Welcome to Shadow of Rome, released in 2005 it is a highly stylized retelling of the assassination of Julius Caesar and the surrounding plot and intrigue in the roman senate. Where a young Octavianus, nephew of the late Caesar, struggles to uncover the plot behind Caesar's death and reveal Caesar's true murderer.
...But who cares?! This game is really about Agrippa killing tons of people in gladiatorial combat!
Oh yeah, that's more like it! Shadow of Rome is three parts bloody awesome fighting game, one part stealth mission, and one part hilarious-facial-animation cutscenes. The player controls Agrippa and Octavianus in alternating sections as the mystery of Caesar's murder is slowly uncovered.
Shadow of Rome puts it's own spin on ancient Rome and the events of Julius Caesar. While not strictly historically accurate all of the main players were real people and are portrayed in a reasonably feasible manner. Well except for Decius, he's been given a over the top evil persona. And a Jerry curl. The events of the game differ from historical records but it all flows in a very conceivable style.
Watch The Introduction
*Note: All character descriptions reflect their portrayal in the game rather than strict historical accuracy. For the Wikipedia link click the character's name.
Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa
Centurion Agrippa, equestrian and military prodigy, is leading troops in Germania when news of Caesar's assassination reaches him. He immediately heads for Rome to find out what has happened. Agrippa is the main character of the game and the one as whom we will be spending the most time playing.
Gaius Octavius Thurinus
Octavius, or Octavian/Octavianus, is the nephew of Julius Caesar. When he learns of his uncle's death, and who is accused of the murder he immediately knows something is wrong. While from a senatorial family Octavian is considered far too young to be meddling around in the affairs of the senate and must resort to espionage to uncover the senates secrets. The second playable character Octavian's levels are usually much shorter than Agrippa's and involve stealth and sneaking rather than killing everything around you. Which sucks.
Marcus Tullius Cicero
Cicero is the leading man of the Senate and always seems to know more than he lets on. Widely regarded as a political genius and the center of the games involvement in the Senate. Possibly most known for historically having his hands nailed to the Forum door after his death.
Named Caesar's lawful successor after the assassination. Antonius was a prominent general under Caesar and his right hand man making a natural choice for his successor.
Gaius Cilnius Maecenas
Personal secretary to Antonius, the lavish gladiatorial games thrown in Caesar's honor are originally his idea as a crafty plot to distract the plebs minds while power shifts in the Senate.
Gaius Julius Caesar
Decius is a brutal but effective general under Antonius, known for his barbaric methods and sadism. Also runs a stable of undefeated gladiators, the Valcross Troops.
Agrippa's father and loyal guard of Caeser.
Agrippa's mother and wife of Vipsanius. Worth pointing out that the game uses the masculine and feminine versions of the family name for Agrippa's parents, rather than their given (first) names.
Imperial spy for Caesar, Pansa serves as Octavian's mentor for the course of the game. Teaching him the basics of clandestine research.
Sister to Sextus, Claudia provides support and advice to Agrippa over the course of the game. Mostly there to fulfill the games T&A requirement.
Showman and Claudia's brother, Sextus owns a stable of gladiators. When news of the upcoming games reaches him he enters his stable hoping for wealth and fame.
A Germanian general resisting Roman expansion into Germania. A massive fighter that uses a huge war maul in combat, or whatever he can get his hands on.