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Spartan - Total Warrior

Memory Usage
Action Adventure
Creative Assembly
175KB Minimum
Ocotober 2005

The Spartan kills and kills again!

Review Date: 11/09/06

Creative Assembly was created by Tim Ansell in 1987, a games developer based in Sussex in the UK. Over the years they have made many strategy games of the Total War series under the names of Rome, Medieval, Shogun and also some older titles you many of heard of like Stunt Car Racer and Shadow of the Beast. This game I’m review is a spin off from the award winning game Rome: Total War, where as you now play a role of a single warrior in an action adventure game.

The game is set in the time of the Roman Empire where they are conquering Greece. The next target city is Sparta where you take control of one of the many basically trained soldiers. As the King of Sparta is giving out orders for the upcoming battle, a strong powerful voice talks to you with in your head and says that you will become a very strong warrior of Sparta and that if you follow the gods advice you will save Sparta and all your people. The voice that speaks to you is Ares (The God Of War), you fight and win the battle and many more there after, where you begin to be known by others and enemies as “The Spartan” a great warrior. Follow the voice of Ares fight many enemies along your way, killing many men and beasts off ones you may know by the names of Medusa, Hydra, Beowulf, Medusa and Ladon from Greek mythology. By mastering you skills you become a Hero from a Warrior, to Legend and finally finding out who your really are and why has Ares been helping you along the way.

The graphics I was very presently surprised with as through the whole game the action is packed with hundreds of people fighting simultaneously. With so much going on at ones I would of through that the graphics would have to be dulled down to this current generation of gaming to keep everything running smoothly but what I noticed straight away was there was a high amount of detail to each and every solider fighting it out in the battle, not only that but buildings all around, some towering over you, all looking excellent with the right natural color which still shows the PS2 still has hidden abilities and that this current-generation will still go on. To totally top it off, it has some of the best lighting and shadow effects not only seen on the best Console games but also on the PC. Sun light that pours downs in open areas shinnying brightly off your shield and armor along with of metals has a great reflections.

The sound and music is just as good, the music fits well in with the game and flows nicely when up against the bosses. The sound is superb from the clashing of the swords and armor to the screams of the enemies when on fire and shouting of when they have been hit. The sound comes more alive when you use your powers for example when you use the lighting strike; it thunders out of your swords and sounds excellent.

Onto the characters, although they are not voices by anyone special they seem very good and real. What was a nice touch I though was when you are plowing throw enemies, massacring them, leaving bloodshed of bodies then suddenly this voice shunts out which is Ares (God of War) a praise I would say of congratulations of sending the enemies to hell is such a quick amount of time. I found the first time I heard this deep powerful voice, that where the hell did that come from. Some of the things he says are cool and funny like “Send their souls to me”, “I will drown the world is chaos”, “Kill and kill again”, Follow me and I let you kill forever” and many more cool one. When ever I hear this I just had to say it again myself as I found it so funny and great voice. If you saying theses yourself now remember to do it in a deep powerful slow voice. LoL.

I found the controls pretty easy to use, there is no tutorial in the game but the game does do a quick pause to tell you some of the buttons as you are fighting on the first level. This lets you get straight into the action of the game with out having to play a tutorial first.

So the controls I would say are a bit like Baldur’s gate and other hack and slash games as it that type of genre but there is more skill involved in Spartan Total Warrior. So you have your normal attack with the X button that does a combo. There is a slash button that you can hold down for a stronger attack which can hurt many people with the O button. Then there is L1 to pull out your bow which can fire a single arrow with X or fire multiply arrows with O with is great for when you have lots of enemies running at you. While L2 blocks that can stop attacks and also arrows but when also pressed with O knocks back enemies with a shield bash, which is great either for knocking enemies down drops to the deaths or gives you some space to attack. Square is lefted for stabbing enemies that have been knocked over and also to open treasure chests.

There is also a rage and power attack used with R1 and R2, plus the d-pad to change weapons (Which I talk more about later).

As the first level begins you are just a basic trained solider with a sword and shield. You get through in with other Spartans to defend you city from the Romans that are climbing up ladders to get to you. As you hacking away through enemies you soon realize that you need to start blocking when they jump at you and when surrounded by many man. You can do a shield bash to knock them back to give you room to attack and ones you lands a few hits you noticed that your sword glows to indicate that you have build you your rage.

Each weapon you get through the game has a different attack to it and holding down R1 and press either O for a Radial attack that will do damage and even cut of a few heads of your opponents or X button which is stronger attack but hits only one enemy which is best used for the tougher enemies. From this point I realized that this game was not just a standard hack and slash game and that I was expecting lots more fun moments a head.

Along with your sword and other weapons you gain like the double swords, hammer, spear and another sword and shield but you also come equipped with a bow. Useful for taking enemies archers or taking out a few enemies that are charging at you in force, though this many take some out its much more thrilling when you use your radial arrow attack which fires multiply arrows simultaneously which even more amusing when combined with fire arrows that you can pick up from treasure cheats.

There many bosses including in the game that are well designed and are not just keep attack types until they die like some other games. Here you will have to find there weakness and there’s usually a unique weapon to use on them and does have some tactics and strategy to killing them and even though you do die a lot on normal difficulty against them its still fun and exciting to fight them and not painfully annoying like other games in this genre.

As you are you against your main enemies the Roman Empire you may think you be just fighting the Romans which may of got boring but actually you fight many different enemies through out that gives you more variety in the gameplay and also you need to rely on your other skills and weapons.

All the new weapons you gain have a special god given power. The first set of weapons you get is a dual sword which is called Blades of Athena that has the power of lighting and then another sword you get by killing the first boss which has colleted the power of Medusa which you may know of from books and films that the woman with snakes as hair that can turn people to stone by looking at her eyes. Plus there are other weapons like spear of Achilles.

Some of the enemies you come across and the best ways to kill them are:
Romans are quite balanced: They use swords or bows where as some of them are weak and some use shields. Later on you also fight their assassins which are very quick and can do a lot of damage so I lot of skill is needed. Fire arrows are good to kill them with as log as they are not shielding but using a shield bash gives you time to attack.

The barbarians are a very strong and aggressive people that like to kill and terrorize villagers. They come equipped with large swords and axes but no shields, so is best to use arrows and if possible fire arrows. When up close and fighting I find the dual swords are good as they are very fast and can deal lighting powers but also like to use the sword and shield as you have more defense and also the power to turn them to stone which helps you out a lot when you have other Spartans fighting with you. They also have these though men that have claws attached to there arms so watch out for when to block as they jump at you.

The other enemies I mention are the undead: Theses are the skeletons archers that are very good shoots and are arrows are fast. All the other skeletons have a shield and a sword as they are rusty you can easily smash through the shields and then kill them which is best to use the double swords. As they are just bones arrows do no damage but lighting is very good on them but as they are so light they can run fast so you can’t run away plus you need to watch out when they jump out at out as being light they jump very far and fast. There are only 3 undead types of enemies, zombies which being the third. Theses are the Romans with the shields but being pretty dumb then don’t use them. They also just mostly stand there unless you’re very close and then they can do a lot of damage. Being zombies, cutting off there heads will not do anything so the way to kill them is to stamp on the bodies when knocked to the floor. Fire arrows are great against them as these burns them right up. When up close try using the spear as this has more range and when using your special god power you can puts a fire shield around your body which stops any damage hurting you and will burn any one that touches you or that you attack.

There are other enemies in the game like the gladiators in the coliseum of Rome which is a great place to fight. Through out almost the whole game you are accompanied by other Spartans that fight with you that use spears, swords and bows. So it does feel like a really battle going on around you with Romans and Spartans fighting it out, which don’t leave you thinking it’s a one man fight that wins the war unlike other games where you fight along.

There’s a little RPG role in the game from where after each level you are given 4 tokens to spend on what you like. This includes more health, better damage and extra special power slots. Ones all three of them are full you then level up to Hero and then on to legend but not that’s the only difference as you will also have a new look to show your progress by having new better amour.

The replay value is pretty good, where as on easy mode you should complete it in a week or so. But if you found that to easy and your up for a more of a challenge then normal mode will take you about 2 weeks if not more as the bosses are harder, enemies attack more, meaning you have to time your attacks more and even you the counter roll a lot more to get behind them to do more damage.

As well as the main game there is also a battle arena where you are up against many enemies in a big rounds room as you complete each wave then there are others, 10 in totally that will increase in difficulty as you fight tougher enemies. As you progress thought the main game you unlock extra arenas to fight in the enemies from that part of the game. Along with new arenas there are also hidden cheats in the game that unlock bonus items for the arena as well as Artwork from the game. These bonuses come in the form of health shrines, extra arrows, gun power barrels and even allies like archers, spear men plus some others special ones which I let you find out for yourself. In this mode you get points depending on how you kill the enemies and then you can save your high scores if you make it in the top ten.

This mode I found very funny playing and aiming for that top score and these added at least 2 weeks extra replay value to the game even after I got that top place on the score board.

I was not disappointed with the lengthen of the game and way great that it wasn’t all there was, as you have that battle arena to fight in although I think that a 2 player co-op mode would have been great if not for the main game at least for the battle mode.

If you liked god of war or any other type of roman and Greeks games then you will love this. Even if you are looking for some hack and slash game or not this has great sword fighting battles and also needs some skill to play then get it.

Although there are no 2 player modes, this is still a great game to own if not a must try and is worth paying as much as any other new release game. If buying search about a bit and you should find it cheapish like at Amazon or play.



Replay Value,
Final Rating:

Review Date: 11/09/06

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