Before it ended a few months ago, Starz' Spartacus series delivered a fresh take on gladiator battles from ancient times, when men fought each other to the death while bloodthirsty crowds cheered them on. Although the series is over, Ubisoft delivered a way to partake in the action with the release of its free-to-play Spartacus Legends. In it, you have the option to create your own warrior from scratch and help him progress to god-like infamy, while at the same time gaining access to characters from the show that bring their own fighting styles to the battlefield.
That said, this guide briefly talks about the other characters in the game – dubbed Legendary Characters – as well as what you can do with your own special gladiator. No matter what weapons or battle tactics you choose, you'll need to stay on your toes. Otherwise, you'll be a bloodstain on history.
As you begin the game, you take the role of a small-time fighter working his way up in the ranks at Batiatus' Ludus, a training center where all gladiator skills are honed. From there, you progress through a series of fights, gaining experience and leveling up.
Unarmed is the most basic place to start. Here, you'll possess speed, but low power and range. You can use a drop kick to effectively throw off your opponent, but they may have an advantage with a weapon. Don't stay without a weapon for long.
From there, you progress through different gladiator styles. These include a basic sword and shield with medium range in power but excellent defense. The dual sword system is also excellent, but may leave you open to incoming attacks. You can also arm yourself with dual daggers that make you quicker, but also less effective at fending off attacks. Other weapons include the trident, the two-handed sword, a big hammer and a spear/shield combo.
Each weapon set has its positives and negatives, as it really depends on your style of play. If you prefer to go on the defense and strike back hard, the hammer or big sword is the way to go. If stabbing quickly and retreating is your thing, the dual swords or daggers are ideal. Your gladiator will grow no matter what you choose.
Just a quick side note – you can change the equip style for each of these characters, but the default weapons are your best bet.
Wearing a gold mask and purple trunks, Masonius is a medium range character that uses a spear and shield. He's good for long range attacks and can defend rather well. He's also not bad when it comes to hitting someone at close range, despite the length of the spear.
This character, who first appeared in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, decided to forego armor in favor of more speed and agility. His main weapon is a hammer, which is useful when it comes to taking a good chunk of energy from enemies. Without armor, he's more susceptible to incoming hits unless you manage to move him out of the way.
Donning a red-feathered helmet, arm/leg armor and shorts, Acolytus is one of the quicker characters in the game. He uses jewel twin daggers useful for getting in close and putting the hurt on someone. However, his torso is exposed, so anyone going in for lower hits could easily put a clinic on him. It's best to stay on your guard and strike with this guy.
When you unlock this mighty warrior, you'll score a real powerhouse in your arsenal. Not only does Oenomaus pack a great deal of strength, but he's also armed with one of the best sword-and-shield combos in the game. That makes him balanced offensively and defensively. He's a good character to have, despite a lack of speed.
Not to be outdone in the strength department is Crixus, who carried a huge undefeated streak for the longest time. What he lacks in armor – leaving him mostly vulnerable in his top half – he makes up for in very quick and powerful offense. He wields a two-handed sword with incredible range, one he can put to use with many combination attacks.
Finally, we have the man himself. Spartacus is the best overall warrior in the game. He comes up short with armor, preferring to keep his midsection and legs protected most, but he unleashes devastating offense. He uses a pair of medium-range swords that easily cut an opponent down to size. He's also ideal when it comes to sudden beheadings, which will automatically result in the end of a match. Put him near the top of your list, preferably at number one.
There are plenty of character options to play around with in Spartacus Legends, whether you prefer to make your own legacy or play as unlocked favorites from the TV show. No matter how you go, prepare for the fight of your life.
Spartacus Legends is available for Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network.