Creative Assembly's Spartan: Total Warrior is the first title in what is to become an established franchise and shoves players into the epic sandals of a heroic warrior fighting for their lives, their freedom and for a taste of honour. Bloody battles are fought on battlefields of the ancient world as you take up arms against the might of the Roman Empire. Bring it on!
Ian Roxburgh of Creative Assembly reveals more about the game...
Interview courtesy of Official Xbox Magazine (UK).
Creative Assembly is best known for the Total War series on PC. Those titles are historical strategy games. What's different about Spartan?
Ian Roxburgh: Spartan: Total Warrior was conceived, designed and developed as a completely different style of game purely for the console market. So we haven't changed anything from our PC series for the console - we simply started from scratch to achieve a unique gameplay experience on the consoles. The only common thread between the two completely different styles of game are the fact that they both feature huge-scale battles.
Why did you choose the Spartans to be the heroes? What can you tell us about the main character? He looks like a WWE wrestler.
Ian Roxburgh: In Spartan: Total Warrior, you control the Spartan, a warrior who fights as an individual in the heart of epic-scale battles. The Spartans were the most awesome warriors of the ancient world, born and bred to fight - it was therefore a simple choice to make a Spartan the central character in the game.
In reality, the Spartans preceded the Romans by a few hundred years, but having decided that this wasn't going to be a historically accurate game, we pitted the player and his Spartan allies against the Roman Empire - one of the most formidable empires the world has ever seen - and added a lot from Ancient Greek mythology in order to be able to bring the player an awesome setting for the action.
In a nutshell, the storyline follows the hero as he first repels a huge Roman assault on his home city of Sparta, and then takes the fight to the assaulting Roman army and eventually the entire Roman empire. In order to achieve this, he embarks on an epic quest across three continents and a wide variety of locations to gain allies in the fight against Rome and to find magical weapons. All the while, the Spartan is undergoing a personal journey in which his stature gradually grows from 'Warrior' to 'Hero' to 'Legend'.
We're hoping that this is going to be Dynasty Warriors times ten. Will you be running around open battlefields like in those games, or is Spartan more mission-based?
Ian Roxburgh: It's actually a bit of both. There are some huge-scale battles in open environments but the game is by no means restricted to this. When we have big pitched battles they are bigger than anything seen before on a console. Dynasty Warriors never has more than 30 troops on screen at once and a very short fogging distance, whereas Spartan has up to 180 and a draw distance of up to three kilometres.
Spartan is actually very different in terms of gameplay as well. Against this backdrop of huge battles, the game is structured and mission-based. At any given time, the player will have any number of objectives that need to be performed in order to turn the tide of battles in their favour, such as having to protect certain allies, ignite barrels of gunpowder, pour a cauldron of boiling oil over enemy sappers, and so on. This means that it's never just a battle against numbers - the player is always fighting to achieve specific goals within the battles. This makes the gameplay extremely exciting and varied.