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Shadows of Rome.

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Having put Phantom Brave on hold for a while (and not being able to drag the wife of it) I delved into Shadows of Rome.


Loosely based on the events surrounding the death of Julius Caeser. The game tells the story of two childhood friends. Agrippa and Octinavius.


Agrippa is a Centurian in the Roman army and is out on the frontire when Caeser is killed. Although the tutorial will give you a little glimpse into the future..


Divided between two very different types of gameplay Agrippa is focused on weapons and chopping people into pieces, where as Octinavius is a trainee spy/detective who uses stealth and brains.


Very early on the events that link the characters will become apparent and each will then go their own path to solve the mystery.


Combat is a big part of the game but luckily it's also very well done, almost sickeningly well done in places..


Agrippa can use a wide range of weapons, from dagger to huge mauls and 2 handed swords. He can also equip off hand weapons for extra attacks. The attack performed will vary depending on a number of factors. Which weapon you are using, which attack you use, whether you are moving at the time, and how long you hold down the attack button before release.

You can block (and dodge but it's not easy) and the handy targetting feature will keep you focused on a particular foe. Unfortunately, or fuortunately, the weapons are quite brittle so you have a snowballs chance of any one weapon lasting you an entire battle , blocking will also wreck the weapon very quickly and you cant block barehanded (nor can you block power strikes so sitting back holding block wont work like in some other games).


There is more to the battles than simply being last one standing. In many cases you will have to perform a scenario for the crowds entertainment. One of my favourites involves a catapult and a lot of dodging while collecting rocks. Rocks can also be thrown to ruin someones day , and skull.


Combo's or salvo's are the core of the fighting game. Fight well and execute quick and continuous combo attacks and the crowds will go wild with exitement. Capitalise on this by acknoledging the crowd and they will toss all sorts of goodies into the arena. This can be both good and bad depending on how quick you are to spot where it lands. Nothing ruins your day like someone picking up your intended weapon and chopping you in half with it..


Viscreal describes the actual combat. Again depending on the weapon you have , you can inflict a variety of grusome injuries on your oppenents. Meat Sculpture for example will take off both arms and then finish off with a decapitation. Red Volcano involves chopping someone in half at the waist and blood spewing like lava. Other neat tricks involve things like dragging a prone foe to their feet circling from behind and cutting their throats. Or using a suplex to throw them into a nearby whirling blade of death..


Foes without limbs will roll around on the floor screaming in agony before gamely getting to their feet and attacking you with their own arms.. But nothing says revenge like taking off both of someones arms and beating them to death with them. You can also use someones head like a bowling ball.


Octinavius is a much gentler soul and his levels give a respite from the bloodletting.


His levels are a mixture of stealth , talking to people (choosing the right options) and finding or aquiring disguises to allow him access to places he shouldnt be.


He has a few tricks up his sleeve for getting past stubborn guards and the like. Hitting them with a pot will knock them out but is noisy and will cause nearby guards to investigate. Strangulation (not to death) is a more silent method but involves some rapid button pushing (nothing to awful though).


The funniets one of all is the banana peel , drop and whistle and watch the guards go falling flat on their arses and into walls.


While disguised you have to play the part. Running, sneaking or other out of character behaviour will alert others to your fake identity. Carrying around a rope or a vase will also get you caught. Luckily you can hide anything you carry behind your back in which case it will escape notice.


Like most stealth games a lot of trial and error is involved but the individual areas are not too long so you never really go back that far if you happen to fail. You can also collect coins (some easy some not) which you can then spend in the market place to do up your room.


Other elements like Chariot Racing give some more variety to the gameplay. Plus you can refight or redo any of the action sequences from the menu.


Overall a top game with an intriuging story and solid characters. Look out for Claudia , they didnt draw any underwear on her.. :(

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.


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sounds pretty solid, I guess I'm going to check it out

People laugh when I say that I think a jellyfish is one of the most beautiful things in the world. What they don't understand is, I mean a jellyfish with long, blond hair.

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This game is just sick....


One of the scenarios is to break barrels (yay) only this time some have oil in them and the idea is to cover your foes in this oil then set them alight. The whole crowd roaring in the background makes the whole thing quite disturbing on so many levels..

I have to agree with Volourn.  Bioware is pretty much dead now.  Deals like this kills development studios.


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