Ryse: Son of Rome Review by RickyGBird

20 Jan 2014 29 May 2015
22 4 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?
napoearthI have a gweat fwiend in Wome called Bigus Dickus.
Posted by napoearth on 15 Feb 18 at 16:18