of Rome is a trip in the Way-Back Machine. Rome
is brought to life in all its horror and glory
as you attempt to save your father's life as
you become a gladiator - one of the most brutal
professions ever devised. Shadow of Rome is
a real bloodbath.
this game been released a couple of years ago
it probably would have languished in the gladiator-game-phase
that was inspired by the Academy Award Winning,
Russell Crowe movie, Gladiator. Shadow of Rome
has distanced itself favorably so that the gameplay
feels fresh. It's almost as though no other
gladiator game existed before.
of Rome is essentially two games in one. There
are two playable characters, Octavius and Agrippa.
Since the murder of Caesar, the political climate
has been unstable. Sentenced to be executed
in the gladiatorial arena, Agrippa's father
has been framed for murder. Agrippa becomes
a gladiator to buy his father some time while
Octavius, Agrippa's best friend, searches for
clues that will exonerate his friend's father.
character is action based. He's the gladiator.
Loaded with moves, weapons and charisma, he
manages to slay his enemies while entertaining
the crowd. With one mighty slice of his sword
he can cut his opponent in half. With blood
spraying in all directions this move is aptly
named the Red Volcano. In the arena he will
be faced with all kinds of challenges including
chariot racing, lions and tigers and will face
opponents of all shapes and sizes armed with
a plethora of strange and unusual deathly apparatuses.
Salvo points for his skills, Agrippa can also
gain the favor of the audience which will throw
him weapons and food to keep his energy level
up. The fighting scenes are in real time and
are spectacular. Even watching someone else
play the game is exciting - and how many games
can you can that about? Bloodshed and dismembered
limbs is not just a gory feature of the game,
it's an integral part of the gameplay not to
mention that it's also a very realistic portrayal
of events in those days. The audience is bloodthirsty
and must be appeased. You can also use some
of the severed limbs to clobber your opponent
with when you run out of weapons.
is not a gladiator. He's a spy. His challenge
in the game is to sneak into various buildings
and eavesdrop on conversations so that he can
gain evidence to clear Agrippa's father. All
of Ocatvius' missions are stealth based. He
doesn't have any weapons, devices or special
moves. You have to walk quietly and avoid detection.
Icons appear onscreen to show you the right
path. These missions may seem a little boring
but they are a great device to reveal the plot
of the story. I prefer having to play as two
different characters since it seems more realistic
than having only one character perform both
the fighting and the stealth missions. I would
have a hard time believing that a brute such
as Agrippa could pull off the finesse required
to infiltrate secure, government buildings.
the graphics manage to recreate a realistic
Roman vibe, the story offers us an unprecedented
glimpse into the machinations of the Roman government.
The result is a deep and compelling storyline.
You don't have to be a history buff to appreciate
it. It's very accessible butintelligent. It
offsets the gory aspects of the fighting but
it illustrates that even though Rome was the
model of modern civilization, underneath the
people were still struggling with their barbaric
of Rome is a great game in every aspect. It
doesn't require superhuman skill but it will
pose a challenge to all that play. Above all
else, it's fun and there's nothing that beats