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Spartan: Total Warrior is a standard hack & slash action game from Creative Assembly. This is their first console game, and also their first non-RTS game. Previously, they were known for their Total War series of games, most notably, Rome: Total War. The game is available on Xbox, GameCube and PlayStation 2.
The game garnered some comparison to 2005's PlayStation 2 hit, God of War, due to similar ancient Greek/mythology settings. It is actually more similar to the Dynasty Warrior games in terms of gameplay. Spartan: Total Warrior also received attention for it's intense action and large crowds of allies & enemies, mimicking the amount of soldiers found in Rome: Total War.
You play as The Spartan, a brave Greek warrior as your city of Sparta is attacked by the giant Roman Empire. The Spartan has no family, no history, and no knowledge of his origins. He is suddenly aided by a voice identifying itself as Ares, the God of War. Under his guide, The Spartan is directed to different places and different objectives in order to defeat the Roman Empire. With the help of his friends Castor, Pollux and the Amazon Princess Elektra, The Spartan goes on a wild journey with Ares as his guide.
You have three bars: A life bar, a combo bar, and a power bar. Life bar is your HP, when it goes down, you die. The combo bar rises with each consecutive hits you score. It is constantly falling. When it reaches a certain point near full, you are able to do "rage" attacks. Rage attacks come in two flavors: Radial and Single. Single focuses on one target and does more damage. Radial focuses on several targets. The type of attack depends on what weapon The Spartan has equipped. The final bar is the power bar, represented by blue circles. It is filled up by picking up glowing blue orbs from dead enemies. When full, you can use "power" attacks. These are just different, magical, type sof "rage" attacks. They come also come in radial & focused.
When fighting, the Spartan can use basic quick attacks to build up the red combo meter quickly. He can also use a charging slash, which will usually knock the enemy back, unless he is blocked. Other moves include shielding, and focused shield bash (knock back one enemy) and radial shield bash (knock back several enemies). Pressing the shield & jump button makes The Spartan roll/dodge around the enemy, similar to Link's counter attack in The Wind Waker. Finally, there is the ranged attack, where you can fire a single accurate bow, or shoot 5 at once to take out a crowd. Fire arrows can sometimes be found in chests.
There are several melee weapons, which you get as the story progresses. Some (like the Blades of Athena) are faster, with lightning based power attacks. Others (like Death Biter, a giant Hammer) are slow but powerful.
Levels progress linearly, though they can be redone once completed for added replay value. Levels typically put you with a large army of allies against an even larger army of enemies, as reinforcements come in on both sides. The Spartan alone will be killing most of the enemies, though your fellow soldiers are valuable help. Sometimes you will be alone against large hordes of enemies.
All levels are made up of "checkpoints", which have on objective (Kill all in the room/flip switches/protect something/etc) until you can move onto the next checkpoint & objective. Eventually, usually after a boss, the level is complete. After every level, you are given 5 tokens, which can be put into increasing your health bar, power bar, or damage amount. When they have filled up, you level up into "Hero" (New model, more stats) and can fill the bars up all over again, until you finally level up into "Legend."
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