Colosseum Road To Freedom
|Editor Rating:||6/10, based on 1 review|
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The life of a slave gladiator is a harsh one. When you're not bleeding in the arena to amuse spectators, you're busting your ass with training minigames and wolfing down grade-D gladiator chow. But if you're willing to accept that you're in for 50 grueling days of being literally owned-- with the opportunity to buy or win your freedom through the dedicated butchery of your fellow man--Colosseum can prove itself worthy of your favor. The visual spectacle doesn't get an unqualified thumbs-up, but when you've collected gladiatorial wares such as an imposing deer-skull helmet and gleaming shoulder guard, then plucked a wicked chain-blade from a fallen enemy, you'll be well-equipped for terrifyingly lethal combat. Anyone burned out on the modern glut of block-and-combo action games should be glad to gladiate under these rules. You can complain about the game's spartan graphics and other problems, use the shoddy default equipment, enter the least challenging events, and refuse to recreate historical battles in the arena...or you can put a little effort into it and get a lot more out. It's nice to have the choice.
Your DVD copy of Ridley Scott's Gladiator has scratches on it and you're forced to watch the same chapters over and over again--welcome to Colosseum. Here, you get to play the same lame minigames at gladiator school (e.g., a stupid rhythm game to do sit-ups), then go off on a field trip the next day to battle at an arena--and repeat, a la Groundhog Day. Sure, there are stats to level up, a variety of weapons, and a healer who looks like Jesus, but the combat system and crappy camera will make you want to surrender during the generic battles modes. Colosseum constantly reminds you that you're a slave by having you visit the same friggin' dozen rooms; you have 50 days to buy your freedom, but I found an easier way out: the power button. Justin, you crazy.
I give a bloodthirsty thumbs-down to Colosseum's frus-tratingly clumsy combat--and blame the slow-to-respond controls that make both dodging and striking needlessly difficult. Once you figure out how to adapt to the inadequacies, there are some decent fighting moments, but for me, the bigger issue was that the predictable cycle (train, eat, fight, and then do it again, slave) left me kind of, well, bored. If gladiatorial combat gets you hot under the bearskin collar, I'd suggest giving Shadow of Rome a try instead--it's the superior game.