The original 300 film was one of the best (and not at all historically accurate) action films released in 2007. With that film’s explosive popularity came the arrival of the subpar video game tie-in with 300: March to Glory on the PSP. I approached this iteration with little expectations. Movie-tie in rarely stray far from video game tropes and cliches, and this is even more so with mobile games. With its upcoming sequel, 300: Rise of an Empire, on the near horizon, Warner Brothers are looking to cash in on the hype with a mobile game, 300 Rise of an Empire: Seize Your Glory.
Short, but not sweet
Long title aside, Seize Your Glory, as you may have guessed it, will run alongside with the films long anticipated sequel. Rise of an Empire – only if that sequel were to be 15 minutes long. Calling Seize Your Glory incredibly short would be an understatement, clocking in around 10-15 minutes of completion. It ends with no hint of warning, not even a cliffhanger to at least build up some suspense and hype for the movie’s release. I wasn’t entirely sure the game had ended and replayed the last level to make sure, no luck there, the game just drops you off back to the main menu. The game leaves an almost arcade like the feeling of “thank you for playing” found in arcades in the 90’s. While it lead up to the plot of the upcoming movie, it can leave gamers unsatisfied. If Warner Brothers expect major fanfare and excitement from gamers about the film, they’ve set a bar too high for even a Spartan to reach.
THIS IS NOT SPARTA
On the upside, its brief stint saves player (or hide) from the fact that Seize Your Glory may have been a grueling generic hack and slash snooze fest it was heading towards. Combat is relatively simple. A no brainer control mechanic is placed so the player can easily pick up the game from the start, which, thankfully, the game puts you in the action right away. Onscreen buttons are displayed front and center. Tap the attack button to attack, and tapping them repeatedly chains combos together, filling up your special meter. Once filled, this meter enables your main character, Themistokle, to quickly dispatch an enemy quickly in a glorious and brutal animation. There’s also blocking mechanic that’s pretty useless (except from volleys of arrows which he can avoid even when facing the wrong way) as you have to stand directly in front of the enemy. Double tapping the block button lets Themistokle bash against enemy defenses ripening them for assault. Combat can’t get any more generic than this. It doesn’t help that there are only 3 enemy types in the entirety of the game with one being the main boss, an antagonist of the upcoming film.
Dine and Dash
The visuals are superb though not entirely groundbreaking. As you repel against the invading Persian horde the water animation and physics looks especially nice. The ships themselves (where the entirety of the game takes place) aren’t at all detailed, but the actions in the distant background, nearby battles and crashing ships, creates a sense of grand scale epics – cut short by the game’s abrupt ending.
In the end, it’s unfair to point out flaws in a game that is free. Seize Your Glory doesn’t push in app purchases nor does it hold features hostages unless you share it on Facebook. In the end, Seize Your Glory will satisfy a few who are looking for mindless action, and fans of the original. However, if you’re looking for a game with more depth and serves the films (and comic!) some justice, would better off waiting for the sequel.