Im searching for games like Shadow of Rome with some type of arena battles, some RPG elements (like upgrades/achievements), LOT of gore (very important) and without the feel of an adventure game where you explore all the level and/or kill all the enemies to pass to next stage.
For example MadWorld have an "arena" system, gore, good moves but I dont like the graphics and is very futurist, dont pretend a game exactly at the rome era but this too much futuristic..
Other great game to be mentioned is Gladius, is a turn based rpg, Rome era exactly like in Shadow of Rome, decent amount of gore, addicting RPG elements, some good combos but well.. its not an action game, anyway I didn't feel it much the absence of real time action.
So.. do you know any other game?
Also if you like some nostalgic moments to remember, see the mini-serie "Spartacus: Gods of the Arena" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1758429/), you will desire to replay Shadow of Rome even if you have finished all arena stages with a gold rank on Extreme difficulty like me.