Excerpt: It’s horrifying to think that gladiators really did exist and only lived to tear each other apart, whilst the spectators actually enjoyed the resulting massacres leading us to believe that they were nothing but bloodthirsty animals. Capcom’s Shadow of Rome portrays this brutal part of history in an extremely gory fashion and even throws crowd excitement in for good authentic measure.
Excerpt: A Caesar assassinated. A usurper sits upon the throne. A Roman Legionnaire turned gladiator uses his success in the Coliseum to turn the Empire on its ear and right a grave injustice. The plot for the movie Gladiator, right? Wrong. This is the storyline for Shadow of Rome, an action game that takes a revisionist approach to the events surrounding the assassination of Julius Caesar and a very healthy dose of inspiration from the film starring Russell Crowe.
Excerpt: “This game contains explicit scenes of violence and gore,” says the introduction. Seconds later, you’ve seen countless Roman and Germanic warriors being run through, having limbs torn off and being stuck in the chest with flaming arrows so that the flames do more than produce scars on the outside.
Summary: Shadow of Rome offers some good hack-n-slash gameplay with some stealth chucked into the mixer. The stealth isn't bad but it does get rather repetitive and boring at times due to the slow nature of its progression. There are some unlockables to seek out including new costumes for the characters, an art gallery, and a bunch of mini-games which add to the longevity and replay-ability of the game.
Excerpt: Shadow of Rome is another strong title from the reputable Capcom company, known best for the numerous Street Fighter titles. SOR has a distinct graphical style akin to the aforementioned games. The characters in the arena are bulky, muscle-bound warriors, with numerous details shown throughout their armor sections, shields, and weapons. In Rome, we see a sleeker assortment of individuals dressed in flowing robes and gowns befit for the greatest nation known to man.
Summary: Nerd: "Learning history is soooooooo cool, boooooooy!" Bully: "I concur. And after I'm done demonstrating how Julius Caesar died on you nerd, I'll do to you what they did to the thieves of France in the 17th Century." Nerd: "Whoo hoo!
Conclusion: Sound is also used to good effect, especially the meaty sound of weapons, crunching and slicing through flesh and bone, and also the noise of the crowd, which is wonderful in Dolby Pro Logic II. Music is muted and used in fanfaric force during tense scenes, and adds a nice background ambience during non-fighting sections.
Pros: Weapons and gore., Crowd appreciation., Frantic gameplay., Crushing opponents with a giant mace for the first time.
Cons: The first 40 minutes., No multiplayer., No selecting of enemies when locked on.
Conclusion: From the outset SoR is a highly entertaining game to play. The game is presented very well and there is a great, epic feel of fighting against the odds at many points throughout the adventure. Sure, the stealth sections let down the overall product but gladly these sections only make up a small slice of the overall game and Agrippa takes the forefront throughout. If you can put up with this small blemish then SoR could be one of the best titles you play all year.