Friday, June 28, 2013

My first impressions of Spartacus Legends

To start off with yes I am a fan of the show this game is based on, though at the present I have only watched Season 1 and the prequel season. Sad to say my DVD/Blu Ray backlog is about as bad as my games and I never watch stuff on TV due to my schedule. So how does this game hold up as a free to play title?

Well right off the bat I'll state I feel less pressured to dump money in the game then I do Marvel Heroes which is another free to play title I've been playing recently. Now I can't speak for the high end of the game but in the lower levels the only reason to throw real money at the game is impatience. There are two kinds of currency in the game silver and gold. Silver you get from literally every fight you participate in whether you win or lose. Obviously you get more if you win however.

Gold you obtain when your fame level increases or if you buy it with real life money. The thing is as far as I've seen so far gold isn't really needed. When you're in the market you can see a bunch of gear that can be purchased with silver, however you'll see gear that is intended for the next 3 fame levels that you haven't reach yet which can be purchased with gold. However when you reach said fame level it will become available for silver. Gladiators seem to work the same way, more powerful gladiators are only available for gold until you raise your fame level further.

The main exception that I've seen seems to be that the last few gladiator slots in your school can only be bought for gold, but they're not entirely needed since you can have about 6 gladiators just using silver to unlock slots and chances are, you won't like all the fighting styles either.

As for the actual combat, I had heard some people liken it to The Deadliest Warrior when looking at gameplay footage but I can assure you it plays much better then that terrible game. That said it's not really on par with more robust fighters but that is partially because combat needs to be kind of simple due to how things work in this. You have a quick attack, a strong attack, a guard break, and a grapple button all of which can be comboed together in various ways depending on what fighting style you're using. There is also block and dodge buttons.

Now the reason I say combat has to be somewhat simple in this is because of executions. If you max out your crowd favor meter when you land the final blow, you can execute your opponent when the fight ends. Executions actually kill your gladiator (You can pay to revive him but still). Now as long as you put up a good fight most the time your opponent won't finish the fight with crowd favor high enough to kill you, so not having a combat system that supports stuff like air juggles and other mechanics that lead to it being impossible to retaliate if you suck are important otherwise you'd have a lot of people quitting in frustration.

On another note they came up with a way to punish rage quitters, if you disconnect during a match there is a high chance that when you come back on the game will call you a coward and kill your gladiator with no opportunity for revival. The problem is and why I believe most games don't try to punish disconnecters is that the game seems to have trouble telling the difference between you disconnecting and the server booting you. Not only that people have reported being punished for their opponent disconnecting. Needless to say I suggest avoiding multiplayer until this is rectified.

Even once it is, I suggest not using the quick match option as it picks your gladiator for you at random and leaves you at the mercy of what your opponent selected, including arena which is very important. If you fight in the Pit, you both have max crowd favor at all times meaning whoever wins will kill their opponent 100% of the time. If you have any gladiators that you truly value do not use quick match or choose to fight in the Pit.

Overall what do I think of it? It's fun. It's not the greatest fighter I've played and there is basically no storyline but there is just something that's addictive about building up your school of gladiators and their arsenal. I suggest giving it a shot, I mean even if you don't like it. It's free.

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