Hopefully you’ll remember the film Gladiator staring Russell Crowe, well if you ever fancied donning up the gladiatorial attire then your chance may have finally come along under the guise of Story of a Gladiator. You are a common man who has lost everyone and everything in the war with the Roman Empire. You spend your days wandering the streets of Rome wondering why the gods in their wisdom have spared you, then it finally dawns on you…….you will enter the Gladiator Arena!
Story of a Gladiator starts off simply enough, you get to choose from three difficulty levels then pick from one of three backgrounds each with their own benefits. You can play as a Greek, a Carthaginian or as an Egyptian, then the fun begins. There are three arena’s to choose from which act like campaigns, you need to complete a stage within each arena to progress to the next one, once you have beaten the champion within an arena you can move onto the next. You can replay previously completed levels, which you’ll want to do as winning means more gold, the currency you need to buy better armor, weapons or shields.
Story of a Gladiator can be best described as an arena beat-em-up. You enter the arena, then your opponents enter, when you have killed the enemies then the next wave enters, this carries on until you have cleared the relevant number of waves. You start off in a loin cloth and basic weaponry, as you keep winning then the greater the spoils you will be able to collect. Better weapons means more damage can be dished out, better armour means you gain more health whilst better shields add to your health and also provides you with a defence against the incoming onslaught. There is a depth to Story of a Gladiator which you won’t realise at the start. Whilst you hack and slash your way to the top you will begin to gain access to the market shops that were inaccessible before your successes.
There are a variety of shops and building to use that will help you on your way. The Butcher provides you with food you can eat should your health get low. The Temple gives you the opportunity to pray to an assortment of gods who can help you in battle. There’s the usual weaponry shop where you can buy upgraded weapons, training area where you can use skill points to improve or unlock certain attributes, you can even purchase an animal to help you in the arena, this doesn’t appear until after you complete the first area, i actually felt bad going back to the first arena and unleashing my new pet against weak opponents. There are amulets to wear that when levelled up improve your attributes even more. There’s a surprisingly reasonable depth of management required to do well in Story of a Gladiator, it means you can put some preparation in before you go off to fight.
The actual fighting is the main part Story of a Gladiator, you will have to take part in many a battle to gain enough gold to purchase better equipment and level up. The initial arena has you competing against a small number of gladiators, as you progress you will have to defeat more powerful opponents and the end stage has a champion that must be overcome. The next arena includes animals, so you have lions and tigers who enter alongside other combatants. There’s a good variety of enemies to dispose of, there are variations of gladiators who can throw spears, carry shields and are good at hand to hand combat. Some of your skills allow you to decapitate, jump attack, run faster etc, when some of these skills are utilised alongside the killing of gladiators then the audience get happier and start to help you out by throwing rocks that stun opponents, extra gold and food to nourish you back to health. During the latter levels there can be a lot of enemies on screen so you need to manoeuvre yourself efficiently and effectively around the arena. The AI is generally decent but sometimes you’ll see them wander into areas that are nowhere near you or you’ll suddenly have 4/5 surround you. The animations are not the smoothest you’ll ever see but they don’t get in the way of entertainment. The arena experience is mostly hacking and slashing but it’s fun nonetheless.
Story of a Gladiator is a fun fighting game, as you’ll be able to live your dream of being a gladiator. There’s a deceivingly impressive strategic element to Story of a Gladiator which will keep you playing for a long time as you try perfect each stage. Story of a Gladiator is a simple game with a fair bit of heart, if you want to play something that will surprise, then this is a good game for you, if you want to be responsible for many gladiator deaths then this is the perfect game for you.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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Story of a Gladiator Review
Gameplay - 7/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 7/10
Story of a Gladiator is a simple game with a fair bit of heart.