Thousands of Persian soldiers descend upon a small force of Spartan warriors. It’s intense, brutal, and gripping.
At least, that’s the movie.
As for the game version of 300, it’s really none of those things. It’s plodding, clunky, and lacking any intensity. The only thing linking the game and the popular film is the title and nods to the original graphic novel.
Frank Miller is hardly done proud in this adaptation. Whereas the film depicts insurmountable odds amongst countless warriors, the game ironically has trouble tossing 300 total enemies at the player through the entire game. They attack a few at a time, hardly depicting the original vision.
It’s a dull hack ‘n slash ride, laboriously paced throughout with lacking mechanics. Your sword swings have little feeling of impact aside from gushing blood with each glancing blow. It’s worse as enemies begin charging with shields up in a defensive posture. All this does is increase the repetition as it takes more hits to bring down equally dumb enemies.
Special attacks are nice, though hardly required to succeed. Slamming on one button for the entire game is likely to take you the distance. The dark graphical style causes eye-straining blur as characters streak across the screen.
Attempts to alleviate players from the substandard core include a pitiful mini-game in which Spartans line up to defend against an oncoming tiny horde of foes. All warriors are controlled at once with one of two attacks, and each adversary goes down in rapid succession. Leveling up brings new swords, shields, armor, and moves, though the difference is negligible at best.
Persian arrow attacks occur at random throughout the game, requiring the player to duck down under their shield to prevent being pelted by hundreds of unseen archers. Enemies on the other hand apparently can’t figure out why the sky darkens and you’re ducking and stand in plain site to be wiped out by their equally dumb friends.