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Warriors: Rise to Glory! Early Access Review

Warriors: Rise to Glory, in development by Gavra Games, is an Early Access turn-based fighting game with RPG elements. Your gladiator must fight his way up from a nude weakling to a gloriously armored brute through tournaments and duels. Featuring a permadeath lineage system, Rise to Glory does not forgive death, but will always reward you with some passed-down stats and a single item from your ancestor, providing a steady forward pace. Gavra Games makes sure to never take its blood-soaked creation too seriously, adding ridiculous dialogue and customization options.

I am Spartacus

The world of gladiators is always a breath of fresh air because it’s a niche that has room for novelty. The only other recent gladiator title coming to mind is Ryse: Son of Rome. One of the things Rise to Glory handles extremely well is the sense of progression. You begin your journey with a measly 2 HP and a wooden stake, but each tournament you win opens up a new tier of equipment for purchase and earns you stat points. Death also contributes to progression: Upon defeating an enemy, you can either spare him for some extra cash with an obscene fart to the face, or kill him and gather his very soul essence to contribute to permanent stat boosts for all of your characters. If you find that you’re dying a lot early on, you can be reassured that after a bit of grinding your fresh character will rip through the first set of enemies like paper. You’re also given the option to bribe your way out of death or accept fate before being permanently eliminated, but currently it’s pretty safe to say that if you’re defeated, your character is a goner.

You can’t hit me when it’s my turn!

Rise to Glory opts out of the hack and slash combat we typically see in gladiator games and goes for a slower, turn-based combat instead. Gladiators use Sims-like language to intimidate each other by boasting their strength and brutal nature in between turns. Currently, you can use light, medium, or heavy attacks paired with more situational moves, such as charged running attacks, kicks, or even dancing for the sake of hyping up your crowd. There are no special moves to be earned from the skill tree, which is disappointing, but you can use ranged combat and the perks do augment the effect of your attacks slightly.

The combat isn’t necessarily bad, but it’s lacking in variety and is also easily exploited. For example, for the final boss, I fell into a pattern of running, resting, and attacking once until delivering the final attack. The first few playthroughs will be fun and exciting, but each one is basically the same, which really makes the grind feel more obvious as you progress. I beat the game with my eleventh character, two of which were naked money-farming runs where I had a powerful sword to ensure that it would be passed down when I died. While attempting to make each run different, beating the game took about five hours total. For characters where I focused on ranged attacks, my constant running and resting dragged out matches to be a few minutes each. In comparison, heavy-hitting melee character matches took only a few seconds, with the exception of certain bosses. My eleventh character playthrough undoubtedly took less than an hour, so it’s safe to say that once you’ve stockpiled enough cash the game hits a dead end.

7

The Verdict: Great

If you were gaming a decade ago, there’s a decent chance you spent a good amount of time playing Flash games online. Memories of one of the more popular series, Swords and Sandals came flooding back when playing this title. I suspect that Gavra took a lot of its direction from the Swords and Sandals series — and that is by no means a bad thing. The combat is simple and the objective is straightforward. My main complaints with the game land on the grinding and lack of variety in combat style. Minor complaints simply include the lowbrow attitude, with its love for farts, and the fact that the dice-based gambling mini-game is barely worth mentioning due to its low payoff (even though the concept is interesting). As long as Gavra Games is dedicated to consistently updating their game, Warriors: Rise to Glory makes for a great modern spin on a classic Flash game.

Stephen Martino
Written by
March 15, 2018
Published in Action

Stephen is the dedicated game critic of his friend group and always has a new recommendation he just can’t keep to himself.  Whether a AAA release or a hidden indie gem, he’s always the one his friends will consult when thinking of picking up a game.  Stephen started his love for gaming back with Resident Evil : Code Veronica on the Sega Dreamcast.  After dumping way too many hours into it, he moved to the Xbox 360 and then the PC upon realizing just how much he loved modding and customization in games.  If you ever plan on playing a game featuring customizable characters with this Brooklynite critiq, you’d better free up your schedule because you know he’s going to be fine-tuning every last slider and color. 

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