Update: I was unfortunately not aware of Shamus Young's severe criticism of Fallout 3 available here to link in the original piece and I regret that. It dovetails rather nicely with what I've written and it's much better executed than my piece. I strongly recommend anyone...
I am a RPG and a RTS fan. Those two genre's of games always challenged me mentally, and Iove to be challenged mentally like that. Gladius is probably one of the most deepest RTS console games ever to grace the 3 systems, and it is definitly worth a play if you are fans of that genre.
Graphics- Ok, the graphics are mediocre at best. While everyone is animated and looks good, the character models are kind of blocky. Plus the enviorments, although different in size and scale every time, are kind of bland as well. Not the best looking game, but it get's the job done.
Final Score- B-
Play Control- Gladius has one of the deepest RTS systems I have ever encountered. Besids human races like barbarians, bandits, secutors, centurians, samnites, and archers, you have a nice array of beasts and monsters, from wolves, to bears, to yetis and even sayters. A lot of greek and roman myth is put into this game. Also, the customization is deep, the accesories and weapon system is well planned, the attack structure is great, and the whole swing meter is nicely added to throw in your own elements of timing. I would reccomend you never play this when your tired, or else you will miss a lot. The combo meters are also implemented so that you don't get bored watching your live action chess game unfold. It was a well thought out game here.
Final Score- A
Sound- Ok, the voice acting was excellent. Everyone has a character, and they even are more than the typical one-dimensional ideas you see in most games. The downside is the sound and voices during the battles is repetive and annoying. Plus the arena music is also on a loop, so that gets old fast.
Final Score- C+
Satisfaction- It is clear that Lucasarts created a core gameplay mechanic first, and put the rest in later. I think they made the right choice in doing that, because the gameplay would keep an RTS enthusist busy for hours upon hours. If your not a fan of the genre, then you might not want to buy this game, because you would probably become bored after a while. Although there is a lot of action-like elements which would appeal to fans of that kind of game. In the end, Gladius is one of the most underrated games you will ever hear of. It will never reach the blockbuster status like Halo or Mario, but it will always be a game which is worth a buy if you can find it.