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Blood and Glory
This freemium app throws you into combat against other gladiators to win money and experience to make yourself stronger. Combat may be familiar to those who’ve played Infinity Blade, it’s the same mechanics as that game. For those not familiar, there are Dodge Left and Dodge Right buttons, a block button, and the ability to parry opponent’s swings. The parry can be tricky because you have to time it right, otherwise you get smacked for the damage anyway.
The character models are detailed and varied. There are Celtic-looking fighters and even a few that look at home in horror movies. I would’ve liked to be able to have more control over the look of my character, and why are there no female gladiators? It doesn’t make much difference really, because the weapons and armor are well-detailed and you only really ever get to see the back of your character and the weapons mostly. The gladiators all spout Latin phrases, and I know I heard the one from Poe’s The Cask of Amontillado: Nemo Me Impune Lacessit “No one provokes me with impunity.” The others are all a mystery and aren’t always very clear.
What will draw most people to play this game, besides the price tag (free) is the combat. There are something like sixty fights in Blood and Glory, some opponents are your level, some are above, and some are pretty much made to squash you. The game insults you when you lose, telling you to get better equipment so you can try again. Skill can sometimes make up for lack of good arms and armor. If you can learn when to dodge and when to parry, well then you can be pretty invincible. Something that’s annoying in this game is that just when your gladiator is starting to get the good hits in on the opponent, it goes to a cut-scene, stopping your character sometimes in mid-slash. This is ok when it’s an evenly matched or just a little more experienced opponent, but on the killer gladiators this can cause you to lose. Gore is prevalent in this game, and when you reach a high enough level, you can buy “Decapitator Weapons” that cut the heads off your opponent when you win a match. There are only two right now, one you buy with rubies and a better one you can buy with coins, which is surprising in a Freemium game. One area that Glu maybe missed an opportunity with is Multi-player. PVP is always big, and this game seems like a good choice to pit Player against Player.
The freemium part comes into play when you need healing potions, which can only be bought with gems. And then there’s the last two tournaments, which require you to have a ridiculous amount of gems to get into. It’s sad that Glu tanks the Fun Factor of the game like this, because the fights really are fun, and to make people pay for the last two tourneys is annoying. So while the blood, detailed gladiators and decapitation weapons might pull gamers in, the freemium nature will probably guarantee that they stop playing and move on to something else.