There's some other strategic stuff going on in the matches of Wrath Unleashed besides just moving your units around and fighting battles. Mana resources scattered around the map will help your spellcasting units charge up mana faster, thus making for more magic. The spells are fairly basic in nature, but they're useful. You can heal, teleport your units, bind enemies, and that sort of thing. Further complicating matters, each hex space on the map has a specific terrain type that creates an advantage for some units and a disadvantage for others. Being on a lava tile will bolster one of Epothos' units in battle, for instance. Fighting on your own turf creates a substantial damage bonus, so picking and choosing your battles based on location is highly advised.
The gods' designs are a little silly, but they get the job done.
Wrath's strategic elements are pretty well done, with all of the factions having equivalent units, kind of like on a chess board. The units are aesthetically different between factions but perform much the same functions overall. You've got the numerous light combat units, the heavy melee bruisers, and so on. Unfortunately, some issues with other parts of the game drag down the experience a bit. The combat is a little bit clunky, and it's hard to get a feel for the rhythms of enemies' attacks so you can block them appropriately. Of course, you'll get better with practice, but there seems to be a certain degree of randomness in the battles' outcomes that simply owes to the difficulty of the action.
Another quibble is that the game is a little too slow to play, thanks to the overly lengthy load times when you go from game board to fighting arena and vice versa. The load times are worse on the PlayStation 2 but are noticeable on both platforms. Though they're not the end of the world, they do make the flow of the game a little more plodding than it ought to be. Finally, it would've been nice to see a map editor (especially since there's an army editor), which would have supplemented the included maps enormously and would have given the game almost limitless replay value. And, of course, online play would have also added a lot to the game.
You'll need to appreciate both strategy and action gameplay to enjoy Wrath Unleashed.
Wrath Unleashed's creature designs are pretty cool, with some imaginative stuff like a unicorn whose horn juts out of its lower jaw instead of its forehead. There's also an ogre mage with a mystical Eastern look who uses a sword and wears geta-style wooden shoes. On the other hand, the four overlords come off as a little silly, thanks mainly to their absurdly skimpy attire. Aenna and Helamis are clad in, well, almost nothing at all, so it's a little hard to take the evil goddess of the winds seriously when she's prancing around in a thong. The game boards and arenas are serviceable here, but they aren't all that striking. Wrath looks clean and runs quite smoothly on the Xbox, but it doesn't fare so well on the PS2. It looks more or less the same in terms of detail, but the frame rate takes a major hit, even on the overhead hex parts. Visually it gets the job done, but it's not either system's best effort. Sound-wise, Wrath gets along OK, with suitably epic music accompanying the battles and pretty decent voice acting on the part of the demigods (not to mention a disturbingly vigorous narrator). Surprisingly, there's no 5.1 audio support in the Xbox version, though this isn't exactly the most cinematic game, so it's not really missed.
Though there are some caveats, Wrath Unleashed is a good attempt to marry deep strategy with arcadelike action. If you love one of these gameplay types but detest the other, you'll be disappointed, since they're available in equal measure and neither can be avoided if you want to play the game. But if you have at least some interest in both types, you can try Wrath Unleashed, safe in the knowledge that it's pretty good on both fronts.