After a rather prolonged period of providing very little info for its upcoming multiplatform combat RPG Gladius, LucasArts has at last revealed a few choice bits of information about the title. Specifically, the game will be set in the medieval land of Gladius, a mysterious place which will be home to the epic adventure of the young heroes Ursula and Valens. The dynamic duo will have to recruit and train a team of warriors in order to field a competetive force in the ferocious gladiator games, which are some of the biggest cultural events in Gladius.
The newly spruced-up official website contains some historical information as well; apparently, in the distant past, before humanity formed nations and engaged in warfare, life was dictated by the worship of the Affinity Gods. These elemental beings, embodied in earth, wind, flame, and water, governed the day-to-day existence of the people of Gladius, and keeping these Gods happy was the paramount task of humanity. LucasArts has yet to reveal what led to the gladitorial society that exists in the game, but offers the ominous hint that "evil is coming", which generally tends to be bad news.
Character details for Valens and Ursula have also been provided. Valens grew up in Imperia, a major city, and the prominence of his parents afforded him the luxury of education in literature and the arts, as well as all the other niceties of a well-rounded youth. Still, Valens is a talented warrior, trained in his famous father's school, and when his father, Imperia's greatest gladiator, is murdered, the school is sent into disarray. Valens and his childhood friend Ludo strive to return the school to prominence.
Ursula, meanwhile, is the daughter of the barbarian king of Nordagh. She possesses strange mystical powers that leave all those around her baffled, and this has led to her father keeping her sheltered in his castle for much of her life. Even so, she is a free spirit at heart, longing to roam the world, and coupled with a strong desire to prove herself to Urlan, her older brother, she is eventually driven to compete in the gladiator games.
There are a total of sixteen character classes in Gladius, and these can be further customized with the over 100 unique character types available to choose from. Battles will be turn-based, and action-oriented in nature. If this sounds conducive to online play, it should; LucasArts is planning both single and multi-player modes, although how exactly this will be pulled off remains to be seen.
Planning to hit all three of the Xbox, GameCube and PlayStation 2, LucasArts is playing no favorites with the release of Gladius. Currently, that is planned for spring 2003.