Spartan: Total Warrior puts players in the role of ‘The Spartan’, a warrior who must fight against Emperor Tiberius’s roman empire. ‘The Spartan’ enlists the help of his fellow comrades to help defeat the city of Sparta. The main mode of the game (the campaign mode) opens with a cleverly disguised training level, where players just have to destroy the wave of enemies that come at you, introducing all the moves that you can do while retaining a non-tutorial approach. Defeating waves and waves of enemies pretty much sums up the game, however Spartan does include various objectives and sub-missions that must be completed in-between the hordes of soliders rushing toward you which make for a refreshing change to button-mashing.
Creative Assembly have also included an arena mode for those who don’t want to launch into the campaign. This mode just pits you against a plethora of enemies time and time again where the only objective is to survive. The gameplay itself is basic but decent enough to hold the game. Unfortunately some of the tasks that you’re required to do are a little questionable and will leave you befuddled. At times it is not rare to have to protect two things at once and both of the things to be protected are on opposite sides of the map, so you have to spend your time running back and forth. Challenging, but if you happen to die you have to repeat the mission, which means ten minutes of work and this becomes very frustrating when you cannot pass a mission three or four times in a row. The camera angles, although generally well planned can sometimes become a bit of a distraction. When you’re trying to protect a warrior (which you’ll be doing a lot in the first few missions) the camera will make it really hard to see some of the enemies, who will take the opportunity to take some cheap shots. Graphically the game is impressive and as you could imagine, getting 160 soldiers all on screen battling at once (and looking fairly different to each other) is quite a technical feat. Even more impressive is the fact that there is no slowdown during even the most intensive action scenes.
Spartan: Total Warrior comes highly anticipated and Creative Assembly are a very reputable development team, so the stakes are high with this release. In the most part they have succeeded in creating an enjoyable roman empire story. However, there are a few annoyances in the gameplay such as the irritating camera and repetitive combat which bring the game down slightly. However if you’re after a hack ‘n’ slash game with a roman flavour then you should be pleased with the result.
Pros: Fantastic, detailed battle scenes with hundreds of soliders on-screen at once
Cons: Combat fairly basic and slightly annoying camera angles