Spartacus Legends Review
This game got off to a rocky start, the game requires you to connect to its online servers and they were down for the first two days or so meaning that playing the game was impossible, so we basically downloaded a 2GB graphic file, a menu and some music, not a good start but it is a free game.
Once the servers started working and I got online, you are given control of a gladiator (you can buy more slots) whom you can upgrade with weapons and armour using the in-game currency, silver coins which you get from playing the game and gold coins which you get from the bank in the form of microtransactions, something I’m not a fan of. As you play through the game you face off against different gladiators trying to gain fame and wealth along the way. You begin with very little armor and a poor weapon and have very little to choose from at the start. As you win more fights and your fame increases you begin to unlock better weapons and armor.
There are eight different fighting styles of gladiator to choose from and much like the weapons and armor they all have their pros and cons. This allows you to play to each fighting styles strengths in different battles. For example, you can put on the heaviest armor and a two-handed hammer and be extremely protected against attacks but sacrifice speed, or you can go the speed route, do very little damage and have very little protection but attacks can be done much quicker.
The game is divided into different zones each containing several fights, as you gain more fame from winning these fights more are unlocked. The overall goal in Spartacus Legends is to become the top gladiator by winning all the Primus fights, tough opponents that you have to beat to reach the boss, and defeat all the Legendary gladiators, the bosses. The Legendary gladiators are much better than you, the best gladiator I had when I fought my first Legendary had a ranking of 105, they had 280. During the 7 attempts it took me to beat him many profanities were said until I eventually won.
While we’re on the subject of the battles let me explain how they work. As you start to beat your opponent, the crowd meter begins to fill. It rises from hitting your opponent and taunting them, but drops if you get hit repeatedly. If you don’t fill the crowd meter fully by the time you win your opponent falls to the floor in defeat. If you manage to keep it full, your opponent will stay up for a few seconds which gives you a chance for a final blow. Depending on whether you have the ‘finisher’ boost equipped your gladiator will either remove a limb or execute your opponent. The executions and slaughters are a nice touch of blood and gore as you would expect from a gladiator game, but after you’ve performed a few of these, you begin to see them happen repeatedly.
There is also the possibility of losing the fight and the same factors come into play, the crowd meter filling will determine if your gladiator lives to fight another day or gets their leg or head cut off. Each gladiator gets a free revival after losing, letting them be used again in other fights. Once you use this freebie though, the next revivals become more expensive, if you choose not to revive or can’t afford it, the gladiator is permanently dead and now there is a hole in your barracks, which can be filled by another gladiator. The only way you can get another gladiator is to pay for them, of course. The higher the base stats of the new gladiator will increase the amount they cost. This can range from a few silver coins to a few gold ones.
If fighting against the AI is getting a bit boring you can take the fight online, the game does a fairly decent job of matching you against equal level players but (and it’s a big but) there is a lot of lag and the quality of the game online suffers from it. You hear gamers complain about lag, but this can easily be a second between pushing the button and the character moving. This sadly takes all the skill out of the game and basically turns it into button mashing and luck.
After downloading this game, I found it quite enjoyable. You don’t see many free to play gladiator games that look great, but the more I played it, the more I got bored by the repetitiveness of it and how long everything seemed to take. The game makes it so leveling up is slow after a point and tempts you to splash out for some gold coins. I understand they need to have some sort of revenue from this game, but maybe try DLC?
Also the higher the level you are, the greater the risk of losing is and the chance of your gladiator getting executed increases too. This can force some players to grind out on the lower level fights in order to slowly increase your level and get some more coins for the sword that does 3 more damage.
The plateau of your gladiators is also a problem. You get to a stage where you have to get a better gladiator, which will need better equipment to defeat the better opponent which will get you more fame to progress through the game. Can you see the theme? You have to either cough up money for gold coins or be mind-numbingly bored grinding out at the lower levels.
Yes, the game is free and we can’t complain because of it, but I feel that if there was a small initial cost, there would be no need to pay for small amounts of gold coins to save your gladiator from death. Coupled with the fact you need to be connected to the servers to get past the start menu is a major let down. For me, these are things that make this game unenjoyable past the first few times you start it up.
If this game has got your interest, then by all means download it and play it. Just don’t expect a great storyline or amazing gaming experience.
• A different setting for a fighting game
• Enjoyable to start
• Mandatory connection to servers
• Online play is disappointing
• Very repetitive
This could be a great game but unfortunately it isn’t, I give it 2.5/5