Story of a Gladiator
Developed By : Brain Seal Entertainment
Published By : Brain Seal Entertainment
Category : Arcade, Fighting, Beat-em-up
Release : Nov 27, 2019
While some games rely on a sense of grandeur, popping off spiffy graphics and a story that takes dozens of hours to complete, others realize that dialing back on these things and offering a more concrete gameplay experience is just as key. Story of a Gladiator on the Nintendo Switch is a simple title that expertly delivers on the experience as you slash your way through countless bodies in the arena.
This hopeful gladiator’s story begins in circumstances that are less than ideal. War has torn everything away from you, leaving you with no family, no friends, and virtually no hope as the Roman’s control your land. Luckily (maybe?) you avoid falling into slavery and find yourself roaming (haha) the streets of Rome (haha…), in search of what your fate may have in store for you. And then, one day, the arena calls. You pick up the only shield and sword you can find, cinch up your loincloth and step into the battlefield where you hope you’ll eventually get to make a name for yourself in the blood of your opponents.
When you first start your file, you’ll need to pick the games difficulty level and your race for your playthrough. Here, the different in difficulties boils down to a health and damage bonus on the easy mode, or a more roguelike experience on the hardest. The race you choose will directly effect your character as soon as you step into the world. You can choose from Greece where you’ll get a small tick of bonus damage, Carthage which has extra health, or Egypt which starts you off with an extra skill point. Once you’ve locked these choices in, you’ll step into the heart of the game itself where your time will be spent between the arena and the city street just outside.
In the arena there are three fighting campaigns to go through, with no real difference between them other than the types of enemies you’ll see. Each campaign is comprised of a dozen different fights that will certainly keep you on your toes. The arena will throw everything at you from loin-clad fellows such as yourself, to massively armored champions and even some tigers. These fights start off pretty easy, but they can ramp up pretty quick.
Luckily, the bustling city street just outside of the arena is there to help you keep up with that ramp. As you fight, you’ll gain experience, gold coins, and depending on how much health you have left should you win a fight, you’ll gain stars as well. Each one of these acts as a form of currency for your benefit.
While you can’t spend the experience points directly, they compile into your overall level. Everytime you level up you’ll gain a skill point and these you can spend at the combat trainer outside the arena. Here you can learn special attack moves, increase the damage you deal, how much you can block, or even your movement speed.
You can also find a weapon and armor vendor who will give you better gear in exchange for coin. There is a temple where you can offer a monetary sacrifice to the gods in exchange for assistance from them in battle, acting as sort of an ultimate move for yourself. The stars that you earn from your grades in the fights can be used to purchase amulets, which can be worn to give you permanent stat boosts through fighting.
Story of a Gladiator is a fun game that you can take many different approaches to. If you’re looking for a challenge and find yourself cranking up the difficulty, you can definitely expect it to get thrown in your face. Keeping up with the difficulty isn’t just about keeping up with the latest and greatest out on the street. You can easily re-build your loadout to give yourself the best potential for any situation, and you just might find that some perks and powers are overpowered in some fights, while useless in others.
All in all, the game itself can be completed in just a handful of hours of playing, more or less depending on how you fluctuate the difficulty. If you find yourself running into coin or level issues, you can always replay fights you’ve completed (even ones that you have three-starred) to grind out those necessities. While it’s a short game, it’s a fun one, and definitely worth a little bit of your time to play it.