Free-to-play Spartacus Legends launching in 2013

Fighting game based on Starz TV series hitting XBLA and PSN next year as a free-to-play offering with paid equipment available.

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Spartacus Legends, the new fighting game based on Starz's original television series, will launch as a free-to-play game on Xbox Live Arcade and PlayStation Network next year, publisher Ubisoft announced today.

All the dismemberment without the cost.
All the dismemberment without the cost.

Though the game will be free to play, it will offer various equipment options for purchase. Ubisoft said it will ensure competitive play through the game's "fame" system. According to the publisher, the higher-tier equipment available for purchase will require additional "fame," meaning early players will not be able to use such equipment.

It was not mentioned how much add-on equipment would sell for in Spartacus Legends.

Free-to-play console games are becoming more and more prevalent. Just last week it was announced that Happy Wars and Ascend: New Gods would be the first free-to-play games for XBLA. Additionally, free-to-play offerings already exist on Sony's PSN, including DC Universe Online, Killzone 3's multiplayer component, and Free Realms.

Spartacus Legends players will experience the life of a gladiator, from practicing on training grounds to participating in battles in the arena. Players will be tasked with dismembering their foes and will have thousands of weapon combinations and a "robust" skill system to use along the way.

Players will be able to fight as Spartacus, Crixus, or a user-created gladiator and take part in fights with friends locally or via online multiplayer. The game also sports a worldwide leaderboard for players to track their progress against others.

Fans of the Spartacus TV show will recognize one of the game's fighters. Liam McIntyre, who took over as Spartacus in the show's second season following the death of Andy Whitfield from cancer in 2011, will lend his voice and likeness to the game. Additionally, McIntyre is reportedly "very involved" with the Spartacus Legends development team, playing early builds and providing feedback.

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