Review by Alphamale001

"Gadiator action, no Russel Crowe"


What has over 100 characters to choose from? Has customization up the wahzoo? Gladius from Lucas Arts, that's what. This game is solid fun. It is a turn-based strategy RPG. You are in charge of a school of gladiators. The object of the game is, recruit, equip and rule the gladiator circuit. The opening sequence of the game is great. It is portrayed in an oil paint-esque background with moving fire/water effects. Most of the cut-scenes sadly, aren't in this for of presentation. But that is ok. With over 40 hours per quest(You can choose to be a chick from ''Nordagh[said--Nor-dog]'', or a guy from Imperia), it will keep you busy for quite awhile. This is a thinking man(or woman)'s game. Which is a great change from most games released as of late. The battles take place on fully 3D maps. Also the reaction from getting hit, is another really good plus, and very well done. When I first heard about Gladius, I was excited and enthralled with all the customization and battling system. The story was a really big selling point. The first time I owned this game, I wasn't too impressed. But I could tell that it was a good game. Sometimes it takes a few tries for me to get into games. This one took two. The first time I played/owned the game, I racked up about 20 hours and just nothing grabbed me about it. I am now a little over 9 hours, and can't put the game down. I started playing around 11:30 PM, and stopped at 5:30 AM to write this review. I usually try to wait until I am further into a game before I review a game or make final judgments, but this game is awesome. There are some things that I don't like about the game, like the out of turn hitting, but oh well. Battles can last a few minutes up too close to 10 minutes. They aren't slow paced, but rather you have to actually move and strategically plan out your next move. This game has it all, a gripping story, wonderful gameplay, customization and much much more.

Story: You are either Ursula, daughter of the barbarian king of Nordagh. Or you are Valens, an Imperia resident, takes charge of his fathers gladiator school after he is murdered.

Presentation and learning curve: 8/10 It would be higher, but even with the great manual and all its information inside, the game is tough and an awesome challenge. Some might have tons of problems with this game, while others will just pick it right up.

Sound and graphics: 9/10 Some of the character models aren't all that great, and when they talk, sometimes it looks, poor. None the less, every other aspect of this category is superb. Right on par with what we have come to expect when we play a Lucas Arts title.

Game play: 9/10 The game sports hours of gameplay. Gameplay that is awesome from beginning to end. Although I haven't finished the game, I can honestly say that any game that has around 80 hours of play time, it is a winner in my book.

Fun factor: 10/10 Simply put, the game is fun! It is frustrating and down right ''I WANT TO YELL AND SWEAR AND BREAK A CONTROLLER'' tough, but it never loses the fun factor. Even when it gets a little tough.

Replay value: 10/10 How many games have two different stories on one disc? How many games can honestly say that they have 40+ hours a quest? Not many, this one does. That is why it gets a perfect for replay. Needless to say, playing with friends, or against them, is a lot of fun. Also adds to the replay value.

Overall(not an average): 8/10 Solid fun, some minor things I didn't care for, but still a wonderful addition to anyone's collection. I bought this game twice, I wish I would have kept it the first time. No I don't, I got SSX3. But I digress. This is a fantastic game form a power-house company.

Rent or buy? Well I would say rent it, if you don't like the genre of the game. It is tons of fun, and highly addictive. If you are a strategy fan, this is your game. I found it for $13 at Sam's club. Worth every penny.

Things I like:


Tons of characters to choose from

Customization[I can't stress this too much]

Lots of weapons

Impeccable gameplay

Great music

Things I didn't like:

Fighting wolf/dogs

Character models [sometimes] look rushed

Final Thoughts: What a great epic adventure in a beautifully crafted world. If there is a sequel to this game, I will be buying it. Gladius is a solid game, inside and out. An experience not to be missed by anyone.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 04/23/04

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