This happens rarely, but I find myself incredibly excited for a video game based on a TV show despite having the odds stacked against it actually being good. With the new trend being to develop games based on popular cable shows, Ubisoft and Starz Entertainment have announced Spartacus Legends, a new PSN/XBLA game based on the hit series Spartacus.
Perhaps I’m in the minority amongst the Shogun Gamer staff and readers, but I freaking love Spartacus. Seriously, the show is beyond good and it honestly isn’t as goofy or an immediate rip-off of 300 as one may make it out to be. With gripping characters, a very defined sense of style, sharp writing, and action galore Spartacus is a pretty kick ass show. And to be honest it also helps that it has an abundance of attractive people on it, most of who are in the buff once in a while.
The reveal of Spartacus Legends may come as a surprise since the game not only has a surprising genre, but a surprising developer as well. Instead of attempting to provide a sprawling action-adventure game that harkens back to the great but forgotten Capcom game Shadow of Rome, Spartacus Legends is a weapons-based 1 vs. 1 brawler. Ok, that premise kind of makes sense as it plays up the gladiatorial based action the series is known to have, but here’s the catch: Kung Fu Factory is developing the project.
Best known for giving us Supremacy MMA and Supremacy MMA v1.1... oops I mean Bellator: MMA Onslaught, Kung Fu Factory is kind of an odd choice to develop a somewhat high profile licensed video game. In some ways it does make sense why Ubisoft went for them as they likely don’t require a massive triple-A size budget, but at the same time it does put a damper on an otherwise cool development.
However, there is a chance that Kung Fu Factory could step their game up for Spartacus Legends since I did notice some improvement in the studio’s other forthcoming title Girl Fight. The premise may still seem dumb as nails, but as an arcade fighter Girl Fight was enjoyable so here’s hoping Kung Fu Factory will be able to tap into that same creative juice and not give us a game that feels like an ancient version of Supremacy MMA.
Further details on Spartacus Legends have yet to be revealed, but a teaser screenshot was released which in traditional Spartacus fashion shows some ultra-stylized violence. If the game manages to have responsive controls, good balancing, and visuals that properly convey the era and visceral feel of the violence then Spartacus Legends could become a nice game for fans of the series to enjoy.
Spartacus Legends is currently set for release in the first half of 2013, likely to coincide with the third and final season of Spartacus on Starz.
In case anyone from Kung Fu Factory is reading this I have one small favor to ask. Would it be possible to have an alt Spartacus skin modeled after Andy Whitfield? It may seem odd seeing as how Andy sadly passed away and actor Liam McIntrye now plays Spartacus, but I think it would be a nice thing to provide the fans and to further honor Andy’s memory.
-End Spartacus fanboy request-