Yes I know this game is nearly three months old but when you have fingers as big as mine, you’d ideally like to wait for your iPad to arrive so you no longer have to fumble about on your mobile device obstructing half the screen in the process. And plus, right now I’ve been watching back to back episodes of Spartacus so I’ll gladly lap up anything that deals with Romans and their sick (though kind of awesome) sport.
I personally would have liked to see Blood and Glory churn out a twisted, intricate tale of a man being forced to fight for his freedom in the colloseum but it seems developer Glu Games had other ideas. They dump you into an arena, hand you a sword, a shield and encourage you to draw blood. That works too.
A spitting image of Infinity Blade
Gameplay in Blood and Glory is a spitting image of Infinity Blade. Both you and your opponent are locked onto the screen and you can only move in the left or right direction (strafers beware). Using the iPad’s touch screen functionality you dodge, block or parry incoming attacks. Successfully dodge or parry an incoming attack and you’ll get a small window of opportunity to slash away at his health bar. Attacking your opponents builds up a meter which when full can be used to execute a special attack. It’s more exotic than it sounds though as the special attack in this case is just a shield bash. Still that temporarily stuns your opponent allowing you to pummel him for a few seconds. Quite a life-saver in particularly hairy battles.
The amount of times you can block incoming attacks is also limited. With weaker shields you can maybe weather 12 blocks but as you upgrade your shield, you can soak up more damage. As your sword takes down more gladiators, you’ll amass experience points that can be used to upgrade your abilities or buy better weapons. It’s a fairly simple RPG-inspired structure that rewards players for cutting more dudes down. However, since this is a free to play game, most of the upgrades are so exorbitantly priced, you’ll be forced to shell out real world money for them unless you’re content with grinding away at the same battles for hours on end. Now this is a standard business model with most free to play games but even then, I thought the cost of actually buying upgrades was too steep. Also locking out gore unless you ponied up some money for it is just plain lame.
The bigger they are...
Blood and Glory may play like Infinity Blade but it doesn’t share the game’s penchant for stellar presentation. That being said, the game doesn’t look too bad. Character models look decent and they reflect the damage reflected upon them in a convincing manner. Since there’s no story to speak of over here, there’s no real voice acting involved other than random and totally pointless taunts uttered by gladiators.
But at the end of the day Blood and Glory is a free game so you don’t stand to lose anything even if it’s not to your liking. I for one would have rather purchased the game outright instead of paying ridiculous sums for upgrades. Still this is all I have to satiate my gladiatorial needs so I’ll keep at it till Capcom gives us a sequel to Shadow of Rome (a guy can hope right?).