Spartacus Legends brings gladiatorial combat and permanent death to a fighting game

Spartacus Legends — an upcoming free-to-play fighting game based on the STARZ television series, Spartacus — will have a fighting system that takes into account the fighting style a player chooses, equipment combinations and player experience, according to Ubisoft's Trevor Shackelford.

In a demo of the game shown at Ubisoft's Digital Days event, Shackelford told Polygon that Spartacus Legends isn't a typical fighting game where every character is perfectly balanced. Instead, it draws inspiration from the IP it is based on and focuses on gladiatorial combat, life and death situations and the various elements that affect a gladiator's performance.

"So you have eight character styles, and within the styles you have equipment you can use to customize your character, and the equipment runs the gamut of very light protection to very heavy protection," Shackelford said. "So light protection will allow you to move faster and give you a damage boost, but if you get hit, then it's going to be rough. With heavy protection you'll be better guarded, but you'll also move slower and do less damage."

"We're also giving the audience the ability to completely customize their build to suit their style..."

Players will be able to mix and match their equipment, and their equipment customization will affect how they perform. On top of this system is the layer of stats that adds another level of complexity to the game. Players will have to take into account things like weapon speed, movement speed and parrying abilities, and these stats vary from item to item.

"So not only are we balancing weapon styles against each other, so that the trident isn't overpowered versus the swords, we're also giving the audience the ability to completely customize their build to suit their style," Shackelford said.

In the spirit of gladiatorial combat, the game will have permanent death, so if a player is killed, they will have to decide whether they want to let their character die and return to the market to find a new slave, or spend currency to revive their character.

Spartacus Legends will release this Summer on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.

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