Reviews// Shadow of Rome (PS2)

Et tu Brutus?

Posted 17 Feb 2005 18:08 by
And for us Capcom and ancient Rome loving video-game aficionados, Shadow of Rome disappoints in a difficult way. It?s not to say that it?s terrible, in fact it?s quite good, but it?s good enough to show that only half the journey had been done. It seduces you with a truly classic prospect and then gives you something that's not particularly classic. It occupies that ominous grey space of unremarkable mediocrity. It?s kind of OK, if you can be bothered. There?s fun to be had, but after the initial delights of the amputations subside, it only just qualifies as worthwhile entertainment. But nonetheless, it does qualify.

It?s a fine example of two fairly generic formulae delivered without much complication. Indeed, as an imaginative take on typical videogame staples, it?s not a bad effort, and many gamers would be proud to have this in their collection. If, however, you can stretch to two separate games to meet your collective appetite for hacking/slashing and stealth, then Shadow of Rome might find itself a little redundant. MGS3 is a virtually unsurpassable sneak ?em up, and hack?n?slashes are, almost literally, ten-a-penny on the PS2. It?s just that this one has Romans in it. So, no big thumbs up, no big thumbs down: just one of those apathetic sidewards wiggles.

SPOnG Rating: B-

Shadow of Rome has some fantastic ideas, but it doesn?t quite sit as the classic we?d hoped for. It?s perfectly enjoyable, and playable through to completion, but it does things that have been seen before and it does them in a pretty unremarkable way. It?s an attractive game, with an abundance of blood and gore, but beyond that it?s just nothing to be particularly excited about. It?s definitely worth a rent for gladiator fans though.
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President Weasel 23 Feb 2005 12:09
I agree with you that the stealth parts are uninspiring. That said, the ultraviolent arena fighting made up for it, at least for me. getting chased round the arena till you can get a weapon then going back and wreaking bloody vengeance was incredibly satisfying.
Hah, not so smart now I've chopped your arms off, are ya?
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