LucasArts announced a new title for its 2003 lineup today, in production for all three major consoles. Entitled Gladius, the game will be a turn-based action RPG based loosely on real world third-century Roman and Celtic cultures. It promises an involving linear storyline, lots of combat, an intricate and expansive character building system, lots of combat, plenty of strategy, lots of combat, intuitive gameplay, and lots of combat.
Players will choose from one of two main characters to start with: Valens, son of a great Roman general, or Ursula, the daughter of a mighty Celtic barbarian warror-king. Their two countries (Imperia and Nordagh, respectively) have long been engaged in a bloody conflict that has only recently come to a halt. The endless war awoke a terrible and powerful dark god, who nearly wiped out the entire planet in his reign of terror. Only with the power of Valkyrie were the two countries able to defeat the dark god, but it was still a Pyrrhic victory that resulted in the loss of many lives. Now, decades later, a tenuous and uneasy peace exists between the two nations. Our heroes must join forces to find a new road to a more permanent peace, so that the world will remain safe from the ravages of this unnamed dark god.
And of course, this is only the beginning. Aside from the intriguing setup, a deep character building system for the heroes and their companions is also in place. With over 16 classes (ranging from magic-users to spear-throwers), each with their own dual-branched skill trees (within which players can build combos, learn spells, become better leaders, or learn to use even more powerful weapons), gamers can expect to have their hands delightfully full with all manner of options for the warriors.
With an impressive concept and graphical style, Gladius is currently slated for a Spring 2003 release on the PS2, Xbox and Gamecube. Expect to hear alot more about this game during and after this year's E3.