For We Who Are About to Die
Company: Deep Silver
BASINGSTOKE, England (November 11th 2005) – International software publisher DEEP SILVER and renowned UK games developer DEEP RED go behind the scenes on their ground-breaking new PC title, HEART OF EMPIRE: ROME. Set for launch FEBRUARY 2006, Heart of Empire: Rome will allow players to build the magnificent city of ancient Rome to their own design. With such a historically lush backdrop as the Roman Empire's principle city, Deep Red is taking the 'TYCOON' genre far beyond the normal traditions of tycoon gaming.

During Heart of Empire: Rome, the player is tasked with organising gladiatorial games, in honour of the Emperor. This is a great privilege and allows the player's game self to further their career and political ambitions, by boosting the Emperor's popularity with the mob (Rome's general populace), without spending too much of his money. The gladiatorial combats add authentic Roman colour to the game, recreating the infamous policy of panem et cicrenses, (bread and circuses) used by the emperors to maintain the favour of the mob and so control them.

To arrange and pay for gladiatorial games, the player can select the Colosseum on the Heart of Empire screen, provided they have enough Imperium (political power) to gain access to the great amphitheatre. The player pays for games using funds built up while playing scenarios. The more money invested; the greater spectacle the games will be. The principle reason for putting on games is to please the Emperor. The game features four competing political factions, one of which the player joins at the start of the campaign game and supports from then on. When the player puts on games for the Emperor, provided they are worthy of his majesty, the Emperor gains popularity with the people. In return, he rewards the player and his faction with Imperium, which allows them to achieve their political goals more easily.

The gladiators within the game represent six of the most well known types. Gladiators fought in specific pairings, with their weapons and armour deliberately balanced to complement each other, with the intention of providing a more entertaining fight for the crowd. The game's fight sequences reflect this historical fact.

Shepperton Studios, England was converted into a 'virtual' Coliseum for the two day recording of the gladiator fight sequence. Under the experienced eye of Hamish McLeod, re-enactment actors from 'History in the Making' clashed swords through a highly dangerous choreographed fight sequence.

Developed by DEEP RED and published by DEEP SILVER, HEART OF EMPIRE: ROME is exclusively distributed by KOCH MEDIA in UK, France, Germany and Italy.

-ENDS-

- GLADIATORS BACKGROUND INFORMATION -
Gladiators had the social status, or non-status, of infamis, which was the equivalent of a prostitute or a slave, so they had no legal rights. However, a successful gladiator could earn a vast amount of money and would have a fanatical following. For this reason, impoverished Roman citizens of high rank would sometimes surrender their freedom to become gladiators. Indeed, even some emperors, to the disgust of the upper classes, entered the arena, Commodus being perhaps the most notorious example.

Gladiators were objects of lust for both sexes; indeed women of the highest social status would pay small fortunes to spend a clandestine night with their favoured gladiator, something that was unspeakably scandalous to upper class Romans. The retiarius (net man) wore no helmet and for this reason was often chosen for his good looks, designed to appeal to gay men as much as women, indeed they often had stage names like Narcissus or Hyacinthus that suggested homosexuality to Roman audiences.

True gladiators, as opposed to criminals or prisoners of war condemned to die in the arena, were valuable investments for their trainers, and for this reason were not killed lightly. If a gladiator lost, but had shown virtus—fought with manly courage and skill—he had a very good chance of surviving, as the crowd would nearly always spare such a man. Wounded gladiators received the very best medical care, being so valuable. The most famous doctor of the ancient world, Galen, learned much of his art as a doctor to gladiators. If a gladiator died in the arena, the person paying for the games would compensate his owner. In Rome, this was always the emperor, who tolerated no rivals for the people's affection. In fact, the emperors came to own all the gladiator troupes in Rome and many outside the city. Female gladiators, or gladiatrices, did exist; in fact, the emperor Domitian enjoyed arranging shows featuring gladiatrices fighting male dwarves
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Game: Heart Of Empire Rome (PC)
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