29/12/2019

⚔️๐Ÿฆ Story of a Gladiator | REVIEW | "A wobbling, sideways thumb from the Emperor" ⚔️๐Ÿฆ #GameDev #IndieGames

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Story Of A Gladiator is a 2D arena fighter that’s fun for a while with great presentation and some tense moments but feels too much like a time killer to be a must-play title.
Story of a Gladiator sets the tone straight away, when your family is taken away from you and your home is destroyed, the player character is then reduced to being a lowly alcoholic beggar.
After some serious self-pitying, you decide to make your fame and fortune in the bloodstained sands of the arena.  And so, in a city under Roman rule, you must hack and slash your way into the annals of history.
Presented in a colourful, flat 2D style, Story of a Gladiator runs smoothly and makes a solid first impression. As the titular gladiator, you begin the game with nothing more than a wooden sword and some brown kecks, victory is not certain.

Split into three arenas over 30+ stages, the game requires you to defeat waves of attackers that come in quite an impressive range, from sword-wielding roman warriors to animals and a multitude of weapon-wielding enemies with differing styles of attack.

The crowd also get involved, as you hack away at a dual-dagger sporting attacker, having rolled past him as his blades harmlessly pass above you only to notice a spear-thrower approaching from behind, it’s never not funny to see a rock get hurled from the assembled throng and clonk him on the head, dizzying him for just long enough for you to deal with your current foe and then roll across to engage him in fair battle.

Food and coins also get tossed down into the arena, if you are especially impressive in your swordplay.

It’s also quite nifty how you can upgrade your weapons and armour as well as choose amulets and unlockable skills to give you the edge you need in the arena. Unfortunately, the progress of the game and enemy AI end up feeling a grind and detract from the overall enjoyment somewhat.
The first few fights are easy enough with only a couple of waves of equally poorly-equipped enemies coming at you, which can be easily dispatched. After a few fights, however, it’s clear to see that the game is a war of attrition with the core game-loop of dying, earning some coins, upgrading and going back into the arena making up the most of the gameplay.

After getting stuck in a damage-loop for the umpteenth time and getting swarmed by attackers that seemed to flick between two modes of AI – ‘attack’ or ‘wander about’ – the feeling dawned on me that this may be a mobile phone port as it had the incremental design philosophies that we see in that medium as well as being a single-player only experience when it would clearly benefit from multiplayer.

The game appears to not be a mobile game however, even though the icon on the PS4 library is a cartoon image of a man screaming, much as in almost every mobile phone game available.
Summary
Story of a Gladiator, despite having some fun moments ended up feeling like a time killer as opposed to gaming time well-spent.

The basic premise is fine but the wobbly enemy AI and level of incremental grind involved in levelling up will only really appeal to certain players on a more loose and casual basis but for me, personally, despite a strong opening, it’s not a game I would return to.
๐Ÿ’ง❄️ RATING: MELTING ❄️๐Ÿ’ง

Ratings Explained
ICE COOL (Great Game Recommended)
MELTING (Recommended with reservations, one to consider if you are a fan of the genre)
MELTED (Not A Recommended Purchase)

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