Last week we pointed to Gameloft's rather theatrical trailer for their upcoming 3D God of War-style iPhone game, Hero of Sparta.  It certainly got our attention but revealed little of just how the game would look and play on the iPhone.

Pocket Gamer recently had the opportunity to spend some time with a preview version of the game and, by their account, we're in for quite a Christmas present this December.

It is stunning.

The cinematic trailer was released last week, but we sat down with product manager Helene Queriault in Gameloft HQ to get hands-on with the game.

It's set, as you'd guess, in ancient Sparta, with you playing a hero who starts out in a pretty confused state. "You wake up one day on the beach, you don't know who you are, where you are, or what will happen," says Queriault. "The game is all about finding these things out."

The obvious comparison on iPhone is Kroll, which has a similar setting. But the two main criticisms of that game were the way it was side-scrolling rather than fully 3D movement, and its relatively short length. Hero of Sparta tackles both of those issues head-on.

So, it's a fully 3D game, in terms of graphics AND movement. You control your character with a virtual analogue stick at the bottom left of the screen--not a four-way D-pad, note--with two more buttons at the bottom right for attacking and defending.

What's more, the game features complex Mortal Kombat-like fataility attacks.

When an enemy is seriously wounded, a little blue button pops up, and if you tap it then tap a couple more buttons that appear on-screen, you execute, well, an execution move.

We liked the one where you clamber onto a minotaur's head and spike him through the snout.

We're quite eager to get our hands on this seemingly groundbreaking title that should go a long way to narrow the gap between iPhone and PSP gaming.  Stay tuned for a full review when Hero of Sparta hits the App Store.

See additional screenshots in the Pocket Gamer story.

  • Wabaam

    whats rolando? i want this game!!! Dx

  • Alza

    Thank god, a game like this is exactly what the Iphone needs.
    Hopefully consumers reward it with a purchase, and big developers see the market as a viable place.
    Otherwise it's just small budget arcade/puzzle games all round

  • Darwiniandude

    I would expect this to do well. Should be a great game. I'm just guessing here, but whilst Gameloft's titles so far have mostly been quite good, this one and the other unreleased one look a lot better.

    I think the others were all old IP, ports of games made for other phones with minor graphics improvements. These two look built for the iPhone from the ground up...

  • Bill

    Sweet! I can't wait! this'll be great!
    The screenshots look pretty impressive

  • Fat Phil

    Yes well... Pocketgamer also thought Kroll was a wet dream full of gameplay goodness; and that was after playing it.

    We shall see, but I do trust Gameloft to deliver something decent.

  • Mcdoodle

    Gameloft games so far have been all developed in china. Personally I would like to see gameloft employ American developers. If you're going to take our us dollars, it would be nice to see them going towards American workers.

  • Sandman

    Well..these games are available on other (non-US) App stores too.

  • Loftus Hero

    Yes, don't forget citizens of America - there are other people out there as well! They also use the Pound, The Euro, The Yen, The Koruna....... :)

    On a serious note, GAMELOFT has released some cracking games over the last few months. Long may it continue.

  • Pingback: Hero of Sparta: Anteprima del nuovo gioco di Gameloft previsto per questo Natale | Il Tuo iPhone (Apple)

  • Mcdoodle

    Yes I understand there is a world out there. I wish everyone well but not at the cost of charging ridiculous high prices when you're employing foreign developers at slave wages. I'm don't know if gameloft does this but many do.

  • yeah

    Uh Gameloft is a FRENCH company.

  • Bob

    haha, and I wouldn't exactly call ANY game on the iPhone rediculously high priced LOL

  • Mcdoodle

    French company? All of their games I own have all Chinese names in the credits.

  • swift

    Gameloft is definitely a French company; it's owned by Ubisoft. I haven't seen the credits for any of their games, but I'll take your word for it that all the names are Chinese. I couldn't tell you whether they simply have a lot of Chinese people working for them or they have an office in China. As long as there's no reason to think that they are employing any kind of unfair labor practices, and I think right now it's safe to say that that's the case, I don't think there's any reason to hold it against them if they DO have an office in China.

    Here's more info about Gameloft: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gameloft

  • itouchmagotchie

    this...is def....and NEED TO DEF

    KILL KROLL

    ....kroll's controls were so shocking....

  • tony

    dammit boy, this looks sweet.. This, brothers in arms, and anything of the caliber must MUST go on jesusphone......just have to explain to the wife why our daughter will be getting Dollar Store gifts for Xmas haha. Is this what heroin feels like? Cause Im seriously getting addicted to the app store.