Shadow of Rome, a historical adventure game was first released in 2005. Quite well known for its hard levels, this game will definitely leave you on your toes. Brought to you by Capcom, the same people who did the Japanese game Onimusha, the game involves two key characters. Agrippa, the over pumped gladiator and Octavianus, a young boy in search of claiming Justice for his friend. The game follows the two of them on their quest to find who assassinated Julius Caesar. When Agrippa’s Father is cruelly accused of committing this crime and Agrippa captured by the Roman Army, this is when Octavianus tries to fight his way past the roman guards, to find out the truth.
The game switches throughout letting the player have the chance to use both characters. This been an effective move not letting the gamer grow bored. While Octavianus has less gruesome challenges, it is Agrippa who is the highlight of the game. After been captured and made an enslaved gladiator, each level follows him fight to the death with Tigers, slaves and other Mystical beasts, sometimes maybe having to fight all of them at the same time. Having no mercy with his opponents, cutting heads off and throwing arms are just the norm for Shadow of Rome. His combat moves are amazing and the choice of weapons makes him a great warrior to play.
Octavianus’s character had missions such as passing Roman Guards of the Senate. His character is unable to use combat, sometimes it will make it hard to fight with him, but what makes his missions fun to play is the way he can change his identity and sneak into secret buildings, there was a bit more variety with his quests.
At the start of the game, the levels are pretty tame, easing you into it. After a certain point though it is not so easy to complete. Chariot racing is known to be one of the most ridiculous levels on it. After going round the arena several times and been ahead for most of it, the game seems to trick you into thinking you’ll win and right at the end you lose, letting the enemy take the winners title. Approximately spending at least an hour or two will eventually get you pass this level.
The levels do become more challenging and longer to complete and can make the game linger on for no reason. In the final showdown’s which usually come at the end of nearly every round you would find your enemies would have the equivalent of four life bars and yourself would only have one, which was quite unnecessary really by just prolonging the level and making it inevitable to beat. Just don’t let the game push you into frustration and throwing the controller at the wall. I’ve heard this game has had this effect on a lot of people.
Cut scenes are shown between missions to help maintain interest, letting you follow the characters developments. Finding out that it was definitely needed; you can keep up with the storyline as it often made you wonder why you were fighting so many endless rounds. The story scenes were well written and designed letting the graphics make the game that bit better too, ranking it in top ten ps2 games to play.
All in all spending just over thirty hours on the game, it was definitely worth it. Recommending it for everyone; just make sure you have plenty of time to complete it. If you like this genre then there are other Roman Adventure games to play such as Colosseum, Spartan- Total warrior and Gladiator sword of Vengeance which is very similar to Shadow of Rome.