Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance - Xbox

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Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance (Xbox)
Also for: PC, PS2
Viewed: 3D Third-person, floating camera Genre:
Combat Game
Media: CD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Acclaim Soft. Co.: Acclaim
Publishers: Acclaim (GB/GB)
Released: 21 Nov 2003 (GB)
Unknown (GB)
Ratings: BBFC 15
Accessories: Xbox Memory Unit


The single-player “kill-em-up” is the type of game we don’t see much of these days. Nintendo typically opts for childlike gameplay lacking in violent content, whilst others tend to stick with a traditional beat-em-up frenzy. Acclaim’s Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance for Xbox is one such title that goes back to Roman times and follows the adventures of a lone warrior fighting for survival in a corrupted capital.

Taking place in a largely ruined city, our gladiator’s quest for vengeance charges players with overcoming myriad obstacles and enemies throughout the game. It’s a game that focuses very much on combat in a day and age where the conventional sword is man’s best friend. But it’s also a mythical time in Sword of Vengeance, and your opponents are anything but human. Wielding your sword and a plethora of other weapons and armour, you’ll have to smash your way through the living dead and overcome a few brute ogres before reaching your goal.

The game’s play mechanic is very simple, despite playing host to a multitude of attacks and combination attacks. Accessibility is the key here, and Gladiator does a fine job. The game also showcases some of Acclaim’s best work to date on Xbox. Locales are vibrant, detailed, and the game doesn’t suffer from too much on-screen action.

But Gladiator isn’t merely a poor excuse for a good old hack ‘n’ slashfest. The game does offer a sense of adventure and has a historic feel to it, and locations such as labyrinths and temples make it feel as convincing and immersive as possible. Combine that with excellent voice acting and superb in-game cameras and you’ve pretty much got yourself a virtual representation of a series of historical - and very violent - events. Brutal!