Spartacus: Legends - New Game of the Day #62
- Spartacus: Legends
- New Game Of The Day
SPARTACUS: LEGENDS – NEW GAME OF THE DAY #62
What? A blood-soaked, arena-based fighting game inspired by the Starz original series, Spartacus: Blood & Sand
When? Q1, 2013
Where? PS3, Xbox 360
Anyone familiar with the Starz TV series Spartacus: Blood & Sand, its prequel, Gods of the Arena or the second season, Vengeance, will already have a rough idea of what to expect from Ubisoft’s adaptation. A show that shies away from nothing, happily drenching our screens in human juices both sexual and visceral week after week, it’s an unashamed, irreverent, 300-inspired tour-de-force. But it’s also surprisingly well-written, with a twisting, turning plot that might not challenge Game of Thrones for intrigue and articulation but which keeps us guessing, gasping and glued to the edge of our seats.
Based on the history of the ancient roman anti-hero, Spartacus, Blood & Sand and its related series’ followed the fall and rise and consequent desperate battle for survival of Spartacus and his fellow gladiators from the ludus (training school) of Quintus Batiatus (played by a likeably-despicable John Hannah). After the tragic death of the original star, Andy Whitfield, the role of Spartacus was filled by Liam McIntyre, who did a great job carrying the second season alongside series regulars Manu Bennett, Dustin Claire and Lucy Lawless.
Though we know nothing of the plot of Legends as yet, the fact that it features Spartacus and rival champion Crixus as playable characters means it’s set in Batiatus’ school and therefore during the events of season one. This means we can expect other characters from the show to pop up including Batiatus himself, his wife Lucretia (Lawless) and the Doctore, or trainer, played by Peter Mensah.
While Ubisoft have confirmed that Liam McIntyre will be lending his likeness and voice to the character of Spartacus (as a keen gamer himself, McIntyre has been closely involved in the development process), it’s unknown how many of the other stars will be involved.
It’s also unknown exactly how the game will play. Although we’re promised “thousands of ruthless weapon combinations and a robust skill system for gamers to customize their gladiators and dismember their foes”, it’s more than likely going to be based on a series of set challenges against varying numbers of foes, rather than an action-adventure. It’s unlikely your actions will affect the plot in any meaningful way, as the events of season one are already set in stone – and the inclusion of an online multiplayer and leaderboards hints at a straight fighting game within an uncluttered framework.
With the final series, War of the Damned, on its way, we expect Legends to be a stand-alone game rather than any kind of companion to the show, which at least gives Ubisoft some artistic license to create a compelling reason to be splitting heads open and removing limbs in glorious sprays of claret. It’ll be interesting to see if they remain faithful to the, ahem, “colourful” dialogue and gratuitous flesh-flashing.
We’ll keep you posted as new info surfaces.
Developer Legacy: Ubisoft are one of the world’s most well-known independent videogame publishers, and their various in-house development teams are responsible for franchises such as Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s Splinter Cell, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon and Rayman.
They Say: “A fighting game that will immerse users in the visceral world created by the popular Spartacus original series produced and distributed by Starz Entertainment. Spartacus Legends is a unique gaming experience based on popular characters from the international hit series.” – Official Press Release
We Say: Games based on TV shows and films don’t have a great track record, of course, but a fighting game based on the gladiatorial games of ancient Rome is a surprisingly original concept. Potentially, Spartacus: Legends has legs.
Words by Mick Fraser (Twitter: @Jedi_Beats_Tank)
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