After playing with the Gladiator for a while now, it is quickly becoming one of the most exciting heroes on the roster. Fast-paced, able to control an opponent’s movement and equipped with bleed potential, it is an imposing enemy with great mix-ups.
Initially, I started playing very much like a Peacekeeper; both are classed as Assassins and therefore have similar playstyles. Oddly, as a Warlord main, I found myself reverting to the techniques I used playing that class instead and had a degree of success. Gladiator can dodge in any direction and follow up with an un-blockable punch (by pressing the Guard-break button) allowing for a similar technique to the Warlord’s head-butt. Damage is not guaranteed after the punch but does offer a nice daze to keep your opponent on their toes and potentially keep up a long combo.
Taking the crown in its move-pool however is the Fuscina Ictus (foot-stab) and the Skewer. Both un-blockable attacks can be performed during any chain; they can unbalance an enemy and put bleed on an enemy respectively. As the Gladiator can throw out a huge chain of light attacks, opponents must constantly wager between blocking, parrying or dodging in order to avoid taking damage. Skewer can also be used to throw an opponent, allowing you to stack a bit of bleed before throwing them into a wall for further punishment.
Generally speaking, the Gladiator has tools for most occasions but will require strong mind games to keep an opponent guessing, especially an opponent who is prepared to dodge and block efficiently.
Design & Cosmetics
Most of the armor pieces stay true to the classic look of a Roman Gladiator and a wide range of ornaments allow for magnificent looking characters to be created. The Gladiator can be Male or Female with slight tweaks to the chest armor (for obvious reasons) applied to each choice. My personal favorite cosmetic pieces are the array of Trident heads, ranging from brutal-looking, spike-covered implements of torture to elegant, Poseidon-esque designs. Most armor combinations not only make you look, but feel powerful.
One thing I personally think is lacking is the size of the character. Perhaps the Assassin allocation is responsible for this, but the character feels somewhat narrow and looks slightly odd bouncing around like a pogo-stick (albeit a deadly one).
Overall, I hope to see a few more elaborate pieces of chest armor and helmets as I level up further, but am impressed by the designs I have seen so far.
I love the Gladiator. Playing a fast character that can dish out serious damage is incredibly fun, coupled together with a great historical look and sense of power. As the potential final addition to the Knights’ roster the Gladiator certainly earns its place amongst the other tin-cans and I can’t wait to see what the top players can really do with it.