Review by methedemon

Reviewed: 11/29/06

A very underrated game.

Story- The story follows two young men Agrippa the powerful gladiator and Octavianous Julius Caesar’s nephew. Julius is murdered and Agrippa’s father is suspected to be the murderer. Clueless how to prove his father’s innocence, Agrippa takes the gladiator road in order to save his father from death the hard way. Meanwhile, Octavianus is trying to solve the mystery behind his uncle’s death using his power to access places only few can access. The story unfolds through both main character’s eyes, in a very interesting way.

Gameplay- Playing as Agrippa
Playing as Agrippa means lots of action, and gladiator battles. You are often in gladiator arenas fighting other gladiators. Before you enter the arena, you choose your desired weapon and then you proceed to the arena. Once inside the arena you’re in a completely different world where you want to kill everyone you see by any means. You can use all kind of weapons, like spears, swords and axes. Weapons eventually breaks, but don’t worry you can pick up weapons dropped from other gladiators. If you don’t see any weapon near you, no problem use any part of some dead gladiator’s body. If you impress the crowd, they might throw you some weapons and items. The crowd reacts to every move you make, fight violently and they will be on your side. The events are not all the same, some you are in a one-on-one duels, while others put you up against several enemies at once. The variety of weapons and fatal moves you can do keeps the combat very entertaining.

Gameplay- Playing as Octavianus
Octavianus lacks in combat. He is not powerful and cannot wield weapons, or performs fatal moves. So he takes more of a stealthy approach to complete his missions. Instead of swords and spears you will be using rocks and ropes. The game gives you many stealth options, you can use someone’s clothes as a disguise. Most missions require you to go by enemies unseen, by either sneaking up or using disguises. If an enemy guard spots you-game over! If you take just one single hit, its game over. If you run or acts strangely while in disguise, guess what? Its game over. Obviously Octavianus’ missions are a lot harder and requires lots of patience. The game switches between him and Agrippa so you will get breaks from this repetitiveness.

Value- The game is not terribly short but an experienced gamer can finish it in less than 20 hours. There are extras and bonuses that you can play after you beat it, like getting higher ranks in the arenas and getting all items. But I doubt you will want to play it a second time, mainly because of the stealth parts. I don’t know if its just me, but some parts are extremely hard to do to the point where I almost quit playing.

Graphics/Audio- The in game graphics are wonderful, Capcom did a great job capturing the look and feel of the era. The environments are rich in details and texture. Characters models and enemy designs are nothing less than spectacular. The voice acting is very good, the voices fit the setting and story very well. Sound effects such as sword clashes are great too, the crowd is probably the best they scream and react to every move you take in the arena.

Overall- So should you buy the game? Definitely. It is the best gladiator game out there. The combat is quite intense and very brutal. The stealth missions are the only reason keeping me from giving it a perfect score. If you really hate stealth then don’t get it, because you will have to go through many of them and they are essential to advance the story.

Final score-9

Rating:   4.5 - Outstanding

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