Swords and Sandals 3 Game

What Fizzy Does Best

Gladiator fights are apparently what developer Fizzy does best if the titles previous to this one are anything to go by, but can a third instalment bring them from gladiator glory to gods of gore and gratuitous, grizzly violence? Having played the game for an embarrassing collection of discrete 60 minute bundles known as hours, I have to say that the answer to this self-posited question is a mixture of yes and no. This third instalment of the series sees the most dramatic game-to-game change yet in terms of both aesthetics and function, so what do you say I give you a brief rundown on the whole thing?

Alright, so looking at the gameplay, there’s been a bit of a shaking up of the button layout and also a few extra moves thrown in, but it’s largely the same. You still face your opponent as you stand on opposite sides of the screen and you still have to use your mouse to click the different action buttons to attack and move about the screen. Moves like walking, jumping, pushing your opponent, taunting him, and charging at him with your weapon are all standard, and you can use either a quick, medium, or strong attack, each with varying likeliness of hitting your foe. Outside of the arena, you can shop for weapons, items, magic, and also apply upgrades to your gladiator so that he grows in strength and ability along the way.

Do These Sandals Make My Feet Look Big?

The problem with Swords and Sandals 3 is that there has been an attempt to include way too much in the game, particularly in terms of weapons and items. Though we all love a good selection of weapons and upgrades to motivate us for success, you have to visit nine separate buildings on the main menu to compile your gladiator’s ensemble. It seems like a needless complication of what was once a very simple upgrade and arming process and it feels like it’s all been clumsily crowded onto the main menu screen. Ok, so the aesthetics have a little more polish, but the battles still feel exceedingly jumpy and they are still based on what feels like the same shaky physics, jumpy animations, and poorly-synchronised sounds as in the previous games. It feels like a lot of effort has gone into improving the game, but said effort has annoyingly been directed to all the wrong places.

A Series in Decline?

Much as the Roman Empire eventually entered a period of decline, Swords and Sandals appears to be following a similar trend. I base this theory purely on the disappointing downturn in quality (in spite of an actual upturn in actual content and variety) of the gameplay and the overly-busy home screen that seems to  be attempting to overcomplicate what was once such a simple process of purchasing weapons, armour, and spells to head off into battle with. The battles remain the same, though it seems that the absolute reliance of the outcome on your stats is a little too matter of fact and instead of giving the player an exciting, tactical battle instead forces you to simply grind repeatedly to increase your level and add to your attributes in a painfully slow manner that feels like walking up a steep hill in the middle of winter wearing damp clothes with the backing of Justin Bieber. Sorry, Fizzy, that’s just what playing Swords and Sandals 3 feels like; I just hope the next game can reverse what looks remarkably like this deterioration of a once-great series.