Kodiak Interactive Software Studios Inc, in a press release this morning, announced the development for Xbox and PlayStation 2 of "Circus Maximus", a game that "combines the danger and excitement of ancient Rome with innovative, high action, gameplay". Due out for Christmas, the game hopes to thrive on the popularity of last year's box office smash hit "Gladiator", which has drummed up interest in this barbaric period of human history. Of course, Kodiak themselves have no affiliation with Universal Studios and Dreamworks LLC, the creators of the film - they just stumbled onto a good thing. All right so they borrowed "Maximus" from Russel Crowe's character, presumably so as to try and imply a connection where there is none. Oh wait sorry, the connection is the Circus Maximus arena in Rome, not Russel Crowe. Silly of us! There is a website, HailRome.com, which opens in full screen mode, and explains in short terms the story. Apparently, you lose all your possessions and titles, face certain death and all you have left is your integrity. There's even a section called Gladiator. Ho-hum. Nonetheless, we're pretty excited about Circus Maximus. After all, who could resist the Ben Hur-like fantasy of steering your team of horses and cracking the whip ceremoniously? Spectacular chariot crashes and weaponry to cause them litter the field - in actual fact the game sounds more like a 2000 year old version of Wacky Races. You get to race all over the world, from the frozen wastelands of Germania all the way to the great Circus Maximus arena in Rome itself, and you get to make use of both your chariot driver and warrior, as in the film the game is unassociated with. Speculation though it is, we fancy Kodiak wanted to receive an official license from Universal. They may still be pitching for one - the website claims the publisher is as-yet unconfirmed. Whoever the publisher turns out to be is irrelevant though - we look forward to Circus Maximus with baited breath. It could well prove a surprise hit when it arrives later this year.
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