It's about time a turn-based strategy game turned up on the Cube, but we are a bit disappointed that this is the first - we were hoping for a Gladiator-inspired slash-'em-up. Still, you can't have it all.
The Story follows one of the two main characters, Ursula or Valens, and it's your job to travel around, participate in gladiatorial tournaments and recruit weird and wonderful characters. Once you've recruited lots of warriors, they uncover a plot to bring back the evil Dark God, which means there's a mystery to unravel and plenty of bad people that need to be knocked on the head. Phew.
THERE'S A MYSTERY TO UNRAVEL AND PLENTY OF BAD PEOPLE THAT NEED TO BE KNOCKED ON THE HEAD. PHEWAlthough the-fighting is turn-based, there are lots of other elements thrown in to spice up proceedings, such as a swing meter that boosts the power of your attacts and varied button attacks. Battles aren't as simple as just mashing one button and watching your character do the business, though. Some attacks require you to input a sequence of complicated button-presses, while others demand that you learn particular controller movements.
|The customary ginger-haired fighting |
wench - last seen in Xena.
Get it right, and victory brdings rewards. Not only can you celebrate the dismissal of your enemy, but you also get approval from the emperor himself in the shape of a certificate. And, the more certificates you accumulate, the more levels and fighters you get to unlock .
The character development is strong, and the progress of the game is directly related to how you control your team, making that element of the game just as important as getting your moves right on the battlefield.
Visually, Gladius is looking good, but it's the engrossing gameplay that should have strategy buffs everywhere rubbing their damp hands with glee. There are still a few issues to be sorted out battle system, but if it all comes together, Gladius should soon account for many a night's lost sleep.
|Turn-based fighting and strong...|
|... storylines make a nice change.|
|The further on the road to glory you are, the better the arenas.|