|Release date(s)||cancelled (1999)|
Arena AD was a gladiatorial 3D combat game developped by Stainless Software and published by Sales Curve Interactive. The game development started before the release of Carmageddon 2 and was aiming at a late 1999, early 2000 release. Despite being showcased at E3 '99, the project was cancelled and took Stainless Software down with it. The game was build with the BRender-based Beelzebub game engine and featured physics based combat. Besides a few 3D scenes included in the Carmageddon 2 development files, all assets and code has been lost. A dozen of screenshots still float on the Internet.
SCi's commercial pitch
From the developers of the driving game Carmageddon comes Arena AD, the darkly humorous, and goriest gladiatorial combat game yet. Arena AD is a 3D combat game based on a gladiatorial theme. The aim of the game is to earn as much money as possible, by winning each fight, in order to buy your freedom. You can also pick up extra cash for the most unique hacking and slicing kills, why kill your opponent with a big clumsy sword when you can beat him to death with his own leg, which you lopped of earlier in the battle.
The Year Is 97 AD
Captured by the Romans, you are taken prisoner and thrown into dungeons to await your fate. As one of the few prisoners still in a reasonable state of health, you are chosen to take part gladiatorial tournaments, held in the Arenas of the Roman Empire for the Roman’s entertainment. Better to have a chance at freedom than be left in the dungeons to rot. You are about to become a Gladiator.
With very basic and inadequate training, (i.e. being taught how to run very fast and duck at the correct moment, and of course that famous, well documented move... a good swift kick to the groin.) you are thrown into the tournament like a lamb to the slaughter. Your only goal is to somehow win each battle, gaining strength and battle skills as you go, and claim the ultimate prize - the money to buy your freedom.
Enter The Arena
At the start of the game the player chooses one of a variety of characters, male or female, each with his/her own strengths and weaknesses. Characters to choose from include Titus Maximus, and the un-hinged Ludicrus. With each fight won, players will actually see their character’s physique improve and muscles grow, thanks to the unique dynamic character development in the game. If a limb is lost during combat your character will be able to heal themselves between rounds. When he appears in the arena next time he will have a clearly visible scar where the limb has been re-attached. This limb will remain weaker for that round and may fall off again if attacked. Therefore a defensive stance should be taken.
There is also a variety of weaponry and armour with which to arm each gladiator, some of which can be picked up as the player progresses through each fight, either from a defeated opponent or hidden in one of the many Arenas.
As each fight is won, players progress to the greater Arena’s closer to Rome, winning more money and improving in physique and skill with each battle. Only when players have reached a high enough level of combat will they be taken to the fights in Rome itself. Here they have the chance to conquer all and buy their freedom or see their guts spilled across the floor.
- A unique story line that will stand apart from other martial arts based combat games.
- Realistic character animations using a unique physics engine and full skeletal system.
- Choose to fight as one of 18 individual gladiators with their own fighting skills and weapons.
- Dynamic character development throughout the game. See your character grow in physical strength and fighting skills.
- Do battle against your opponents in over 20 Arena’s within the Roman Empire, from Hadrian’s Wall in Britain, the Amphitheatre of Pompeii, to the ultimate Arena - the Coliseum in Rome.
- Intermission levels for character development and training, that will allow each character to try out new weapons etc.
- Play in a variety of modes including arcade and campaign mode.
- Multi-player capabilities for LAN allowing up to 8 players to do battle at one time.
- Arena AD screenshot album at Road Reaction's Carmageddon gallery
- "Bloody Stainless", PC Zone #80, p.20, september 1999