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PS2 Preview - 'Gladius'

by The Six Billion Dollar Man on May 12, 2003 @ 1:51 a.m. PDT

The brutal and spectacular gladiator battles of the ancient world serve as inspiration for Gladius, a turn-based action role-playing (RPG) game for the PS2. Gladius follows the grand saga of two young heroes, Ursula and Valens, as they recruit and train a team of warriors to contend in the fiercely competitive gladiator games. We had a chance to look at an early build so read more for our first impressions!

Genre: RPG
Publisher: LucasArts
Developer: LucasArts
Release Date: August 25, 2003

Pre-order 'GLADIUS': Xbox | GameCube | PlayStation 2

Today Lucas Arts sent me a copy of their upcoming RPG Gladius. Gladius takes place in the third century and is a struggle between the powers of Light and Dark, with the hero playing whatever the hero is supposed to do. The demo Lucas Arts sent us was extremely limited so this is more of a first look rather than a preview. The main focus of this will be on the gameplay since it was the only thing I could experience.

The gameplay is your classic RPG style, real time when traveling and visiting shops, and turn-based when entering a fight. The combat system is similar to Final Fantasy Tactics, where your fighters have a limited amount of spaces they can move as well as the limited range to their weapons. In the demo, I could control two characters and fight against four opponents. Each character has three or four attack skills you could use. Some of these were combo moves that required you to hit a certain order of buttons to accomplish correctly. Also the strength of your attacks depend on the power bar that you must press at the right time to achieve strong or critical attacks. The demo ended after I had defeated my opponents, but I am pretty sure you gain experience and are able loot the bodies after death.

After the demo had ended, you could either restart it or you could watch a trailer for the full version. The trailer for the game looks awesome, complete with large open lands to search through, a host of enemies and the ability to recruit more gladiators to your group. One of the neat features I saw was that the armor and weapons will physically change your appearance.

The graphics for Gladius looked awesome. During the battle, all the characters had fluid movement, and their armor gleamed. The trailer was full of eye candy as well. The monster looked just sick, and the surrounding environment in the forest was lush and green. Gladius looks like its shaping up to be a killer game when it’s finally finished.

Well there isn’t much more to talk about here since it was only a test demo. The accompanying press material stated that we would be getting another updated playable copy that would offer more features so we’ll have to stay tuned for that. I snapped some screens from the trailer so you would have more to look at then just the demo level. Check them out.

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