but certainly neither deserves any credit for keeping the story compelling. Even on the rare occasions that the script and the actors work well together, poor sound design results in unnatural pauses and in volume levels that compete with background noise or have you reaching for your TV remote. The lack of believable expressions on characters' faces doesn't help matters, nor do the load screens that frequently appear at the most inopportune times--occasionally so quickly after a piece of dialogue that there's some doubt as to whether or not the character talking was even allowed to finish.
Combat is fast-paced and satisfying, but there isn't enough of it.
To say that Rise of the Argonauts has pacing issues would be an understatement of Olympian proportions; so much of your time is spent running around and talking to people that combat feels like a rare treat rather than a focus of the game. It's a real shame that getting to the end of this adventure is as much a test of patience as it is a test of skill, because the combat gets increasingly satisfying as your arsenal of moves and equipment grows. It's true that only boss encounters will pose any real challenge on the default difficulty setting toward the end, but by then that feels appropriate because you're wielding godlike weapons and powers that can literally call down lightning from the heavens. With a greater emphasis on combat and fewer technical shortcomings, Rise of the Argonauts could have been easy to recommend. As it is, though, this is a great story poorly told.