"Shadow of Rome's story is set in the year 48 BC. The leadership of the Roman Empire has been tarnished by political corruption, and Roman society has been overrun by unruliness and violence. Julius Caesar advocates for drastic reform to restore the republic to its former glory, but he is met with opposition. However, being the stubborn sort, old Julius keeps on pressing for change. Unfortunately, as any history buff can tell you, things don't work out quite like he'd hoped. Caesar is murdered before the changes he had advocated could be implemented. As the news of the head of state's demise starts to spread, a soldier named Agrippa rushes back to Rome to be faced with even worse news. Agrippa's father, Uesnius, who was a close advisor to Caesar, is the accused murderer. Unlike today's poky court system, the Roman judicial system keeps a pretty brisk pace and slates Uesnius for public execution by the winner of the next gladiatorial event, which is coming up fast. Anxious to keep his father alive, Agrippa sets out to prove his innocence and uncover the truth about Caesar's assassination. Thankfully Agrippa isn't in this alone. He has the help of his best friend, Octavius, and a freed female gladiator named Claudia. As you'd expect, the road to help Uesnius is a long one, chock-full of murder, intrigue, false accusations, and a whole lot of spilled blood in gladiatorial combat. An interesting twist to the narrative is the extended cast of characters you'll interact with, which will include actual historical figures.
While it's certainly a shame about Agrippa's father, the resulting adventure looks as though it's going to make for some really involving gameplay. Shadow of Rome is set to have a unique gameplay system that will combine two distinct styles of gameplay--action and stealth--in intertwining levels that will unfold in accordance to how you play. From what we've seen so far, the game will alternate between letting you play as Agrippa or Octavius, depending on the level. Agrippa is the well-trained, deadly fighter of the two. His levels will be action oriented and will revolve around the sorts of things you'd expect to see a gladiator engaging in. You'll fight single- or multiple-opponent battles in an arena, engage in chariot races, or fight on a ship at sea. You'll also engage in some pretty slick battles against animals such as lions or in assaults using catapults against structures in the arena. Combat appears to lean slightly more toward realism than in the Onimusha series and most of the gladiator games that have come out so far. Agrippa will rely on a mix of strength and resourceful use of whatever weapons are at hand or can be taken from an enemy. "