Remember that new "hardcore" title that IGN teased a while ago? You know, the one with all the blood and the mystery fuzzy image. Well, cat's out of the bag now, as it turns out it was one of High Voltage's new IPs set for an E3 reveal.
Gladiator A.D. is a one-on-one (mostly) arena fighter inspired by the movie adaptation of Frank Miller's 300. Taking place in ancient Rome, you slice and dice your way up the gladiatorial circuit, apparently with the occasional tiger and other stuff that'll kill you thrown in, fighting for glory and freedom. Very bloody freedom.
HV promise to achieve an even higher level of graphical fidelity for this game than what's already in the impressive-looking The Conduit, in part because of fewer characters on screen and not so much free-roaming; it is an arena after all. High levels of customization are hinted, although not much regarding what that customization may exactly be other than a vague "controls" nod. Oh, and there's two-player splitscreen multiplayer, with online currently TBA.
IGN: Is Gladiator a straight-up 3D fighter? What are the gameplay mechanics?
David Pellas, design director: Gladiator A.D. is not a traditional 3D fighting game. It's more of a hybrid between 3D Fighting games like Bushido Blade and Boxing games like Fight Night. The action is intense, but the combat is strategic. You need to learn your opponent's weaknesses and think through your attack patterns to succeed. There is no button-mashing here.
Kerry J. Ganofsky, High Voltage CEO/founder: Our goal is to make the controls intuitive while providing depth to the game mechanics. Customizable weapons, armor and moves give the player a lot of choices of the arsenal to bring into battle. There are quicker, lighter moves that are difficult to block or dodge and slower, heavier moves that will do more damage. A well-timed parry will briefly stun your opponent. There are brutality moves that the player can earn by increasing crowd favor, which plays a big role in a player's victory or defeat.
Eric Nofsigner, chief creative officer: Gladiator takes an over-the-should approach to bring the player right into the action. With the Wii-remotes representing the right and left hand, the player can accurately control his attacks, blocks, and dodges. The player has three directional attack; left slice, right slash, and overhead chop. As well as a slower, but devastating power attack for each direction. On the defense, the player can choose to dodge, parry, or block attacks. Holding block will soak a percentage of the incoming damage, but moving your shield or secondary weapon using the analog stick (while blocking) will allow the player to make perfect blocks, which soaks all damage, and causes his opponent to react, allowing for a retaliatory strike. We incorporate slow down of the larger power attacks, similar to the movie 300, to allow players a cinematic attempt to perfect block these attacks.
The game is slated for a bloody Q1 2010 release and promises to utilize Wii Motion+. Stab your way over to IGN for the full interview, and keep your peepers pointed at E3 for more info on Gladiator A.D.