GAME NAME: Ryse: Son of Rome
DEVELOPER(S): Crytek Frankfurt
PUBLISHER(S): Microsoft Studios, Crytek, Deep Silver
PLATFORM(S): Xbox One(Reviewed), PC
GENRE(S): Action-adventure, hack and slash
RELEASE DATE(S): November 22, 2013
If you love traveling to beautiful and exotic locations and repeatedly stabbing your enemies then you are in for a treat. Ryse: Son of Rome does just that and takes a look at a tale set in ancient Rome where your plot line is setup in a way of revenge. The story is handled with great care but sometimes the controls don’t always play in your favor, at least at first when you begin.
The story of Ryse is setup in a chronological fashion. Rome itself is falling down and is the midst of an assault from barbarians while Marius, a highly valued Centurion is escorting Emperor Nero through his palace. Marius is a great character and it’s very fun to see how he grows. The situations you are in grow from bad to worse to dire and give you the motivation you need to hack and slash your way through victory.
The graphics in Ryse: Son of Rome are phenomenal, probably one of the most beautiful games on the Xbox One that you can proudly show off to your non believer friends, it should wow them. There is a lot of variety to look and environments react nicely to the events happening around you. You’ll see a variety of levels from columns in Rome to beaches, to swamps and then even lush forests. There is definitely plenty of variety to keep your eyes stimulated.
The sound was done very well. There is epic music for each level, weapon and sword dinging sound extremely realistic and the voice acting is pretty excellent. I enjoyed progressing through the story and hearing the actors talk through scenes.
The controls in Ryse: Son of Rome feel a bit overdone. While yes there is a lot of variety in this six-hour campaign, you’ll have done all the moves and combos in the beginning of the game. Combat consists of bashes to knock your enemies back, basic hits, blocks, and heavy hits. In almost every battle you can chain together combos and land a perfect attack. These all have super smooth animations and are beautiful to watch but it’s a cycle of this throughout the entire game. The variety of enemies help eliminate dryness in this department though and dealing with them requires you to care and utilize your bashing and blocking to figure out an opening to attack. I have to say executions are by far one my most favorite move to trigger. It feels extremely epic and satisfying to dismember and knock down your enemies in a very cinematic 300-esq way.
You can unlock executions with your experience points and customize your solider, this is one great area that they built into this title. Successfully executing enemies gives you the ability to upgrade your strength, health and gives you larger bonuses for your execution rewards. There are facets of the game that break up the monotony of the hack and slash. For example manning the crossbow turret at the beginning is fun and also arranging your warriors to block arrows and spears. These events are not difficult are often pretty and very guided so it’s hard to mess up but the events that occur from completing them are absolutely amazing to watch.
Bosses do pop up occasionally. When they do pop up, they can be frustrating and quite a pain in the ass to figure out. Be prepared to have patience as you have to adjust yourself from mindless hack and slash to strategy minded rhythmic offense. Bosses tend to regenerate health as well so you have to be careful on how you attack them and be quick about it. Co-op online lets you take on your friends in the famous Roman Colosseum and dismember them if you can. You chose a god to serve before each fight which gives different bonuses, so choose wisely. It’s a fun way to change things up and keep people on their feet.
Ryse: Son of Rome has an entertaining story and is very beautiful with high production value. The gameplay isn’t too bad but after a while it feels tiresome. The multiplayer is pretty unique and fun and will definitely add replay value. If you enjoy the Roman Empire and love hack and slashes you will most definitely enjoy this adventure and it’s a title that I would recommend checking out. Ryse: Son of Rome will keep you entertained.