• Publisher: Capcom
  • Release Date: Feb 8, 2005

Generally favorable reviews - based on 52 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 52
  2. Negative: 2 out of 52
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  1. I figure in about five years, Shadow of Rome will start showing up in magazine articles about “cult” games, or the best-kept secrets on the PS2.
  2. Play Magazine
    A game that reaches into your primal thirst for violence with no restraint... A bold, fantastic experiment. [Feb 2005, p.60]
  3. Shadow of Rome's gameplay glistens, but its presentation is somewhat lackluster.
  4. Playing Shadow of Rome has made me more sympathetic to people who argue that killing fake people can lead to killing real ones. I came to accept Shadow of Rome's violence fully.
  5. Game Informer
    It's a blast, and the combat is a great balance between a wrestling and a fighting game, but I felt like a terrible human being. I guess that's the price you pay for being a gladiator. [Feb 2005, p.116]
  6. Every time the action has you hooked, the intertwined, mediocre-at-best stealth missions suck away a lot of the fun and detract from what could have been one of the best action adventure titles of this year.
  7. Weekly Famitsu
    8 / 8 / 9 / 8 - gold [Vol 848]
  8. The meaty parts make it worth getting through the leaner parts, and for fans with interest in the period or graphic action, it's a keeper.
  9. TotalGames.net
    Not only is the atmosphere of this one second to none, the game that it surrounds is massively rewarding and challenging in equal measures.
  10. Packs some of the most brutal hand-to-hand combat ever, and there's plenty of story and intrigue to conveniently justify all the gory violence.
  11. As these concepts are nothing new and have been integrated better (way better) with bigger games already (e.g., the Metal Gear Solid series), and with a singular character to boot, Shadow of Rome isn't nearly as great as some other big guns it may be trying to imitate.
  12. Cheat Code Central
    It doesn't require superhuman skill but it will pose a challenge to all that play. Above all else, it's fun and there's nothing that beats that.
  13. 80
    The stealth levels are the only other chink in the game's chain mail. Just when you finish turning arenas into butcher shops, who's in the mood for a little Metal Gear-style stealth? Answer: not us.
  14. There is an awful lot of game here... Another schizophrenic winner from the Japanese masters of action/adventure.
  15. 80
    While the idea of mixing weapons based brutality with careful tiptoeing stealth may have been the result of having one too many at the pub, it certainly comes off much better than expected. Well worth a look.
  16. It efficiently captures the mood and spirit of ancient Rome through bloody battles, exhilarating chariot races, and a few minor stealth sequences, all intertwined with a good moving story and impressive (for the most part) gameplay.
  17. 80
    The boss fights are supremely challenging and satisfying, and you’ll earn totally bitchin’ sets of armor as you accumulate bloody victories. There’s even a very enjoyable chariot race section.
  18. Fun. Frustrating. Gory. Cerebral. Engaging. Off-putting. Brutal and civilised. A thing of uneasily juxtaposed opposites, much like the Empire it's set in.
  19. AceGamez
    The storyline genuinely is an absolute cracker and I'd love to give away the ending but it truly would spoil a great finale to a dark horse of a game.
  20. The game only makes a good purchase if you are a diehard Gladiator fan; otherwise the game is a perfect rental title.
  21. 80
    Brings a unique blend of innovative - if slightly mediocre at times - stealth adventuring with exciting gladiatorial battles that utilise one of the most enjoyable fighting systems yet.
  22. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    A historic blend of bloody action and stealth set in Roman times. [Jan 2007, p.106]
  23. 80
    The combat sequences are the undisputed highlight, and much of the game puts on a great show...just be prepared for stretches of frustration while sneaking around. [Feb 2005, p.74]
  24. It's sad that some of the best pure action on the PS2 is paired with such amateurish stealth. [Feb 2005, p.85]
  25. GMR Magazine
    There really isn't another game like Shadow of Rome, let alone one of similar quality and polish. [Feb 2005, p.102]
  26. You’ll almost be able to smell the sweat and blood. Too bad the stealth side of the game is so weak in comparison.
  27. 76
    The equivalent of a summer action flick with a decent plot. It won't make you think too hard and the slow parts can get a little boring and clumsy, but the action is fun enough to redeem it.
  28. Has its share of repetition, clunky controls, and a boring palette of polygons, but its high points - gory battles and an open-ended weapon system - make it a must-rent.
  29. 75
    The game simply bit off way more than it could chew with the stealth sections. The end result is certainly a thumbs up -- but only just.
  30. There are many fewer stealth levels with Octavious, and they're not as well-polished as the fighting. But they're a nice break from the arena action, and none of them are very long.
  31. Inspired Beat 'em Up action with some quality stealth mixed in to boot, just a shame that it lacks the polish to extrapolate its full potential.
  32. PSM Magazine
    The violence is so over the top that it becomes funny...It's an uneven game that keeps speeding up, then slowing down, and as a result, it never really manages to keep your pulse racing for very long. [Jan 2005, p.64]

Awards & Rankings

#23 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
#38 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 96 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 77 out of 96
  2. Negative: 5 out of 96
  1. Oct 14, 2020
    They don't make games like this anymore.

    Loved that game, which actually consists of two games. In one part you play Octavianus who looks
    They don't make games like this anymore.

    Loved that game, which actually consists of two games. In one part you play Octavianus who looks like Raiden from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty and use all the stealth techniques. In the second part you play as Agrippa a former soldier now fighting its way through the arenas as a Gladiator. That last last one is bloody as it gets. You dismantle your opponents and hit them with their own arm while they are peeing their self and the crowd will give you an extra applause. I haven't seen this kind of game anywhere else. But it's not just a stupid fighting game. It has good mechanics, nice looks and with the two parts it's well balanced so it will not bore you and its all packed in a good interesting story (which reminds me to Ridley Scoots "Gladiator) in a not worn out scenario. For myself it's an insider's tip and I never understood why it's so underrated and no one talked about it.
    Full Review »
  2. Jul 19, 2020
    very realistic ancient Rome, recommended to you, graphics, radgol, phisics, store campain its beautiful
  3. Jun 20, 2020
    For anyone who is a fan of the Roman theme, this game is a full plate. Undoubtedly one of the best games I've ever played and that certainlyFor anyone who is a fan of the Roman theme, this game is a full plate. Undoubtedly one of the best games I've ever played and that certainly deserve a remake or continuation. Full Review »