Swords & Sandals 2 Game

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Swords and Sandals 2: Emperor’s Reign – A (series of) day(s) in the brutal life of a gladiator

Ah.Ah.Ah.Ah. Staying Alive

Honey, does this sword clash with my demonic crossbow?  I feel like my gauntlets just aren’t popping today, and I think my armour makes my bum look big. These preceding statements and questions were almost certainly never the concerns of actual Roman gladiators, but in Swords and Sandals 2: Emperor’s Reign, they most certainly can if you wish them to be. A turn-based arena battling game with hints of RPG, Swords and Sandals 2 permits you to follow the life and times of a lowly nobody that is enslaved and forced to battle other burly men for the entertainment of onlookers ravenous for blood and sweat, with the only tears being their ones of delight when someone gets decapitated in a brutal fashion. Expect brutality and challenging difficulty as you work your way through tournaments, upgrading your stats, weapons, and magic along the way. Slaughtering your opponent is your only concern, you know; apart from staying alive long enough to do so. 

Ready to Rumble

Things kick off in a rather dire fashion with you in a dungeon about to embark on a series of battles that will most certainly result in the death of either you or your opponent. The main focus of the gameplay is on battling in the arena in front of thousands of people that just want to see blood, and lots of it. Luckily, your brutal gladiator is on hand to give it to them by clicking the various action buttons that float around your gladiator. Your opponent is stationed at the opposite end of the arena to you, and at distance, you must make your way towards him by using the movement controls that allow you to either walk or jump forwards and backwards, as well as allowing you to taunt your opponent and also gain the appreciation of the crowd (mainly by passing rectal gas in a visibly comical manner). The ability to ‘psych up’ is a new introduction and has you gathering up energy to unleash on your foe.

Once you approach your opponent, you can use the on-screen buttons to launch a mild, medium, or strong attack. Essentially, the damage dealt and the likelihood of your attacks landing are based entirely upon your (upgradable) stats like strength and stamina that can be upgraded by gaining experience points during battle. When it comes down to it, it’s pretty much a game of numbers fought out in a very physical and manly way with a respectable amount of blood and brutality.

Armaments and Enchantments

As its predecessor also allows us to do, Swords and Sandals 2 lets you visit an armoury as well as a blacksmith in order to choose from a range of protective armour and deadly weapons to aid your fights. You can pick from a range of different types of armour such as gauntlets and helmets, and the selection of weapons is impressive: axes, mauls, maces, longbows, crossbows, and an abundance of blades that would make Hannibal simply giddy with joy. New to this sequel is the ability to also purchase magic spells to enchant your weapon or summon fireballs and various other projectiles. Visiting the church also allows you to buy healing potions to use in battle.

A Day In the Life

Whether you’re a long-term lover of the series or in fact this is your first- time encounter, Swords and Sandals 2: Emperor’s Reign is a pretty addictive and rewarding experience. While not quite bordering on the epic-ness of say Berzerk Land’s Sands of the Coliseum, developer 3RDSense are clearly onto something here. Granted, the graphics are pretty unspectacular and haven’t really changed that much from the last game, but the new additions such as the magic and the ranged weapons as well as the classic procedure of levelling up to improve your gladiator over time is too delicious not to order for the main course. The fact the game now features a saving option at each arena boss is also a huge improvement from the complete lack of saving ability in the first game.

75/100