Story of a Gladiator is a simple story of a man looking for his destiny. The man will go head to head against endless waves of enemies in the Colosseum in order to become the champion.
Story of a Gladiator is a classic beat’em up reminiscent of games like Streets of Rage and Final Fight. However, unlike these classics, Gladiator takes places in a Colosseum where you await your enemies. As a young warrior, you start off with barely anything: a melee weapon and your will to win. At first, you can just attack and block. But as you conquer enemies and progress through the levels in each of the 3 campaigns, you will unlock new skills, weapons, armor, shields and perks.
When you being the game, you can choose from three different classes: Greece, Catharge or Egypt. Each of those have specific perks; the Greece one gives your a permanent damage boost while Catharge offers a health bonus and Egypt lets you use an additional skill point. From there, you can choose from three campaigns: Greek, Afrikan and Roman. All 3 have to be done, but this decides which one you do first.
After winning each battle, you’re rewarded with stars and gold. The stars can be used to equip skills varying from being able to run or void being stunned by enemies. Money on the other hand can be used for a plethora of things. First, you can buy new armor, weapons, shields and throwable weapons such as axes. When you buy new equipment, you can unlock stronger and more expensive ones. You can also decide the color of your armor with preset color patterns and equipment. Money can also be used to buy food which will give you temporary boost for a single fight such as damage bonus. You can also equip an amulet which gives a variety of perks such as increase support of the crowds.
When we say Colosseum, we also mean there’s a crowd. One of the goals as gladiator is to please the crowd. The better you perform in combat, the more the crowd will reward you by either throwing rocks at your opponents, more gold and health items. Enemies on the receiving end of a rock will be stunned briefly. Very briefly. So much so that you barely have time to reach an opponent that’s stunned; it can be helpful at times, but mostly to stop enemies from moving temporarily.
The game is easy to pick up and play; the progress system is actually very addicting, like the combat, and it’s both simple and vast at the same time. You have a variety of skills you can equip with the stars you earn through the fights; meaning you can tailor your skills for every battle. If a wave of enemy is giving you trouble, once you return to Rome, simply switch out your skills.
My main gripe with this is game is that every time you complete a level, you’ll be asked to return to Rome; it can be annoying especially if you just want to go from level to level until you hit a proverbial wall. I also noticed a few detection issues where an enemy would be slight above me on the battlefield; he would hit me but when trying to hit back, it didn’t connect. Some cheap enemies also which requires you to be one your toes as some waves will sometime have you quickly surrounded by 6-8 enemies all hitting your simultaneously.
The more you progress through the arenas the more shops you unlock. As mentioned below, you’ll be able to buy food from a butcher, amulets from an uh Amulet vendor, skills in the combat training areas, borrow the power of Gods and even pets to aid you in battle.
Story of a Gladiator looks great. It’s colorful and bright; some levels have rain and it actually looks great. While it doesn’t do anything to enhance the gameplay, it is a nice touch. The enemy is varied; whether it be from level to level or campaign to campaign. The score is decent; very Rome inspired and sets the tone; however don’t expect to hum it while not playing.
Story of a Gladiator is definitely one of the best indie games I’ve played in 2019. While the premise sounds simple and repetitive, the execution gives it depth: the upgradeable equipment (armor, weaponry, shield), the plethora of skills, the use of amulet, pets, foods; Story of a Gladiator is a simple, yet complex game that’s easy to pick up and play. I highly recommend this game.
- Simple yet surprisingly deep combat
- Easy to pick up and play
- Getting kicked back to Rome after every level is annoying