The Gladius, is a short to mid-ranged sword in Ryse: Son of Rome.
The Galdius' name is one Latin translation of the word Sword. Historically, Roman swords were very similar to ancient Greek swords. The Roman Gladius later adopted a similar design to the Spanish Gladius, and was thereafter known as the Gladius Hispaniensis, or Spanish Sword.
The Gladius was a balanced weapon designed for both hacking and stabbing. Because of it's short length, it was light in hand and could be swung quickly both to parry incoming blows and quickly exploit openings in an enemies guard. The Gladius was well suited for the close quarters of tight formation which Rome's legions used as the primary focus of their military strategy.
The Gladius is the primary weapon of all Roman Legionaries. Marius Titus is a master swordsman and uses this sword exclusively, almost always in tandem with a Scutum shield. On one occasion he is seen duel-wielding it along with his dagger during a cutscene, but this is not possible in actual gameplay.
King Oswald is seen holding a Gladius at the end of Chapter 4, but soon after tosses it down and surrenders to Marius. How he came by this sword or why he chooses to wield it is unexplained.
Marius loses his original sword during the opening scene of Chapter 3, and scavenges a replacement from the equipment of a fallen Legionary. After being promoted to Centurion, he is issued a new sword to match the scheme of his new armor. He again loses this sword at the end of Chapter 6. How he obtains his replacement is unknown. In Chapter 8 he begins using his father's sword and armor after being promoted to General. Shortly before his death he drops the sword as he approaches Emperor Nero, remembering that the Oracle prophesied that he could not kill him directly, and instead tackles him off a ledge causing Nero to be impaled on the sword held by his own statue.
(Note: The control scheme used as reference is for the original Xbox One version and not compatible for the PC/Steam version.)
The player performs standard attacks with the Gladius by pressing the (X) button. Pressing (X) repeatedly will continuously chain strikes into a combination, and is best used in tandem with shield bashes (Y) to quickly open enemies to be executed. A heavy attack can be performed by holding down (X), doing extra damage, possibly killing damaged or lesser enemies outright.
The player can purchase and equip many different leveled variants of the Gladius for use by the Multiplayer Gladiator. The various leveled swords have very different statistics, but have little aesthetic difference.