Colosseum: Road to Freedom PS2 Review

Colosseum: Road to Freedom is a game whereby you play the role of a Gladiator, trapped into slavery and must fight to earn money to buy his own freedom. For the gamer, replace the word fight with the word work, and we have this game summed up nicely. It’s unfortunate because the setting and the ideas presented are good enough, they are just under developed and mislead. Let me explain…

Essentially the game is an action RPG, and some of the game’s good points lie within the RPG system. If anything makes you want to actually play it, it’s the future prospect of becoming more powerful and hoping that the variable amount of limitations are taken away, and you can fight the way you want to fight. Stats that can be adjusted for one of 3 different varieties of Gladiator, are actually quite in-depth, and allow you to customise how you play, whether it is with one sword or two for example. Training consists of a mini game like affair, but largely is tedious.

Graphically the game fails to impress, and slots in at an average PS2 level, with blocky characters, and small environments. Environments are plentiful, but in the end you’re fighting the camera to see them properly anyway, which adds more frustration. Speaking of the camera, within the battles there is no way (that I found) to lock onto enemies, and as such, you generally can’t see who is about to attack you, or when you face multiple opponents, your character can’t make his damn mind up who to hit.

To call the game progressive would be an understatement. Enemies range from more gladiators to tigers and each require their own tactics to see them off. There are different types of matches, but you have to repeat the same one over and over and over again to progress, and this becomes tedious. Generally there is a lack of variety, something which average hack and slash games such as this generally fall into. The ideas are nice enough; they are just not executed to a level whereby they could actually be referred to as interesting. Therefore it is questionable how long the game will last without the urge to trade it in.

The story that surrounds your character is equally progressive, and could have saved this game, had it not been largely predictable and slow to progress. There are no large twists and nothing to gain your interest to allow you to ignore the bad gameplay elements.

Sound-wise the title is generally what you would expect, largely cheesy dialogue that hints to the obvious movie reference. The score is uninspiring and doesn’t excite or build any tension. The fact that it doesn’t really distract or annoy the player makes it one of the game’s finer points.

Overall, the title has its flaws that cannot be overlooked. The ideas that are presented are well thought out, but poorly executed, and as a result the whole title feels unfinished and incoherent. As I said in the opening paragraph, the title can feel like work for your freedom, rather than fight for your freedom, and that is its downfall unfortunately.

5.0 out of 10