User review spotlight: Carmageddon (DOS). Released in 1997.

Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance

MobyRank MobyScore
PlayStation 2
63
4.3
Windows
70
3.6
Xbox
64
4.2
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Description

Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance is an epic action packed game that takes place in the times of the Roman empire. You take control of Invictus Thrax a Roman slave, who ascended through the ranks to become champion of all gladiators. Favored by the emperor, Invictus was to be granted his freedom. Mysteriously though the emperor was killed and replaced by a crazy man named Arruntius. Arruntius, so full of himself, has decided to destroy Rome and replace it with a city named Arruntium. As the game begins, a epic event is stage with Invictus as the gladiator. Invictus fights bravely, but he is killed by a unknown and possibly un-human creature. In the afterlife, Invictus meets the sons of Jupiter. They inform him of how Arruntius' power came from help of the gods of terror. The charge him with the task of eliminating Arruntius and restoring Rome to glory.

Gladiator is essentially an 3d action/combat game which features hand to hand combat with weapons, combos and magic. The action consists of also maneuvering around from gliding down ropes to jumping traps. Challenges are scattered around the game world, which when defeated, unlock magical powers. You get powers such as from Pluto which raises spirits from the dead to help you in battle.

Another unique feature to the game is the execution maneuver. Upon the near death of certain enemies, you can execute this maneuver which will result in a cinematic random brutal execution by Thrax.

Gladiator features some high quality graphics with detailed and vibrant textures, colors and settings to create a psyche from gladiator films like Ben-Hur. A wide range of characters are featured from opposing gladiators to mythical enemies like cyclopes, demons, skeleton warriors. The Audio features a intriguing blend of soft to hectic tunes and voice over acting.

Screenshots

Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance Windows Option and Status screen
Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance Windows The beginning: gladiator fights in Rome
Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance Windows Beach massacre with heroic powers
Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance Windows Smashing undead.

Alternate Titles

  • "Месть гладиатора" -- Russian spelling
  • "I, Gladiator" -- Development title
  • "Gladiator: Schwert der Rache" -- German title (Censored version)

Part of the Following Group

User Reviews

"Are you not entertained?" Um... a little, maybe. PlayStation 2 Terrence Bosky (5234)
Entertaining hack n’ slash fare, with limited lasting appeal. Xbox Nick Drew (371)

The Press Says

IGN Windows Nov 18, 2003 8.1 out of 10 81
Digital Press - Classic Video Games Xbox Jan 04, 2004 8 out of 10 80
GameStar (Germany) Windows Jan, 2004 77 out of 100 77
GameSpot Xbox Nov 01, 2003 7.1 out of 10 71
GameSpot Windows Dec 22, 2003 7.1 out of 10 71
GameSpy Xbox Nov 09, 2003 3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars3 Stars 60
Game Informer Magazine Xbox Nov, 2003 5.75 out of 10 58
Jeuxvideo.com Xbox Dec 04, 2003 11 out of 20 55
Jeuxvideo.com Windows Dec 12, 2003 10 out of 20 50
GamePro (US) Xbox Nov 05, 2003 2 out of 5 40

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Trivia

Advertising Campaign

Acclaim billed this game as their bloodiest ever, but how do you get that message out? Bloodvertising! Acclaim planned (not sure how this turned out) to place advertisements in UK bus shelters that would bleed. For six days, cartridges behind the ads would spurt red dye which would spill out on to the ground (and cleaned up at the end of the one-week campaign).

Credits

Watch the credits for humorous "outtakes" and other surprises.

German Releases

Two versions of this game were released in Germany: an uncut version with the red USK age rating logo and a "modified" version which qualified for the USK 12 age rating. The modified version is easily recognised by the German subtitle Schwert der Rache (i.e. Sword of Vengeance), the uncut German version still has the English title, although the package blurb and the manual are in German. The games are identical, there simply is one gory version and one with reduced violence for the "younger players".

Historical References

  • In this game, Romulus and Remus are presented as the children of Jupiter. In traditional mythology, they are identified as the children of Mars and are responsible for founding Rome. Romulus is said to have killed Remus, so we can guess who's wearing the comedy mask and who's wearing the tragedy mask in the game.

  • The Dark Gods of the game, Phobos and Deimos, are called the "errant children of Mars." Errant maybe, but they belong to the Greek mythic tradition which places them as the children of Ares. They represent the aspects of Fear and Terror. Interestingly, Acclaim has much of this information on their web site.

  • Historically, Emperor Trajan reigned from 98-117 AD (or CE). This game is set in 106 AD/CE but the story allows for any discrepancies. Trajan's achievements were set in stone, the famous Trajan Column, and he was followed by Hadrian, famous for the Hadrian Wall.

Sales

Sales of this game were clearly far below the expected levels. Enough to have contributed to Acclaim's bankruptcy? You decide. Lot number 2013 in the "pick the bones" auction of Acclaim's assets consisted of Nineteen Thousand One Hundred Seventy Three (19,173) unsold copies of Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance for PC.

Information also contributed by ClydeFrog and partykiller.

Related Web Sites

Contributed to by Kabushi (126886) and The Ring Hawk (654)