Review by kain50bc
The bastard child of God of War and Dynasty Warriors
Babysitting on the weekend is easy when you have to take care of a twelve year old boy more addicted to games than you. Which is how I ended up renting Spartan: Total Warrior. I may have anyway, but he added some incentive. Good thing too.
Probably the highest point of the game, graphics are fluid, sleek and detailed. And gory. Oh yes, gore is most likely the main detail in this game. I don't know about their other games (Rome: Total War, etc.) but they have put a lot of effort into making bloody battles appear before you from third person rather than a bird's eye view. Scenery is nice and something very different, bodies remain when you kill someone, they don't disappear or fade like usual. Which I think is pretty neat, adds a bit of realism to the game.
Can I say ugh? Sound effects give this game the four points alone because I can't for the life of me find anything good to say about the music or the voice acting. Music is repetitive, alright but the tune wears thin after the second level. Voice acting is absolutely appalling. These people are meant to be Greek for Pete's sake! Not American or in Electra's case, Neanderthal. And it's all pretty corny to top it off. Thank Zeus that the sounds are really cool, decapitations, magic and all that jazz.
I would say if God of War and Dynasty Warriors had a bastard child, this game would be it. It takes the gore and the theme of God of War and mixes it with the weapon choices and the insane amount of enemies from Dynasty Warriors. And the corny voice acting but I've already mentioned that.
You are The Spartan, a nameless warrior fighting for Greek freedom from the Roman Empire. Cool huh? And during your first briefing you are spoken to by Ares, the God of War (nudge nudge) that he can take you far if you do as he pleases. So Mr Spartan, joined by Castor, Pollux and Electra, traipse about Europe looking for artifacts and ways to harass the Roman Empire in general.
You start off with a standard sword, a wooden shield and a bow with arrows. Your first mission is to defend Sparta from an incoming Roman siege. When you start you are thrust directly into the battle, but do not fear! The game will pause itself and teach you the basics of attacking, which are hitting X for a combo attack and Circle for a charge/dispersal attack. These two, in conjunction with some other buttons can cause The Spartan to do an instant kill single or dispersal attack, use magic with a corresponding weapon (you pick up twin swords, a spear and a hammer in addition as you go along) or bash people back with your shield/legs/weapon. Healing or recovering power is a matter of praying to shrines placed almost everywhere on every battlefield. Just don't get hit while praying.
The only thing that annoys me in this game is that later enemies are infuriating to kill, especially the final boss, who continually pulls out lackeys to annoy you while keeping out of your way. They either block then retaliate, or dodge out of your way then slice you. Which is time consuming, difficult and eventually boring.
This game also features a gladiator mode, which I suspect would be similar to the Arena in Fable, as you can choose what type of enemy you wish to fight (Romans, barbarians, undead etc.) Also there are a number of un-lockable things for the gladiator mode and some concept art within the main game to find. Happy hunting!
Overall: 9/10 - A great game indeed, a bit short with some tragic sounds but that's what mute is for.
Rating: 4.5 - Outstanding
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