We get an exclusive update on Capcom's upcoming action game from producer Yoshinori Ono.
Shadow of Rome is the upcoming third-person action game from Capcom that's set in ancient Rome. The original game blends action and stealth gameplay elements to create a unique hybrid. We've been keeping an eye on Shadow of Rome since our exclusive first look at the game earlier this year. Our latest update came recently when producer Yoshinori Ono demoed a more complete work-in-progress version of the game for us that showed off much more of what to expect from the upcoming title.
The focus of our demo revolved around showing off the different aspects of Shadow of Rome's gameplay. While the basics have been common knowledge since the game's announcement, Capcom hasn't really shown off everything it has to offer in the game until now. For those who are unfamiliar with Shadow of Rome's mechanics, the game features two main characters--Agrippa, a gladiator whose gameplay is more action-focused, and Octavianus, a friend of Agrippa who features a stealth-oriented gameplay style. The pair is working to uncover information that will prove the innocence of Agrippa's father, who has been accused of murdering Caesar and is slated to be executed.
While it may sound as though the mechanics in Shadow of Rome are straightforward, especially given the apparently cut-and-dried difference between the play styles for each character, neither one is easy to label. Although Agrippa's action segments may appear to be from your run-of-the-mill hack-and-slasher, there's quite a bit more to them than that. The game features a full-fledged combat system that incorporates all manner of weapons and attacks with interactive environments and some totally different mechanics, which appear in the form of chariot racing.
The arena combat sequences are lively mixes of straightforward hacking and slashing that also present some cerebral aspects that will require you to use your brain in conjunction with Agrippa's brawn. The early assortment of enemies you'll face consists of very disposable grunt-level forces that you can dispatch without much trouble. However, later on, in the face of enemies that are larger in size, greater in number, and simply better armed, running and trying to hack everything that moves isn't going to work. You'll have to be aware of your surroundings and be prepared to take advantage of any opportunity.
During certain match types, the ring will be flooded with foes you'll have to take out using one of the game's nicer surprises--a full-fledged combo system that gives you a healthy selection of ass-kicking moves for your death-dealing pleasure. Other matches will be thinner on the weapon presence in the ring, thus forcing you to make do with whatever's on hand, in addition to forcing you to use whatever your foes might be carrying. The audience mechanic factors into this, because if you appeal to your fans enough, they'll start to hook you up with weapons by throwing them in the ring.
The chariot racing sequences use some of the same crowd mechanics as you try to outpace or kill your opponents in a battle to the death that finds you behind the reins of a team of horses in a chariot. The attack system when in a chariot isn't as deep as the standard arena sequences, but you'll still find a healthy combat system that lets you beat on your foes or their vehicles. The chariots can actually be seriously damaged if you target their wheels. While this is very satisfying when you're doling out the hurt, we expect it's going to be considerably less fun when you're trying to maneuver a jacked-up chariot to exact some revenge on your foes (but that's gladiatorial combat for you).
Octavianus' stealth segments are likely to be the most misunderstood element of Shadow of Rome's gameplay. While you'll be sneaking about à la Solid Snake and Sam Fisher, there's much more to the experience than this. While sneaking is obviously an important part of Octavianus' play mechanics, it's just part of what you'll be doing. In his search for information to clear the good name of Agrippa's dad, the young Roman will be doing whatever it takes to get his leads on so that he'll know where to go. To this end, you can certainly plan on sneaking around while doing a healthy amount of listening at doors and looking in keyholes. But you'll also have to put some time into solving puzzles, such as how to take out physically superior enemies by using subtle means.