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Swords & Sandals 6 Game

Swords and Sandals 6 - A few cheeky ideas for a sequel that the future may hold

A Greatness Lost

You’ll struggle to find a fan more adamant than I about the simplistic brilliance of early Swords and Sandals games. Please note my use of the word ‘early’ here because there was somewhat of a decline in quality in the series that began sharply at around the third instalment. Swords and Sandals and Swords and Sandals 2 were brilliant titles: simple, raw, rough around the edges, but ultimately undiluted, uncomplicated, turn-based gladiator action that you could get stuck into immediately without fuss or worry.

Unfortunately, the series got a little more complicated from then on and the game’s quality seemed to be inversely proportional to the complexity; while the latter grew exponentially, the former declined rapidly and we ended up with an OK fourth title that should have been awesome, and Swords and Sandals Crusader was in my opinion a poor attempt at the series trying to be something that it will never be: a war-time strategy game. If developers 3RDSense are going to return to its former greatness, then here are a few ways they should go about doing it.

Stick to What You Know

While  Swords and Sandals 4 was a reasonable attempt at originality and a foray into the almost-meta with its game-within-game format, the Swords and Sandals Crusader was just plain unacceptable, and at best, slightly-below-average attempt at a grand-scale strategy game with battles that just didn’t have the edge of its predecessors. For glory to be restored to the series, we’re going to need a return to the original format, with one on one battles (these made the game what it was in the first place), upgrades, and even a storyline, but please, 3RDSense, leave the grand-scale wartime strategy to Hex Empire.

Visual Enhancement

I’ll admit that Swords and Sandals did receive more visual polish as the series went on, with the menus in the third, fourth, and fifth titles even bordering on stylish, but the illustrations and animations of the characters themselves are a little old now, and don’t seem to be improving as time goes on. While the unbelievably raw and basic battle graphics of the first two titles were charming in their simplicity, my warm feelings towards them have cooled down substantially and now I’m left with nothing but a mixture of pity and annoyance for a series that is doing everything to try and switch up its format but almost nothing to improve the appearance of the battles and characters.

Physics Fix

That’s right; I’m attacking the fundamental principles of motion and movement that the game is based on, and why? Because they are extremely jerky, incredibly temperamental, and they just don’t feel right. Right from the start, the movement of the characters was extremely temperamental, and making a dash towards the enemy from far away resulted in your falling over a little bit and then suddenly being upright again; I mean, what the hell is that all about. Even in Swords and Sandals: Crusader, the battles just seem to be fought between two sides that have been super-imposed to give the appearance of being opposite each other as opposed to each and every attack feeling like they connected in a satisfying and even semi-realistic manner. I don’t use the word ‘naff’ very often, but this is exactly how the physics and general experience of the action feels: clunky, unrealistic, poorly animated, and generally unbefitting of a title that could be so very great if it was just done correctly.

Downgrade the Upgrades

It seemed that the series could only get better from the Swords and Sandals 2, but how wrong I was, since the complicated additions of the third title meant that upgrading your character – which is pretty much the addictive and main feature that the game’s entertainment worth rests upon – became a 9-fold process split between too many different upgrade centres. How can Swords and Sandals 6 save the series? By simplifying the upgrade process, not necessarily by reducing the items and weapons we are allowed to purchase, but by simplifying the format so that it is less complicated and more akin to the ‘buy and battle’ of the first two games. 

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