Set against the backdrop of the Roman invasion of Greece, Spartan Total Warrior is a fast-paced action adventure that sees you play a lone soldier battling against the bad guys amongst legions of allies and enemies in larger battles.
From the outset, the action is non-stop, with the first level seeing you thrown in at the deep end to save the city from falling in to Roman hands. The action doesn't really let up from here as you infiltrate enemy camps and slowly turn the tables on the Roman invaders.
Levels are large and sprawling, but taken in manageable bite-sized chunks with individual objectives to complete and plenty of save points. These objectives range from protecting the King or opening a gate to distracting a group of armed soldiers so your comrades can slip past.
To help you in your task, you have a range of attack moves, rolls and combos you can perform as well as a either a sword or crossbow to take down your enemies with. Learning all the moves is tricky at first but by the end of the first level, you will be a pro.
As the levels progress you are awarded points which you can distribute between improving your health or your strength. The former means you can last longer in battles, while the later means you'll be able to carve your way through more enemies with ease.
Furthermore, throughout the game you are rewarded with better weapons, some dependent on the situation at hand, others to keep for future battles. Additional aid comes in the form of boxes or crates, that can be smashed or opened to include further support, and praying plinths for magical power and health replenishment.
Gameplay is straightforward, although the amount of enemies charging towards you can become overwhelming at times, and those who panic by the thought of 20 soldiers charging towards you should steer clear.
The game is based in the third person and this, while taking away the element of being at the heart of the action, does mean you can see things coming. On the whole the approach works fine, but annoyingly Spartan Total Warrior falls into the same trap that most games fall into, which is poor camera control.
On numerous occasions, we found ourselves battling blind because the camera had chosen to position itself behind the corner we had been backed up into. This not only leads to frustration, but more often than not, death.
Grumbles aside, Spartan Total Warrior certainly ticks all the boxes for a swash buckling action adventure and it is clear that the makers have done this before (actually they have with the Total War series on the PC). The levels are fast paced, and you never really get to stop for a break.
Those looking to really challenge themselves can play the battle arena mode where it's just you versus 20 men, then 40 men, then 80 men until you fall over dead. It's a touch frustrating, but one of those levels you decide to make it your mission to complete.
Good clean fun.