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Shadow of Rome

version: jp - year: 2005 - developer: capcom - publisher: capcom - format: playstation 2 - condition: mint - rarity: slight

English dialogues, Japanese text

 

 

The intro is definitely reminiscent of the movie "The Gladiator"

 

CG artwork is amazing

 

The battle system is spectacular

 

and handling is top-notch!

 

Chariot races represent a plesant divertion

 

Finish off your enemies however you see fit to capitaliaze on Salvos

 

The arena battle melees can be extremely violent

 

The nimble Octavianus is not a warrior but he has his own way of dealing with hostile forces

Review - Shadow of Rome is a gruesome hack'n'slash set in 44 BC, right at the time of the assassination of Julius Caesar.

These were turbulent times, as the Roman Empire was expanding beyond its means. The Republic was shaking because of internal strife. It seemed that only the rule of a strongman could have saved the fate of Rome alas at the cost of betraying the spirit of the Republic.

Capcom managed to convey a sense of great realism and accuracy as it based the game in a precise historical moment. Of course, some liberties were taken in interpreting events, as the player will realize when playing the game.

As Agrippa, the player will dispense death with a variety of different weapons mainly in the arenas while also taking part in deadly chariot races.

As Octavianus, the game will shift to a stealth-based approach where to progress unarmed, it will be often necessary for example to either use rocks, jars etc to distract the patrols, or to disguise as maids or guards to walk by unnoticed.

Each part of the adventure is well crafted both technically and gameplay-wise. Graphically, from the amazing Gladiator-like intro that shows a huge battle at the outskirts of the empire between the Romans and the German tribes to the in-game bits, Capcom created one of the best looking games in its portfolio.

A great use of a bright color palette perfectly conveys the feel of being in a Mediterranean city. Vivid orange and pink sunrises and sunsets faithfully mimic what you would find if you took a walk in today's Rome. Outdoor and indoor graphics have been taken care of to perfection and this certainly adds value to an overall great package. Character models are also nicely designed and very distinct one from the other. The attention to detail is as always with Capcom games, a step above the rest.

The music, which oddly sounds a bit middle-eastern and new-age still contributes to transmit a sense of drama and scale to the adventure.

Gameplay is also nicely taken care of as in the fighting mode, Agrippa can use an amazing variety of weapons and moves and as he performs more elaborate combos, the crowd will get galvanized and will support him by throwing valuable weapons or health items. The handling is also very refined and learning to use each weapon properly will become second nature very quickly.

The stealth parts are also nicely done although they seem to be not as impressive, especially if compared to Metal gear Solid or Splinter Cell. It must be noted though that some of the best boss fights are in this mode. At one point, as Octavianus, you'll have to collect a key which is hidden in a room guarded by three tigers and you will be unarmed!

Moments as memorable and as original as this one are so rare in videogames that I would recommend anyone to play this game only to see what I am talking about!

To conclude, I have been waiting for ages to play a decent action game based in ancient Rome and my wish got fulfilled in the best possible way by the only software house that could really do it with so much style and elegance.

Bottom line: Thank you Capcom, for delivering to gamers across the globe another unforgettable gem! 9,5/10

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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