The real Spartans were some of the Ancient World's most brutally effective soldiers; a fiercely disciplined and heavily armoured military force. In Zack Snyder's movie of Frank Miller's graphic novel, 300, they wear swimming trunks and sandals and have CGI six-packs tracked on to their abdomens as they swan around spilling gallons of Persian blood with balletic grace and slow-motion abandon. The game of the film of the comic book is an attempt to distil that Hollywoodized historical violence into a handheld battlefield brawler with a similar sense of style.
Like the film and the graphic novel before it, the game features its fair share of mealy mouthed, gruff-voiced, buff-bodied males, along with slo-mo violence and visceral blood-spilling. And like the film and the graphic novel before it, the game depicts the heroic stand taken by a small band of Spartans against the encroaching might of the Persian empire at the Battle of Thermopylae. In the game, you control King Leonidas of Sparta, the chap who stayed behind with just 300 of his countrymen and 700 Thespians in order to delay a much greater force commanded by Xerxes I.
After the game kicks off with a montage of comic book images, the action commences in the middle of battle, revealing itself to be a fairly standard, uninspired brawler: hit enemies with a heavy attack, light attack, or a shield attack, and string attacks together to unleash death-dealing combos. There's lots of blood, and as you'd expect from a game in which 300 Spartans dismember and maim millions of enemies, not much subtlety (indeed the stats pages record the number of decapitations and dismemberments you inflict on enemies).