If there is one thing that I love more than anything else on this lovely green planet – it’s a free game. There’s something so rewarding about discovering these little gems, these small packages of free entertainment. Microsoft, of late, has had some kind of life changing epiphany and, rather than squeeze every penny out of their customers as if we were money sponges, are now giving us free content. I know! Free content, apparently there is some form of superior being looking out for us; either that or it’s a sign of the end of days. But, whether it be out of the goodness of their hearts or an attempt to score brownie points before the rapture, I, for one, am a happy gamer. First, Microsoft gave us Fable 3. This is a fantastic RPG set in the kingdom of Albion, seeing the player slay bandits, monsters and rebels in an attempt to regain the throne and rule their kingdom (either by throwing an iron fist or fists full of money). Now Microsoft bring us Spartacus Legends, a free to play fighting game – and it is good.
Now, I’m not the biggest fan of fighting games – I find them pretty boring after a while. I think it’s the whole button mashing that puts me off a little. That being said, I really enjoyed the most recent Mortal Kombat title, not because it was fresh or new, but because it was so brutal. That’s what Ubisoft bring to the table with Spartacus Legends, brutality. You can slice your opponents open and, if you’ve built up enough crowd favour throughout the fight, decapitate them in a Mortal Kombat-esque, ‘finish him’, scenario. The choice of weapons is broad and exciting, enabling the player to kit their gladiator out with anything from a sword and shield to a trident – the game really is tailored to suite any kind of playing style. There really is a lot of depth and detail to this game, especially when considering that it’s free, as well as an abundance of choice that is hard to find in most fighters.
There isn’t much of a story, not that it needs one in all honesty. Recently fighters like Mortal Kombat and Injustice – Gods Among Us have opted for a story based game mode where the player will be subjected to various cutscenes before their fights – you won’t find anything like that here. The gameplay is simple in that all you need to do is stab, slash, crush and kill your way to the top, dismembering anyone that stands in your way. You will gain fame and silver for killing your opponents, eventually allowing you to buy new gear for your gladiator and unlock new weapons, armour and combat arenas, respectively. You will create a roster of gladiators with the silver and gold that you earn allowing you to train better and more skilled fighters and, inevitably, beat the harder bosses. I must admit, these guys are tough. I can’t tell you how many times Oenomaus has cut my gladiator to pieces and how many times I’ve contemplated throwing my controller at his smug face whilst he celebrates over my gladiator’s decapitated body. It’s infuriating to say the least – but oh so satisfying when you finally beat him.
This really is a thoroughly enjoyable game with a good amount of longevity – not only can you fight computer players for increased fame, but you can also pit yourself up against fellow gamers in an online battleground. Though you won’t be penalised for not doing so. The game, however, does have a few short fallings. Lags and glitches are common, especially when playing online opponents. Connection to the servers is often lost, both online and offline, leading to annoying restarts and even the loss of a beloved gladiator. I’ve beaten Oenomaus once before, but the game decided it didn’t feel like saving my progress. So, when I came back to the arena, Oenomaus was standing there, taunting me again – I could have cried. But, through all of its faults, it is still a brilliantly fun game to play. It’s incredibly simple, but there’s a lot to keep you interested. You’ll find hours of enjoyment in this game and the fact that it’s free will make your playing time that much sweeter.
If you have any views on Spartacus Legends, or if you have any questions and you would like to get in touch then hit up the comments section below or tweet us @IM_PLAYIN