Shadow of Rome is a hack 'n slash/stealth hybrid that takes place in ancient Rome. The two main characters are Agrippa and Octavianus. Julius Caesar is assassinated and Agrippa's father, Vipsanius is named as the assassin. Agrippa joins up with Sextus' group of gladiators in order to join a tournament where he might be able to rescue his father. While Agrippa is busy with gladiator battles in the arena, his friend Octavianus sneaks around Rome in order to help investigate Caesar's murder.
The game switches between gladiatorial battles fought with Agrippa and sneaking missions that are accomplished with Octavianus. The combat in the game uses the Onimusha engine and has tons of action and violence. The game employs a SALVO system where players get extra points in gladiator battles depending on what players do in the arena. Gain SALVOS by attacking and killing your enemies then appeal to the crowd and the crowd will throw Agrippa extra weapons. The game has a few gladiator stages that are played while on a vehicle and the arenas are often fixed up in a room format where Agrippa must finish one area then move to the next. Agrippa will have to avoid some traps as well. The sneaking stages are mainly about sneaking quietly past guards and Octavianus can also use tools to knock out guards in order to get past them as well.