Frank Miller probably didn't anticipate the can of worms he was about to open when he sat at his easel to depict the battle of Thermopylae in the graphic novel 300.

But here we are - 13 years on and following the successes of ancient Greece-based Hollywood epics Troy, Clash of the Titans, and indeed 300 itself - on the brink of yet another sun, swords, and slaughter-soaked enterprise.

Immortals is an upcoming movie retelling the age old story of Theseus and the Minotaur. Does the Java game follow through these epic themes with epic gameplay?

This - is - JAVA!

True to form, this being a game both set in ancient Greek mythology and based on a Hollywood action move, Immortals is heavily focused on combat.

It takes the form of a 2D side-scrolling beat-'em-up, with the main character Theseus slashing his way through waves of minions with gory abandon.

Tapping the 'attack' button will suffice initially, but as you advance through the game there are unlockable moves that aid you against the bigger and stronger baddies.

An early example is the area attack, whereby holding the button down before releasing will charge a wider strike that hits most enemies on the screen, but for a lot less damage.

Some context-sensitive attacks also crop up, and these are satisfying to pull off. Jumping from atop a ruined pillar onto an unsuspecting henchman is always fun, and here it’s made more so via a close-up animation that highlights the damage you've done in visceral style.

Minotaur-ious controls

Gameloft has also thrown in some RPG elements. We say 'thrown in' because there's nothing particularly fresh about them. There are various coloured orbs scattered around in jars or barrels, which can help you to level-up Theseus and his array of skills.

As you progress you'll also unlock screen-clearing summon attacks, which you can gain by killing enough enemies to fill your mana bar.

There are some unexpected setpieces, too, with quick-time events allowing you to perform suitable cinematic feats such as destroying a bridge full of minions with a single swipe, a la Indiana Jones, or dodging and dashing your way through a hail of arrows to decapitate an unfortunate archer.

A particularly fun section has you rapidly climbing a wall whilst flooding water fills the screen. It's hardly to the same scale as God of War, but it's undeniably fun.

There's only really one minotaur-sized blemish on Immortals. As is the case with many Java touchscreen games, the controls are often very fiddly, but it fares much better on keypad models.

Even with the slight control blemishes, you'll find yourself grinning ear to ear at a tongue-in-cheek action game that knows where its strengths lie.