Mobile fighting game Gods of Rome makes use of tried and tested controls, a large roster of characters, and above-average visuals in order to make a mark on the 1 vs 1 multiplayer fighting space on mobile devices. The result is a fighting game that actually manages to look impressive and play smoothly on both Android and iOS. At its weakest, Gods of Rome tends to focus too heavily on weekly events and less on balancing fighters. At its best, players can simply concentrate on enjoying the interesting matchups they can make with an impressive roster of fighters. The triumvirate of the Greek pantheon, Zeus, Hades, and Poseidon, go head to head with titans, monsters, heroes, and demigods in this one of a kind brawl fest.
Gods of Rome is an Impressive Train Wreck of Mythology
It is not often that a fighting game lets you see a contest between Hercules and Sun Wukong, but then again, it is not that often that their mythologies actually cross over. Gods of Rome is an incredibly misleading title for a very interesting game (and by interesting, I specifically mean for fans of ancient mythology and/or fighting games). Greek, Egyptian, and even Chinese mythological legends come face to face in this one of a kind mobile brawler. The combat system is pretty much similar to Marvel's Contest of Champions (or DC's Injustice) and provides players with a wickedly incredible roster of iconic characters to choose from.
What is Going On Again?
Olympus is in an uproar as Tenebrous (son of Hades -don't ask), schemes to take control of all the heavens. Now you, an Ascender, must summon the spirits of ancient gods, heroes, and other ancient beings in order to form a fighting team that would turn back the tides of darkness. That is a pretty ironic main goal especially if you come up with a group that has Hades, Medusa, and Seth (a misspelling of Set), but nonetheless, the basic plot of Gods of Rome is that. It does not really matter really, as the real point of the game is to let players battle it out with teams composed of mythological characters.
I do have to point out, however, that if you are a stickler for historical/mythical accuracy, that this game may trigger some compulsive reactions. This is because despite being named Gods of Rome, the names of the gods come from the Greek Pantheon (you get Ares instead of Mars). Also, the game is not strictly limited to Greek gods, there are also characters from other mythologies as well.
There are a total of five different character types: gods, demigods, heroes, monsters, and ancients. With gods, you get the usual group of main powerhouses - Ares, Osiris, Athena, etc. Demigods are the not-so-famous gods, composed of Achilles, Hercules, Ragnar, and others. Monsters are naturally superpowed beings that are neither gods nor man, such as the gorgon sisters Medusa and Stheno (Euryale has yet to make an appearance in the game), the Minotaur, the Cyclops, Anubis, etc. Heroes are iconic characters in legends (and are usually mortal), Cleopatra, Mulan, Julius Cesar, and others fall into this category. Lastly, the ancients are composed of beings beyond gods such as the titan Prometeus, time god Chronos (not to be mistaken for titan Cronos, who surprisingly, does not appear in the game), Ra, and more. More characters are being added with the game's updates.
A Massive Game of Rock, Paper, Scissors
Players do not simply choose a god and be done with it. There are considerations to be taken -for one thing, there is a hierarchy of strengths and weaknesses to be aware of. Gods beat ancients, that beats demigods, that beats monsters, that beats heroes, and to round up the circle, heroes beat gods. Well, not exactly "beat" as in an instant win, but in a 1 vs 1 matchup, a hero gets attack bonuses while the god is debuffed. This Pokemon style weakness between the different fighter classes forces players to switch up their team picks for well balanced groups. It also encourages players to try out different team compositions as well.Speaking of teams, putting together certain characters in a single group will grant unique passive bonuses in battles. And this helps a lot especially when you are up against opponents whose skill levels match that of yours. And of course, having a well rounded team means that you will not get stuck with a bad matchup where all your fighters are weak against a single opponent.
Swipe and Tap Away
The thing about this brawler is that it is kind of nice to watch, but the gameplay itself is extremely simplistic. You swipe to move and tap to attack; once you build up the special meter, simply use an extra powerful super move to deal even more damage. The key here is in knowing the timing and placement of the moves that you need to perform and the opponent is trying to do. If you can block big attacks, you can be in a position to heavily punish your opponent once they become open for attack. Of course, it goes both ways. Players who are too eager with big moves, combos, and other massively damaging attacks can end up at a disadvantage if they fail to get the timing right.
Needs More Cthulhu
While I love the lineup of characters, there is no doubt that adding a new class consisting of old gods would certainly make the game more maddening and fun. But I digress, the core strength of Gods of Rome is in the fact that it seems to draw no borders on which mythologies are worth adding in. So anything from Norse to Lovecraft should be fair game. It has already added a couple of odd additions from Chinese and Japanese myths, and the storyline is vague enough to not be be self contradicting of more out-of-left-field characters get added in.
As it is, Gods of Rome is a nice looking game with plenty of competition available online to fight against others in PVP events. The visuals are bright and the character models look pretty good in combat (though they could use some improvements when they are just standing still). The balancing system for powerful characters is surprisingly interesting, as the class system prevents players from getting cheesy with player picks. Best of all, it is not hard to learn. Getting used to the combat mechanics is a simple matter of playing the game often enough to get things right. Just a few minutes (or maybe a couple of rounds) is all an average core gamer needs to start getting good with the game.