Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance Xbox

Metascore
65

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25
Buy On
  1. 85
    A great game hampered by a few shortcomings.
  2. The stunning graphics, intuitive controls, fluid combat, and challenging gameplay were more than enough to keep me busy for many days of solid gaming and when I finally finished the game I found it to be a most satisfying experience.
  3. 80
    It's an uncomplicated romp through an alternate Roman history that, while a tad on the flawed side, turns out to be just as much fun as it is familiar.
  4. Cheat Code Central
    80
    Still, the game does a good job of holding your interest without you having to learn the equivalent control configuration of piloting the space shuttle. When it comes to arcade-style games, it doesn't get much better that this.
  5. The game takes hits for its often crappy camera angles. Still, it'll satisfy your raging blood lust.
  6. 80
    If you aren't up for endless hacking and slashing, there's not much here. But for anyone who digs the genre, Gladiator is the most satisfying form to come down the Appian Way in some time, and is definitely worth a look.
  7. There aren't a whole lot of games out there that you can just throw into your PS2 or Xbox and start hacking away at things. "Hunter: The Reckoning" is one, but how many other can truly "get medevil" on your ass? Looks like just one. But that is also something that can get old quickly.
  8. Nothing adds to the atmosphere of a game more than ultra-realistic graphics, and Gladiator certainly proves this to be true.
  9. 75
    Has solid gameplay, great graphics, and brings a little somethin' different to the beat-'em-up genre.
  10. While the story and setting are interesting, the actual game isn't that compelling, nor is it well done.
  11. Definitely has an intriguing storyline, but the repetitive gameplay and static camera hurts what could have been a much better effort.
  12. Gladiator does have some shortcomings, as its simplistic and frequently flawed gameplay can prove to be problematic. However, some excellent production values and an intriguing plot ultimately make the game most certainly worth checking out.
  13. Has some appeal, and it certainly has a lot of action, even if locked into a mixed bag of mythical overlays, and linear paths through the world. The graphical elements also vary from the very good to the average.
  14. It's button-mashing at its best: not too simplistic, but not too complicated either. The RPG and adventure elements add a nice twist to things, though it isn't really enough to warrant returning for a second swing.
  15. Official Xbox Magazine
    69
    A brawler at its heart, Gladiator is not short on blood or action, but it is lacking somewhat in depth. [Dec 2003, p.92]
  16. Gladiator was on its way to becoming the sleeper hit of 2003… then the gameplay threw it into the bargain bin.
  17. Fix the camera! The ability to zoom in and out isnt enough. Add multiplayer as well, it would make the replay factor much higher.
  18. Game Informer
    58
    Focusing on detail over substance is definitely an interesting design, but without a solid gameplay package, it amounts to nothing. [Nov 2003, p.168]
  19. If the gameplay was a little more involved, with less button bashing and greater emphasis on using combos for effectiveness, it would provide a more fufilling experience.
  20. 55
    A kinder control and save system would've been nice, but as is, Gladiator will test the limits of your gaming patience.
  21. Still, while mindlessly hacking away at guards, the player can at least enjoy the neat visuals, which are brilliantly authentic and effectively designed.
  22. Play Magazine
    50
    There's nothing wrong with simple two-button combat in the spirit of the classic hack 'n' slash, but there is something wrong with making it so mechanical and lifelessly staged. [Dec 2003, p.85]
  23. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    48
    The game is stupidly, punishingly difficult. And its save "system," pardon my Latin, blows syphilitic goats. [Jan 2004, p.108]
  24. Xbox Nation Magazine
    40
    Sadly, Vengeance's extreme difficulty and arbitrary save system bleed off any entertainment value. [Dec/Jan 2004, p.89]
  25. 40
    It has some slick production values, and Acclaim goes all out on dreamy visuals, gorgeously detailed architecture, a Vikingly heroic score, and juicy sound effects, but skimps on any kind of depth and rewarding gameplay.

Awards & Rankings

#95 Most Discussed Xbox Game of 2003
User Score
7.4

Mixed or average reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 6
  3. Negative: 1 out of 6
  1. Jan 24, 2017
    8
    Great combination of an amazing era with classic hack n slash mechanics. Real easy to get into and start mowing down those who stand beforeGreat combination of an amazing era with classic hack n slash mechanics. Real easy to get into and start mowing down those who stand before you. Simple mechanics but not boring, over all a fun game. Full Review »
  2. PhilH.
    Feb 23, 2005
    9
    Really good fun. Something you can dip into without having to spend hours trying to find your way round gloomy rooms. You can get rid of your Really good fun. Something you can dip into without having to spend hours trying to find your way round gloomy rooms. You can get rid of your pent up agression. Loved it. Full Review »
  3. BlueFalcon
    Feb 16, 2005
    4
    This game seriously nails the whole Gladiator (the movie) atmosphere. They even steal a scene or 2 directly from the movie. It's well This game seriously nails the whole Gladiator (the movie) atmosphere. They even steal a scene or 2 directly from the movie. It's well done. The gameplay on the other hand is terrible. It's button mashing in it's simplest form. You walk up to a guy and press a button over and over, this will lead to victory. Almost all the buttons on the xbox controller are functionless. Full Review »