Mixed or average reviews - based on 9 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 9
  2. Negative: 0 out of 9
  1. Jun 12, 2011
    Although it's too bad that Gladiator Begins landed with nary a whisper, it's clear to see that the title would never have found a large audience to begin with-it's aimed at a certain hardcore niche, and for those outside of that niche, there will be little here of interest. However, for players who love to take a zeroed-out character and build them up into an overwhelmingly powerful force via grinding, creative equipping and numeric management, this combination of swords, sandals, and statistics is an experience not to be missed.
  2. Oct 20, 2010
    While the deep equipment options and versatile combat are appreciated, the random difficulty highs and lows, practically (and perhaps, blessedly, I suppose) non-existent story, and eventually tedious lack of any real gameplay variety make it hard to recommend.
  3. Jul 21, 2011
    Fans of historical pseudo-realism will find the format intriguing but a disappointing fighting system nestling at its core scuppers much of the potential of Gladiator Begins.
  4. Oct 20, 2010
    Being a gladiator in ancient Rome probably wasn't much fun, and it's not much fun in this repetitive fighting game, either.
  5. Oct 20, 2010
    Gladiator Begins' smaller successes still can't compensate for its significant problems, and the game as a whole never quite gels in an effective way. Brutality, splashes of blood and gigantic swords might look and feel great, but I feel like Caesar wouldn't have mercy for this fighter's incompetence and missed marks.
  6. Oct 20, 2010
    A brawler with a weak combat system. Had the combat been tighter, then perhaps I could have given this a glowing review, but when the heart of a game is flawed, all of the other components are going to suffer.
  7. Jun 26, 2011
    A thumbs down, we're afraid. [Issue#206, p.94]
  8. Not good enough to be set free, not bad enough to be tossed to the lions. [July 2011, p.95]
  9. The game feels like one big grind and even the eventual showdowns with tigers and elephants offered few thrills during our feeble quest. [Dec 2010, p.79]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 8
  2. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Jun 17, 2013
    There's no doubt this game has potential and is fun, but there are some aspects that sent it down. The fights start to get repetitive after hours playing it and you at least expected some cut-screens but nothing. The plot is basic and super linear and i thought i would be a free gladiator and have like my gladiators or even get an ending, but this game has no ending at all. The gameplay is awesome and the part of the player destroying the enemy armor and weapons when attacking it a lot made you use some strategy but overall i always used a combo that was unbeatable and it lost all the fun. I recommend it if you like gladiator and fighting games, but this won't be one of the best you'll play. It's a good gladiator game but will end up losing the fun, but still recommend it. Full Review »
  2. Mar 28, 2013
    While not a direct tie-in to the “Gladiator” film by Ridley Scott, there are a few similarities. For starters, there are mentions of Marcus Aurelius and Commodus. There are is also the main plotline which is a slave rising up in the ranks to be a powerful gladiator. You start with an absolutely gigantic amount of debt, which is deducted from the winnings from tournaments. As well as this, you get to keep some credits for medical purposes, buying weapons and armour and improving weapons.

    You start by creating a character. In comparison, it bears resemblance to Monster Hunter and Gods Eater Burst in that you choose a male or female character, hairstyle, athetic build, skin tone and more. There is no voice acting so your character’s name is mentioned frequently. The phrases and terms used match the historical references to real-life gladiators and roman soldiers. The plot is a typical rags-to-riches story and isn’t particularly imaginative, but does give the player some context to work towards.

    The range of weapons is good, with staffs, swords, daggers, axes, knuckledusters and more. With shields you have small circular ones, large rectangle shaped ones made from a variety of different materials. You also have helmets, arm braces, leg braces and the clothes you wear under your armour. You earn a couple of weapons from each battle, and can use these to increase your arsenal of weaponry.

    As you progress through the game, you level up a variety of different skills. One which needs to be improved is the skill governing weight, as this is what you need to carry the more heavy and better defensing equipment. You can also increase the amount of health you have and the stamina your character has. Stamina effects how many swings of your weapon you can make before you need to recover.

    Graphically it is on par with some of the PSP’s best games. The armour looks realistic, the character faces look good and the animations are fluid enough for it to be believable. The music and sounds are good and reflect the era well. Battles take place in small circular arenas in a sandy environment. Typically there are fence posts or metallic grates on the side of the arena which prevents people from leaving. Battles themselves consist of either 1v1 fights, battle royale survival matches or team based battles. Most of the enemies are fellow Gladiators, but there are some animals as well (presumably for special battles).

    There is blood in this game (as weapons come in contact with flesh rather than armour), but it is not exceptionally violent. There is no dismemberment and it can be assumed that most gladiators survive to fight another day. The language in this game is suited to that particular era and so does not contain any modern colloquialisms or swear words.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 31, 2013
    Ok. This game is Repitative. But then do you expect a Gladiator to Dance around or goof up like School kids do ?? The Star of Gladiator begins is its Simple yet Addictive gameplay. Plus there are tons of Options for Customising the Gladiator, his Weapons, his Armor etc etc. The Animal Fights, Special Events are Grand & the day you finish this Game, you would just search for more games like this, I am very sure about that. I Did :-D Full Review »