Swords & Sandals 5 Game

Grail of Antares – Perhaps the best Swords and Sandals Yet

Like Swords and Sandals but hate the direction it’s gone in for the past few games? Swords and Sandals 5: Grail of Antares has you covered. This game sees a return to the game’s former greatness and sees you entering into a quest with all the classic features of an RPG. Fight battles, curb your hunger, visit the shops to arm yourself, and enjoy the new multiplayer feature, because Swords and Sandals is back with some serious attitude and is better than ever.

Reclaiming Brilliance

Gladiatorial battles haven’t always been the prettiest of affairs, but Swords and Sandals has always attempted to bring us some gritty, turn-based gladiator-battle action in a distinctive style. After losing its way a little for the past few games, it appears that Swords and Sandals 5: Grail of Antares has returned the game to the genius that it once held, so let’s find out why, shall we?

You Stay Classy, Antares

play Swords & Sandals 5 Game: View 2

At the outset of the game you choose your warrior’s crest, though no customisation of your gladiator is available this time around, at least initially anyhow (the classic customisation comes after the selection of class). Instead, we get to choose from a variety of classes of fighter including wizard, warrior, rogue, priest, or knight. Naturally, these classes all have different levels of attributes. The knight for example, has superior strength and endurance, whereas a wizard clocks in at 5 intellect and dexterity but begins with low endurance and strength. Each class also starts with their own special abilities which are passive in nature. The knight has “Coup de Grace” for example, which means any enemy below 20% health is automatically dealt a killing blow. Needless to say, this collection of crests, fighter classes, and passive abilities had me excited from the outset since previous Swords and Sandals titles such as Crusader and Swords and Sandals 4 have disappointed me of late; this level of choice and RPG-like structure lured me into what I hoped would be a sense of security that had me warming to this game.

Visual Overhaul, Structural Revolution

play Swords & Sandals 5 Game: Visual Overhaul

Upon customising your gladiator’s aesthetic features, you begin to realise that Swords and Sandals 5 looks to have undergone somewhat of a noticeable visual makeover. No longer are the characters composed of crudely-drawn lines and raw-looking designs; illustrations are now smooth, shaded, and are set in front of a background that has clearly had some work put into it. You can even pick the region where your gladiator hails from, with each place having its own back-story and general history.

In terms of structure, you are no longer simply playing through each stage fighting battles in an arbitrary way: Swords and Sandals 5 follows a story-like structure which is comprised of five acts that must be played through. Each act is split further into chapters, and you can bet each chapter has some epic battles for you to experience. Before battles take place though, you ,must wander around town visiting various places such as the recently-updated shops where you can replenish your armour at the armoury, visit the weaponsmith, purchase spells from the alchemist, and visit some new-fangled shops such as the dungeon mart, the church for a spot of healing, or the tavern where food can be purchased in order to replenish your hunger, which is a limitation on your character that is new to this game.

Gameplay Greatness

play Swords & Sandals 5 Game: Game Play Greatness

I’m sure everyone is wondering whether the gameplay itself has undergone any debilitating changes amongst all the other drastic improvements this game has seen. Well, the gameplay has changed a little since its predecessors, but it has seen more of a return to what once made the game so great in the first place. Battles still take place with contextual menus allowing you to select from your various attacks such as melee attacks and your spells/items, with everything controlled by the mouse and happening in a turn-based fashion. Attack sounds from the first two Swords and Sandals games appear to have returned as well, giving a nostalgic twist to an otherwise drastically improved game. Even the battle physics feel improved here, giving the gameplay a cleaner and more professional feel.

Don’t underestimate Swords and Sandals 5: Grail of Antares: this game has blown its predecessors out of the water in terms of improvements and general gameplay brilliance. Battles have returned to the former Swords and Sandals glory days, though the RPG-like structure and huge variety involved in the quests make for a hugely improved experience. The multiplayer battles also add another dimension to the action, allowing your gladiator to win gold as well as enter into battles when you aren’t even playing in order to win gold and experience. This game has truly outdone itself, and though it is now a freemium experience where gems can be purchased for money to get you ahead in the game, you can see where the extra money has gone in the sheer quality of the experience. Developer 3RD Sense have truly redeemed themselves after the shocking nature of the previous two games , so let’s rejoice in the return of Swords and Sandals glory!