Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Ryse: Son Of Rome Review


2010 E3 was when Ryse: Son Of Rome was announced. Well its wasn't titled then tho. It was know as "Codename Kingdoms" and was a third person action adventure game, that Crytek was developing, and to be published by Microsoft Studios.

During E3 2011 press conference Ryse was announced to be a Kinect only title, and it did show impressive game footage that made me instantly want to get. In June 2012, Phil Spencer Corporate VP of Microsoft Studios said that the game was still in development. When asked about if the game was still going to be a Kinect only game, he replied that only some of Ryse will be Kinect. As of then it was still for Xbox 360.

That all changed in May 2013. After the announcement of the Xbox One, Ryse was confirmed as an exclusive for the Xbox One. In June at E3 Crytek show the gameplay of Ryse and it was no longer a Kinect only game, but it would use voice commands and gestures.


All the video's on the campaign are from my own gameplay, I didn't know that Xbox recorded stuff automatically unless you turn it off in the settings, but it worked out well.

Ryse: Son Of Rome, has always been a game that I have always wanted to get my hands on, before the Xbox One came out it wasn't going to be the first game I got originally, but it was on my wishlist tho. During the past three E3 Conferences I have watched Ryse grow in gameplay and how it looks and it was only getting better.

Ryse is also the only new IP for the Xbox One at launch, as the rest of the launch hard copy games had previous games. Ruse: Son Of Rome is powered by the awesome powerful Cry Engine 3 which I have got the privilege (well anyone can use it if you sign up and its for free) to have used and is one of the best engines out their when it comes to graphics. The detail you get on objects and what you can get out of the environment is second to none their is much more that this engine can achieve.

Ryse is a game that will satisfy gamers that love blood and guts... well ultimate gore really. This game goes flat out and spares no expense, from chopping off limbs, slicing people throats, stabbing them in most places you can think of and throwing your enemies off bridges, cliff and high buildings. You get that all in a package that will have you wanting to kill more and more. put attack after attack to make combos and put the points from your combo to what ever skill you have activated. These are;

  • Health Regeneration (the more combos you do the more health you regenerate)
  • Focus (slows time down for a short period, better off using this on multiple of enemies)
  • Attack Power (as it says on the tin harder attacks)
  • XP Boost (gives you more XP but health goes down quicker)
Out of the last two games I reviewed Battlefield 4 and Call Of Duty: Ghost, Ryse: Son Of Rome has the better storyline for me... Yes I know this story is the main part of the game but still, what about the odd person that don't have the Internet and can't play online, or the players that like to do the campaign, a lot of money to pay for the campaign. £50-£60 a lot of money to payout.

For me Ryse is at its best when everything this next gen console has to offer. use your voice to command your troops, while you are hacking and slashing multiple of your enemies. See ladies who said that men can't multitask?  The game is telling the story of a Roman soldier called Marius Titus, The game lets you wield a sword and shield to go on a quest for vengeance. Hacking and slashing you enemies to bits that give a new level of realism. The game really goes down and dirty with presentation of those days in war. As you progress through the story Marius is promised blood and you will not be disappointed as you get more than blood you will get teeth and bone when you run and bash the enemy in the face with your shield.

The game is around 6-7 hours long depending how you play as you have to collect  Scrolls,Vistas and Chronicles. That is if you remember to while your having fun hacking and slashing.

Over the last few years their has not been any good third person brawler/ beat-em-ups out their. Only ones that are worth mentions are the Batman: Arkham series and God Of War series, so with Ryse being fresh it should be up with a good chance of being the best. It has an awesome engine and I know the combat with other CryEngine 3 games have been awesome, so the tools are there for this to be the best... But is isn't.

After one to three hours of game play you will see what lets the game down. Its the combat moves are the same, even when you upgrade your skills it is all the same. It is the same motion and when you realise the sequence of block, sword, sword, shield, execute is all you will be doing through most of the game. Their will be times were it won't be like that all the time. That is when their are multiple of enemies, but if you space them out and you will have the room to block or roll to stop them from getting you. Your enemies that highlight red is where they are about to attack heavy so you mainly will have to roll out of the way, then the sequence of buttons starts again.

The executions are good but their are only so many and they get repeated a lot. their is only so many times you can think "ouch" or feel something for the person that you butcher for it to seem normal and wanting to get to your next objective quick. Another thing is that during the execution sequence were the enemy glows yellow for you to dodge or use your shield and blue for your sword, the thing with this system is if the soldier lights up yellow for example and you press blue you still hit him and not lose you combo count just you lose your rating and less points, so you don't really have to work hard to earn points, they will always be their.

You need to be little patient for the colour to show the press as fast as you can as this give you you quickness score from recruit to legendary, might be one more rating above, but I'm sure you get the where I'm going with this. The better the rating more point you get.

The points that you earn you can spend them on;
  • Health Increase
  • XP
  • Damage
  • Focus
These get assigned to a quick command on the D-pad and purchasing these point will upgrade these commands. Don't worry if you run out of points, as you could always go to your own wallet and purchase points and get your upgrades. The biggest problem with these commands are that they make the game two easy. With executions being so frequent you will never run out of points and health.

One thing for me is that I noticed is when their was a bunch of enemies, the one you was attacking you will only hit them, and no one else. You will only hit multiple of enemies if they have as skulls above their heads for the execution to be carried out. Your enemies will kind of walk through the one your engaging with as if he wasn't there... Kind of annoying. 

Ryse was announced that it would use kinect, and it was mainly a kinect game, weather it was for attack or just voice commands or not, they don't get used a lot in the game. You don't have to use your voice, you can hold "RB" to use the command but I found when your fighting 5 enemies at once and they will have shields and other special type of power attack it is quicker and better to use your voice.

With all these bad points that are easy to spot and that are just so obvious are out of the way, I can go on to the cut scenes. In most cut scenes you skip or do something to avoid them, I tend to play on my psp football manger to occupy my time while I'm wait for the cut-scene to finish, but with Ryse you don't have to do that. The voice sync is spot on and the detail is nearly as good as it can get. You can see the wrinkles in lips of the people you speak to. It isn't about the lips that impress me as you can watch all their skin on the face sync with each other in the way they move, kind of the way they move in real life. The clothes are another thing that are really detailed. The way the light hits the metal armor and reflects off, and how the light reflects. For example when dirt is on the Armour it reflex differently compared to how it would if it clean.  


The cooperative mode puts you in the The Colosseum with one other player. You have loads of enemies to hack and slash, during the coop mode you will have objectives also. This mode will be enjoyed if you liked the basics of the mechanics of the campaign as their really is nothing new to offer.


I liked the game, I found it enjoyable. The storyline was interesting as you set your sights for revenge, and wanting blood and boy do you get it. Ryse is let down by its repetitive combat design which after a couple of hours of playing, you could  get bored easy. I have a massive attention span so it didn't bother me much. another thing that bothered me was that you don't have to work hard when it comes to climbing walls, ducking. You just move your thumb stick forward and the game does the rest for you. Despite the bad thing their are the graphics. They are the best I have seen to come to console since The Last Of Us, which was just pure quality for that. I would recommend Ryse to those people that like beat-em-ups, don't mind repetitive gameplay and just have a love for detail and graphics. Batman: Arkham lovers you should try this. It might not get you Armour upgrades or gadget upgrades, but it is just pure fun to disembowel someone. This game for me is just for pure fun to burn a couple of hours if you have them spare as you are guaranteed to achieve it.