This gladiator must die.
Under the eyes of Caesar and the cheering masses, you joined your fellow slaves to slaughter the minions of another owner. The same allies that fell against the cruel claws of tigers until only you remained. Alone, you faced a mass battle of twenty gladiators, first entering the arena as four, with a new opponent appearing just as soon as another fell. Your arms started to tire from the long effort, but you persevered with special skills that knock your enemies to the ground or send them flying. Out of the twenty that entered that arena, only you emerged.
Now you face a duel with an experienced gladiator, his expensive equipment gleaming under the harsh sun. With your deadly Double Strike combo it should be easy to smash him into submission like the others before him. Only it isn't. His defenses don't break as easily as the others, and he has a special attack that cuts right through your long shield and armor like magic. A quick evasion lets you escape the taste of his sword a second time, but no matter how well you trained, you can not dodge every strike. Luck is with you when you knock away his shield, and hammer away at him until he bleeds from every limb...but he only needs one opening for a combo to take off the second half of your life. You fall.
If you're lucky, you die and pay half your earnings to be born again, to face him a second time. If you're unlucky, you're merely injured, lose all of your best equipment, a thousand in earnings, and can not face him again. Or you could reload from your previous save, having to face him and all the easily defeated matches before him yet another time.
Colosseum can be a real killjoy sometimes.
The developers created fun combat system where you can target four points of the enemy's body, and lash out in all four directions, spiced up with a number of special attacks that are separated into the four fighting styles (small shield, large shield, double weapon, and bare handed). You can also dodge, parry, evade roll, and do everything else to make you feel like a well toned brute out looking for some old fashioned violence. Not to mention all the various weapons, shields, helmets, and other equipment you can buy in the shop, earn as prizes, and snatch from the dead. There's also a ton of stats to build up in the arena or in one of many training exercises. You can even tackle arena mode with a friend, fighting side by side or facing each other in a duel to the death.