Ryse: Son of Rome Reviews

  • RickyGBirdRickyGBird369,167
    20 Jan 2014 29 May 2015
    25 6 1
    Ryse: Son of Rome - Review
    Microsoft Site Link - http://www.xbox.com/en-GB/xbox-one/games/ryse

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    Pontius Pilate: So, yaw fatha was a Wo-man? Who was he?
    Brian: He was a Centurion, in the Jerusalem Garrisons.
    Pontius Pilate: Weally? What was his name?
    Brian: 'Naughtius Maximus'.

    Ah yes, this is more like it. After a previous generation led mainly on the themes of Nazis, Zombies, Waffles and the (insert country) army, we get a nice little detour into a part of history that deserves much more attention. Bring on the Romans!

    This fictional story set around the reign of Emperor Nero, charts the ryse rise of Marius Titus, a soldier serving in the 2nd Legion and following in the footsteps of his proud father. What lies ahead is a very engaging story, set against your typical Romanesque story elements, such as power, revenge, death, love and lust.

    Like EastEnders but with less Danny Dyer.

    In its simplistic term, this game is a hack'n'slash affair. You can roll, block, push and swipe, your way through a (small) variety of enemy types. Not to forget the optional quicktime kill. Occasionally you will get a different gameplay mechanic chucked in for good measure, such as directing troops to cover certain areas, or the tacked-on Kinect commands of firing volleys of arrows at oncoming enemies.

    Safety tip: Saying this command without checking to see if a Roman Legion is wondering outside your home, could cause impalement to a local pensioner.

    You gain XP as you go, upgrading your damage and health. You also get a focus bar that, when activated, slows down time and allows you to quickly slash away at the stunned enemies, something to make Russell Crowe envy. It is quite easy to button mash your way through the lower difficulty setting, but set it to Legendary and timing becomes very important.

    All in all, this does exactly as require of this genre and I can understand the level of criticism aimed at a lack of combat variety, but would question that adding anything more than a normal human ability might break the 'grounded' feeling of the game. Going out of a limb(HA!), weapon variation (eg. two-handed swords) does seem like a missed opportunity.

    Seeing as I have blabbered on too much already, I'll just mention that this game looks gorgeous and running very smooth, although the occasional face looks somewhat odd, and Marius looks somewhat 'dead' in those pot smoking eyes at times. This rarely happens and never distracts you from the variety of beautiful settings. The music is excellent and the voice acting is impeccable.

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    A playthrough on the lowest difficulty is recommended, while setting your execution bonus to XP (Right on the D-Pad). By the time the game ends (6hrs), upgrade all abilities and progress through the Legendary setting. This will make life much easier.

    Beyond collecting all the items during the campaign, you will then be left with the multiplayer element of the game. (Something I haven't discussed but it doesn't add much to the game to be fair, the novelty wears off quick) The various achievements associated with this are quite easy and it is only two that you will have to grind out. So prepare the Mountain Dew and cello-tape those eyes open and go to the TA guides, it's a long way to level 100.

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    Final Thought.
    Ryse is first and foremost a blockbuster game. It's job isn't to expand and innovate gaming, it's a spectacle of graphics and sound, set against a classic story and a time-period sorely underused in the game industry. That said, the gameplay does become repetitive but fortunately due to the game length and different locations, it is over before if becomes too frustrating. Is it worth your money? Yes, but as long as you know what you are expecting of it.

    All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?
    Showing only comment.
    napoearthI have a gweat fwiend in Wome called Bigus Dickus.
    Posted by napoearth on 15 Feb 18 at 16:18
  • Skycaptin5Skycaptin5913,838
    27 Nov 2013 06 Dec 2018
    30 12 8
    The story of Ryse is told through basically flashbacks and then real time as the it twists together the pieces to ultimately tell a fairly great story. You are a son of Rome having witnessed your family being murdered by barbarians and then go on an all hell quest for revenge. This leads you to travel across far away lands campaigning for Rome and discovering truth, along with the corruption that is within the government. It was actually really well done and had me questioning what was happening almost all the way to the end as I continued my quest to help and then eventually save Rome as it progressed. There are a number of bosses present throughout this tale with some being rather annoying in how they are handled, though all fit into the story nicely without being ridiculous. Though there was some particular ones that seemed to stale out the game with taking too long, only a small negative though.

    The enemies do at times get repetitive as the game is based primarily around hack n' slash though I found the button mashing to be fine. The rewards are what actually made this fine as all of the executions are awesome and tons more are unlockable as you do double executions, arm slashes or a number of dismembering options. Despite this I feel the enemies could have used some more work to make them original as many are the exact same and honestly how many of these large fat guys have the same weapons/beards! There's also a lot of side things going on to witness while traversing or cutting off limbs with small natural pieces floating or folks running about on the sidelines. The environments are what really stand out in this title truly showing off some beautiful graphics with deep worlds that always seem to have something going on. It really is amazing to marvel at the water effects or just walk through a forest as it sways to the wind. This all leads to a very strong campaign that is well put together and works fluid with the game's ability to level your character while speedily returning to combat. Cutscenes are absolutely gorgeous and many are pure gameplay except for those depicting marble work.

    The multiplayer area allows you to sync up with a friend or random as you attempt to entertain the crowd in the proud coliseum. It really makes for an interesting mode that can definitely provide some hours of gameplay without getting to rinse and repeat as the story can. It can also be done in solo though you will get slaughtered fairly quickly and it is better to have a pal as double executions are sick. The world also features dynamic moving tiles that shift as new objectives are given or as the world itself feels fit. It's a great mode that adds some value to the game and has a season pass to continue the slaughtering. Will add final note that at times the game freezes where your character cannot move until hit, though i'm sure this can be easily fixed.

    The world looks amazing with no noticeable graphical errors present and everything runs smoothly. Some folks may find that the game lacks variety, though it is hack n' slash no repeating combat is expected. Executions are always a joy to perform while always mixing it up to make each one uniquely special with crazy back drops if you line it up right. Some of the bosses are annoying in style and at times you may very well seem over whelmed with enemies, though it is very rewarding to overcome these parts.

    The Conclusion
    Overall Ryse is a great display of the next generation finally providing me with a story that is in Roman times as many games of that genre are builders of RTS. The campaign was great with rich story, though it is somewhat short with only a small number of customizables to perhaps take you back again. Each level was well detailed and strung together really well that had be thinking things could go multiple ways, though it tied for a very rewarding ending.

    Hacking for hours is expected in this title and enemies are fairly much the same throughout with me calling some out that I can't wait to slash their heads off as I was about to most certainly do. Kinect controls add to the game well and are placed usefully within combat. Multiplayer is also a blast providing some hours of random combat in the arena with a friend online while you complete the various objectives and just slaughter enemies in troves. Also rolling is OP there so use it as much as possible. Your time in Rome may be quick, but it is special and worth a visit.

    Review of mine on Gamerheadquarters.com
    Gave Ryse 7.2/10
    04 Jan 2014
    23 11 3
    I have to step in here after seeing the 3 1/2 star review! This game warrants a 5 star for me.

    If your looking for a new title for your new console then Ryse you shall choose! This game is deservedly the winner of best action game of he year. The story is gripping with the story of a Roman Centurion Marius which you play as, meeting a variety of characters throughout that you seek revenge on as the story evolves. The gameplay is ace! The graphics are perfect and on some of the terrains it takes you through during the levels leaves you thinking your watching a Planet Earth documentary on the discovery channel except with the screaming of barbarians as a substitute to David Attenborough. The action packed levels gives you the element of ancient time Rome and the battles of the good old sword and shield along with blood thirsty combos that gives you the ability of hacking limbs off your filthy enemies.
    The cut scenes are not wanted to be skipped hence not having the option of skipping. For me they are the best and most realistic cut scenes I've seen on any game so far. Spectacular!
    This game also has a Multiplayer aspect which allows you to play with friends and take on the hordes of whatever enemies Rome wants to throw at you.
    The game as a whole is a HUGE step up from the 360 and adds a new element to gaming in general. The game lures you in and has you foaming at the mouth for more when it comes to an ever certain end. 5 stars!
  • TTV VanHow10TTV VanHow10137,613
    30 Apr 2014
    11 3 1
    Ryse: Son of Rome

    This game was pretty interesting. The story was great, the cutscenes were fantastic. You really felt like a roman warrior fighting through hard times. There was just a few missing pieces that could have made this game one of the best launch titles.

    Graphics (3 of 3): This game has the best graphics that I have seen on the Xbox One. They are absolutly stunning. Every cut scene makes you feel like you are watching a movie. The character models look life like. The way they talk, you could mute you TV and read their lips and make out their conversations (wouldn't recommend). I have been playing games for years, and I have never seen any animation like this in a video game. In the past the main thing that developers have had issues with were water animation, walking through, shooting through ect. This game as you stomp around in water actually looks like water. Usually it is that bluish goo, developers make you stay away from (can't walk in it, die if you fall in it). This game looks VERY solid.

    Multiplayer (1 of 3): It is there. It is disgusting, but it is there. This game had SO many options when it came to multiplayer. they could have made you a gladiator in a coliseum fighting OTHER gladiators. They could have had some what of a co-op story line. They opted out of all those, they put you in the coliseum with another fighter (sounds promising), then they just throw waves of minions your way. At times it gets difficult, but after the first hour of so playing it is the same thing over and over. You don't get many new moves, so it looks and feels repetitive. I do not recommend this game if you are looking for a multiplayer game to entertain you.

    Replay Value (2 of 3): This game, because of its graphics and amazing story you could easily pick it up again and play through the story again. The achievements are also setup to play through on the hardest difficulty. Though after the fist couple play throughs you would be done, and it will collect dust, until you want to show off the next gen graphics of course!

    Sympathy (1 of 1): This is due to my hope, and sorry that a title with this potential could be this low on the ratings. It easily could have been an 8 or 9, but due to it's multiplayer sorrow this is a measly 6 of 10 (in my books.)

    Feel free to add me on XBL and play some games with me. I also do reviews at gamingthevanhow10way.blogspot.com My gamertag is VanHow10, and I play to many games. Thanks for reading!
  • StephenGamesXB1StephenGamesXB1412,412
    10 Apr 2017 10 Apr 2017
    6 1 1
    Ryse: Son of Rome may have been a gorgeous launch title for the Xbox One, but it didn't start that way.

    For those that don't know, Ryse was originally a title for the Xbox 360 that would take advantage of Kinect and offer a visceral first-person story through the point of view of a Roman soldier. What we ended up with keeps the visceral, some of the Kinect aspect, and moves to a third-person viewpoint. Through the game, you play as Roman Centurion Marius Titus as he rises through the ranks of the Roman Legion to eventually become one of it's leaders. The campaign is told through flashbacks while Titus regales a person of high status with his tale of how he came to help that person. Murder, betrayal, redemption, and mythology all factor heavily into the story. It's certainly a good story, and I feel, one with a satisfying conclusion, but in the end it becomes a backdrop to the so-so gameplay.

    The core of Ryse: Son of Rome is combat, and compared to similar systems like Batman: Arkham City, it feels stiffer, but still satisfying. Among Titus' repertoire are light and heavy slashes, stuns, parries, dodge rolls, and executions. Unfortunately, after you are initially taught how to execute these actions, the combat doesn't grow from that point. However, you can earn bonuses for chaining multiple executions together. Executions specifically are quick-time events where you press a button based on the color flashing from an enemy. These executions are also impossible to fail. Why? The game literally doesn't let you fail. If you hit an incorrect button, the animation continues, and you are only given a minimal player-determined benefit. Save for a few moments of commanding a group of Centurions, or using a ballista, the combat repeats aplenty. Ryse does offer multiple difficulties, and they do affect achievements.

    Speaking of achievements, most of those in Ryse are easily obtained and the game absolutely holds your hand while doing so. Most achievements are tied to the game's story and normal progression in two varying difficulties. Some of them are skill-based, but still some are for collectibles. Now. here's where the hand-holding comes into play. If you have the Xbox app downloaded onto a smart device, Ryse updates a second-screen experience in real time and will show you where the various collectibles are complete with videos to guide you. Personally, I found it extremely helpful and unprecedented.

    Design and Art Direction are astounding throughout Ryse's campaign and in the multiplayer maps. It's clear early on that great care was taken to ensure that environments all felt cohesive in visual and audio fidelity. The sounds of war are present throughout, and the Beach level seen in demos of Ryse is particularly an audio showcase. Models are highly detailed throughout, and appear full of life in all cutscenes. More than any other part of Ryse, the visual and auditory aspects consistently stun. The only thing holding back a perfect audio score for me is the musical score, which is awfully forgettable.

    Ryse does have a multiplayer component that I feel works well, and better than a competitive version would. In it, players take on the roles of gladiators in the great Colosseum of Rome. Players cooperatively take on waves of enemies and fulfill different requirements to relive glorious battles for the crowd in the stands. The mode does offer some customization, as the more rounds you survive, the more gold you will earn, which can unlock gear that players can wear and alter stats. For the most part, it's more of the same combat as the single-player campaign offers, however, it is bolstered by Focus attacks that you can pick an associated Deity for. But, if you want to finish all the achievements in the multiplayer for Ryse, be ready for a long haul. You will be tasked to hit level 200(!). That's an awful lot of Colosseum rounds, and ends up being the sole cause of difficulty among achievements.

    Is Ryse worth your money? Depends on how much you enjoy hack-n-slash titles. Ryse is enjoyable, and positively beautiful to look at, but the longevity of Ryse is dependent on how much repetition you can stand. However, at the time of this writing, it is a Games With Gold title, and as such I say: Why not fight for the glory of Rome?

    Graphics: 10/10
    Sound: 9/10
    Gameplay: 4/10
    Achievement Difficulty: 3/10
  • EvieLeafEvieLeaf1,222,990
    19 Feb 2022
    3 2 1
    A new old review for Ryse: Son of Rome

    Ryse launched onto the Xbox One day one in 2013 and I didn't start it until a few months later in 2014. It's a game I've picked up multiple times over the years and still in 2022 on the Series X Ryse is a treat. The game is fairly simple and the same can be said about the story telling, but that doesn't stop this game from being the gem that it is. An aspect that really makes this game rise above (sorry) is the brilliant colosseum mode.

    The story has the player follow the tale of Marcus, a centurion in the Roman army. I won't go into further details because it's still worth playing for the story, dealing with Roman politicians, to fighting overseas, you'll have a fun time. It has it's twists and turns, and it's an enjoyable story. Not a story that you'll hold in your memory for a long time, but a fun experience nevertheless. It won't keep you very busy if you just complete it, just the once. You'll probably complete it in 10 hours or less, depending on how many collectables you're after and what difficulty you play it on.

    Throughout the game you are treated to some of the best visuals you'll see on Xbox. Still in 2022, what Crytek achieved in 2013 is impressive. Some of the cutscenes are incredibly detailed and you could believe you're watching a film. Not just because of the visual quality but there is a cinematic quality to how the cutscenes were filmed and how they lead into the next scene.

    Now onto the gameplay, which can feel a little simple, but that is the brilliance of Ryse as well. When you start the game you are greeted with an easy to follow combo system. Over time you can improve this with upgrades and you can do more combos and more executions. The executions are still just as enjoyable on hour 40 of the game as there are on hour 2. The shocked terrified faces of your enemies as you sink your sword in, is endlessly enjoyable. Lopping off their arms is just as fun and I don't think I ever got bored of that.

    As mentioned earlier in the review the real gem of Ryse is the colosseum mode. You can play by yourself or join a friend, you can matchmake, but in 2022 it's unlikely you're going to find someone to play with. Either way, however you want to play this mode offers a lot of re-playability. Crytek added a lot of maps to this mode and you can just complete them once, but it's fun to replay them and get your combo going for as long as possible. Then you have the levelling system so you can keep buying new gear and upgrading your gladiator. Which is even easier now that Crytek made the in game gold free and you can "buy" as many packs as you'd like on the Microsoft store, so you can get any gear you want for your level. Biggest downside is the load times can be horrible, even on a Series X it can take 2 minutes to load the next level. It can feel like quite a grind to get to each level and when you're aiming for level 200, this is a little demoralising.

    Overall Ryse is a thoroughly enjoyable game and I'd really love to see a sequel. It's unlikely we ever will but it would be a day one purchase for me. The story is short and not the most memorable but it's a fun ride. The colosseum is the most fun I had with Ryse and I happily slaughtered my way to level 200. If you're looking for a game where you hack your way through an army of people in a stylish way Ryse is the game for you. If this had a slightly longer campaign and better load times this would easily be a 5/5 game.