Ryse: Son of Rome sees you take control of Marius Titus, a young Roman soldier in his journey to Britannia to avenge the death of his family at the hands of barbarians. You quickly rise through the ranks and become a great leader of men where you discover that your vengeance can only be satisfied much closer to home.
Gameplay features standard third-person control of Marius as well as Kinect command control over Roman infantry in addition to ‘quick time event’ controlled finishing moves during combat. The main combat utilises normal ‘hack-and-slash’ tactics of quick, frenzied strikes mixed with strong, deliberate blows and eventually (When you figure out what buttons you need to push and when) combo finishers to decapitate, debilitate or straight up destroy your opponent. It also features over one hundred unique execution animations that cover any and all bases that the modern bile filled gamer could wish for when decimating encroaching armies or storming beachheads with your legion at your back and more fire then a Michael Bay summer blockbuster. That being said it is ultimately an objective focused game in which you battle through to take towers, gates, castles and eventually uncover what really happened to your family.
The game itself is an Xbox One exclusive and by far the most impressive of the launch titles. Visually it is seductive. While not as impressive as it could be it does utilise the graphics engine from the astounding Crysis 3 which makes me wonder why they didn’t wait just a little bit longer to refine the game for the newer consoles and maybe tweak a few settings to ramp up the overall look and feel of the graphics. That being said, the graphics aren’t what will sell the game, I think it’s the fact that it’s a new age third-person hack-and-slash with unending combos, finishers and beautifully gore drenched action that will really sell.
After demolishing the single-player campaign you can set about conquering the arena with a friend in “Gladiator: Blood Brothers” which sees you in the heart of Rome fighting against endless hordes at the ancient Colosseum. Key features of this multiplayer experience include:
- Be Your Own Hero. Ryse offers a large variety of armor, weapons, shields, and consumables to customize your own unique gladiator. These items are earned through gold rewarded from victories in combat and impact your stats by improving your focus, XP, crowd reaction, and health. Consumables are elixirs that have a temporary effect, such as improving health or allowing instant kills.
- Dynamic Tile Sets. Inspired by the movable floor pieces used to re-create historic battles in the ancient Colosseum, Ryse uses dynamic “tile sets” of scenery to provide a continuous stream of unpredictable challenges. Scenery hidden in the hypogeum literally erupts from the floor, providing players with settings ranging from strongholds, to ruins, to naval battles.
- Custom Challenges and Arenas. Ryse allows you to create your own experiences by using the challenge editor to mix and match the maps and events into custom playlists. Each challenge has its own leaderboard and the more players who have played, the higher the reward at the end of the challenge.
The combination of an elaborate and innovative multiplayer with a violent and fluid sword based singleplayer campaign really sets Ryse apart from the other releases. Being from the same studio that brought us the Crysis series we have an idea of what we can expect from the game and any DLC or expansions that get released for it. There hasn’t been a game like this in many years and certainly not of this caliber so I have high hopes for Ryse.
Ryse will be released for Xbox One as a launch title on the 22nd of November