Call of Arena is a tactical Action-packed multiplayer game about strategic gladiator combat. Back to the glorious Colosseum age, Call of Arena casts you into the role of the Leader of a gladiator school and pits you into fierce competition for fame and fortune.
Call of Arena starts with a quick tutorial that covers a bit of everything from buying gladiators from tavern, fighting a battle and manage the gladiator school. It is a blend of classic RTS with more detailed combat under direct and intuitive control. To start a battle, you select three gladiators to form a battle team and send them to the Colosseum. In countdown you can start targeting enemies for your each fighter by simple dragging and during the battle process you can always adjust your battle plan and freely control every gladiator to dodge, attack and unleash the power of skills until all fighters of one side fail with zero health. Simple to learn yet hard to mater, the battle is engaging because of the challenge and strategy in it. The different gladiator classes, the hundreds of skills and the flexible battle control give a deeper dimension of strategy and a nice touch of action to the gameplay.
While the action-packed gladiator fights are what you enjoy most, you need to start with a good control of the school. Instead of building everything from the ground up, you have a fairly functional school from the very beginning with several structures like the tavern, the treasury and the theater already erected in a general layout. But you still have a long list of routine work to do to grow your base of operations.
Resources are always the foundation: Bread energizes gladiators to be in good state; Irons are in large demand in enhancing gladiators’ equipment; and Aureus are spent on almost every activity in the camp from building & upgrading and gladiator recruitment, from training to skill learning. Besides, there are the premium Diamonds that can be exchanged for all kinds of advantages such as instant completion of ongoing projects, direct delivery of resource supplies and exclusive fantasy buildings. It is good that you can earn some Diamonds by completing quests and it is expectedly bad that you cannot gain real advantage with the small amounts of them earned by playing – Diamonds are premium; they are meant to be purchased for real cash.
Besides resource management, you need to build various training fields and a series of gladiator-caring facilities to keep your fighters in good mood and states. You will find 6 weapon-specific gladiator classes in the game that differ from each other with the weapon wielded: double sword, spear, net, hammer, sword and shield. While ordinary training fields can work for all types, the more expensive specific fields give the very class great bonuses.
Gladiators have 7 different levels that indicate their overall combat force and three varying attributes that represent their attack, health and release rate of dodge, critical hit and block, etc.. These attributes are determined mainly by the grade, class, equipment and level of a gladiator but influenced also by their degree of Satisfaction and Status. Based on these design, there come the many expensive and indispensable facilities: hospital to heal, bathroom to restore energy, massage to improve status, skill center to learn hundreds of abilities, smithy to enhance gear, dining room to increase happiness and even a transfer room to change class. Each of these facilities plays an important role in keep your fight team in good state. But you can’t get them erected by a blink of eyes. Because of the high cost of building, upgrading and use, it takes quite a long time to get them all. Thankfully, you can fill the waiting by joining various battles.
Battles in Call of Arena are available in several different forms. Solo Campaign is always a good starter for horning skills, working out strategies and toughening gladiators. It contains many maps pitting you against historical figures like Leonidas and his 300 Spartacus and Joan of Arc. In every map there are multiple stages, each of which can be played three times to reach a particular goal – while the first battle is always aiming for victory in battlefield, the other two adds special requirements like killing the first and last rivals within 20s or taking out the Spear rival first to make the replay different and challenging.
You can have a fast battle anytime by Campaign and level up your gladiators for tougher battles. PvP challenge is unlocked closely in the following. You can find a quick match with a random online rival to fight in Arena in real time or enjoy the asynchronous challenge at your own pace. When your fame reaches the required level, the Plunder can be activated opening another battlefield. Send your troops to pillage and occupy neighbors and force tribute to full your own storage. Be well-prepared, though, for no one is happy to cough up hard-earned resources. There will be retribution from enemies.
Call of Arena is a polish and detailed Action/Strategy blend with diverse & tactical gladiator battles, intuitive battle command and fair empire building simulation. It is richly and beautifully designed. But it is not that kind of game you will sink a chunk of time for hours of immersion because of the restriction set by slowly generated yet highly needed resources. It is a game best enjoyed with the dive-in and drop-out style.