Ryse: Son of Rome review (Xbox One)

svoulis | 277d ago | User review
Reviewing: Ryse: Son of Rome
Are You Not ENTERTAINED?!
It is no secret that Ryse: Son of Rome is Microsoft's showpiece. This game is what makes people hopeful that Microsoft didn't exactly drop the ball with the hardware in the unit. Does the game hold up to the expectations of a brand new IP competing in a already crowded market? Does Ryse give you something different than what you're use to? Read more to find out.

Graphics

Ryse Is beautiful head to toe, drop dead gorgeous, Crytek did an amazing job at capturing Rome. It all looks great. The vast areas you visit on your journey are jaw dropping at times. The armor on Marius moves at every hinge, and the character and Facial animations are top notch. That being said, there is a reason this game is so beautiful and I will go on to explain the technical side of it a bit. For starters, the games camera is one of the tightest I've ever seen in a game yet. This means that the game only had to render what you're seeing at any given time. when you sprint you don't even get that "zoom" effect that makes you feel like you're moving fast as hell (think gears of war). The camera is always so close to Marius and that's fine cause it works well in this game. The linearity makes it very easy to pull off these visuals as most of the eye candy are static environments you can't go near. This game is full of invisible walls and smoke and mirror tricks, its like here look at this amazing game, you cant touch it though. That doesn't mean the game deserves any less, for the hardware its running on it is a technical achievement and Crytek should be commended for pulling it off. Three main factors stand out more then anything though.

1.The AA technique is clearly visible and you can see it very clearly, they add a kind of film grain to it all to cover up any jaggies. It works well but very noticeable.

2. The character models are far and few between. You feel like you're fighting a clone army most of the time. Which is typical for games of this nature but there are no differences from the most standard character models. Not even so much as different armor on them. Granted there are variations of enemies per chapter, it doesn't take away from the fact that you feel like you're fighting clone after clone.

3. The on screen characters, which is a total of 6 enemies I believe, that leaves little to be desired, because even though you have to account for your men, they are as dumb as a door nail and don't help you AT ALL. I have seen the soldiers just stand there time after time as I get destroyed by 4+ heavy enemies. I think this game had issues with AI, a lot of issues with it.

Story

Ryse puts you in the shoes of a Roman General named Marius Titus, in what seems like a Tarantino intro, where everything you're doing will be explained as you progress. Before you know it, you are in a room with Nero explaining your story. This formula works well for Ryse because it is what keeps you interested in the first place. Fast forward 2 chapters in and you are already seeing the problems that plague the story. It is hollow for the middle 3 chapters, the character progression is blank (I actually forgot to use my upgrade points until the 4th chapter) and the chapters have very little to do with the story and more to do with the visuals. Once you grind through that, the game actually starts getting interesting for the final 3 chapters. My most enjoyed moments with the game were those final 3 chapters. It's like Crytek could have done so much more but settled for cliche Western Civilization lore....and nothing is wrong with that. The story is interesting enough to keep you going, as it does a good job at giving you subtle hints as to whats going to happen next. If you can push through chapters III-VI you'll enjoy the game towards the end a lot more.

Sound

Ryse has amazing audio, I mean some of the best I've heard in a long time. That isn't surprising however considering the guys at the helm. Crytek is known for making some of the most gorgeous games with their engine. The sound of sword and shield clashing, the roars and cries of people as they get slaughtered by your hand is ever so rewarding. Voice acting is movie quality, and in those tense moments when you find out whats going on you can hear the anger and I loved that. It felt like Gladiator 2.0 (and it should have). All in all the sound works perfectly with the game and I have no complaints aside from recycled banter between you and the enemies you slay (which mostly consist of "I'm going to kill you Roman scum, and You will die an unpleasant death).
Unfortunately that really plagues you 4-5 hours into the game.

Gameplay

Okay, So I am sure this is the part everyone cares about, and why the game has taken such a hit with reviews lately. Yes, the Gameplay is the biggest problem with Ryse: Son of Rome. Plagued with repetitious chapters, hollow boss fights and ridiculously linear. The biggest issue here is in fact that this game relies heavily on the Right Trigger. While you don't HAVE to do any executions at all (you can literally just keep slashing the enemies), it is needed to fill up your health bar, XP bar, and focus bar. It's like Crytek was promising the fighting was more advanced then we've seen and its really not. Add the whole "boost" element and you have no choice but to constantly use executions to keep yourself alive. That isn't to say that sometimes this system doesn't shine. I'd say about half way through the game when I was doing 50x combos like nothing, it was amazing seeing the character animations as you did a double takedown while slashing between other enemies and just slaughtering everything in your path. It feels great, but only for so long. The novelty wears off once you realize how easy it is to do the chain combos, and you aren't as bad ass as you thought you were. This game has some other elements to gameplay and I can name them all on one hand. Wave fighting, Scorpio slaughter, and Volley defense. Literally each chapter is guaranteed to use those 3 elements over and over again.

Fun Factor

Is this game fun? I suppose you could say it is, when I first started playing the game, I was genuinely excited. What started out as something fresh and interesting quickly turned into any type of corridor shooter I've ever played in my life. Thats what sucks. The fighting is no where near as advanced as Crytek made it out to be, and the boss fights never change up. It's all block block block, hit hit hit. Literally. That's it. My right thumb was sore by the end of the game from all the mashing of "X" on my controller I want to love Ryse, it's the reason I bought an Xbox One. I just can't love it the way I want to. It gets too old too quick and you have to push to the end. If not for the last 3 epic chapters I'd probably given up by chapter V.

Online

Not much to say about the online, I've played a bit of it but it wasn't as entertaining as it could be. This is mainly to do with the single player. Its the same game, but with a friend, fighting off...you guessed it..more waves of enemies and they get progressively harder, as the arena changes. Its fun, you can enjoy it, but I don't expect this to be a multiplayer people invest months in like Battlefield or Call of Duty.

Conclusion

Is Ryse a great new IP? No. It is in fact a Good IP with potential if Crytek listens to reviews and feedback. I want to see more of this world, I want to play more games like it. They have the ability to pull it off. It all depends on them. Do I regret buying the game? Not at all, I enjoyed it as much as I could. I am glad I held out for the final 3 chapters as those proved to be the best in the game. Would I encourage you to buy it? Sure! There is enough elements to get your moneys worth, even if you have to pace yourself to do it.
Ups
Action
Last III Chapters
Graphics
Downs
Repetition
Boss Fights
A.I
Score
8.5
Graphics While its not the prettiest game out there, it deserves its own merits. It's ashamed there were too many shortcuts taken to ensure the game looked this good. Overall though great graphics and I look forward to what Crytek will do in the future.
8.5
Sound The Sound is what makes this game amazing to me, the slashing, the screams, the arrows hitting your shield, Marius barking orders, the clashing of bone and sinew. It's all there and it is great. The downside would be repetitive banter from enemy A.I
3.0
Gameplay This is where the game punishes you the most. A lot of the same stuff, over and over again. No exploration, very linear. Probably more linear then most FPS games, and that says a lot. Being forced to do executions to keep your health and focus up..was only fun for like 2 hours.
4.0
Fun factor The game has its wow moments, and it has its great feeling of 50x chain combos, but that also wears off quickly. I couldn't enjoy this game 3 hours in, and the only reason I kept going was the last III chapters.
5.0
Online It's there and it can be fun, but for how long? Maybe for people who are obsess with Nazi Zombies in COD, but honestly I don't see anyone spending more then a few weeks on it, before they move on.
6.5
Overall (out of 10 / not an average)
Callediceman  +   267d ago
Great Review! alot of useful information
TH3BR3W  +   266d ago
Good and insightful review mate. I'd like to see more in depth reviews like this one from ya in the future.
svoulis  +   264d ago
Thanks I appreciate the comment :D I will be doing more in the future.
edonus  +   263d ago
I am playing through this game right now and i must say it is a lot better than a 6.5. Any review less than 7.5 is skewed. I would personally give it a 8.5.

First thing anyone interested in this game needs to understand is the level of cognitive dissonance throughout gaming. Lots of people hated on this game before it was out and now that it arrived they cant stand to be so wrong so they have over exaggerate things and ignore stuff and it generally stops them from having a good time with the game.

The graphics are top notch there is no game on console that has better skin textures facial animations and character detail. Yes they repeat models of npcs and enemy characters but their look is more to define their class and style of fighting as it is their individualism. Come on do we ever see people knock Killzone COD BF4 or any other game ever created for using the same enemy models, so that whole clone thing is just part of the cognitive dissonance.

The combat is in away repetitive, in the same way you shoot people in Killzone COD and Halo or drive a car Forza and GT6 or shoot ships and save people in Resogun. The game gives you tools to fight with and you use those tools to win. Yes you use the same buttons and moves all the time but you have to adjust how you use them depending on the situation and with over a 100 executions if you are seeing the same thing all the time you need to upgrade your skills. Its not about the moves its about you using them effectively.
Pacing is great if you get bored its either you are dying a lot (because you havent mastered the tools) or you are playing it on easy and just spamming the attack button. Giving the gameplay a 3 is very telling and exposes the review as false.
This is a must play game even if you were to just rent it. There is a next gen level of satisfaction when you are double executing enemies in a cinematic 300 slowed down gruesome way. The scale is also really nice there are time when there are hundreds of enemies on screen at once and point were you are fighting like 7-8 people at once.

The bottom line is if you go into this game to enjoy it for what it does you will love it. Its like a blockbuster action flick. If you go in trying to prove that combat is QTEs and would just slosh through the game instead of trying to become a skilled brutal soldier you wont enjoy it because you have already put it in your head to not enjoy it. You get people talking about there no exploration (which is not entirely true) but it is not an open world game. No one ever said it was.... then they take point off for it. Its like taking points off of Resogun because its a 2d side scroller.

This game should make anyone that plays it excited for the new gen if not.... they are jaded or have an agenda.
chobit_A5HL3Y  +   262d ago
"Any review less than 7.5 is skewed." lol no.
svoulis  +   261d ago
"The combat is in away repetitive, in the same way you shoot people in Killzone COD and Halo or drive a car Forza and GT6 or shoot ships and save people in Resogun. The game gives you tools to fight with and you use those tools to win. Yes you use the same buttons and moves all the time but you have to adjust how you use them depending on the situation and with over a 100 executions if you are seeing the same thing all the time you need to upgrade your skills."

Yea sure, the same way as those games, except for the fact there is nothing ELSE to do in the game. No stealth missions, no platforming, no real character interaction, no real objectives as they are just timed until you hold out long enough to have a bolder thrown onto your enemies. The boss fights are just plain boring. (except for the last 2 chapters)

"The bottom line is if you go into this game to enjoy it for what it does you will love it. Its like a blockbuster action flick. If you go in trying to prove that combat is QTEs and would just slosh through the game instead of trying to become a skilled brutal soldier you wont enjoy it"

I think thats unfair as I paid 500$ JUST for this game alone. So yes I went into this game wanting to enjoy it so bad, and was left underwhelmed. 6.5 is not a bad score, and 8.5 is honestly far too giving for a game with such narrow repetition and corridors. The game lacks variety and where it trys to make up for it, it just gives you recycled objectives. My biggest issue with the game was how EASY it is. Even on the hardest setting after you beat the game its still not a challenge. For example. My girlfriend watched me play it for about and hour and said "this is boring you're doing the same thing over and over again." The game has a average score of 6.0/10 on metacritic for a reason. The reason is a lot of people found it a chore to play through. No matter how you spin it or what you say. you smash the X and Y button until you see the skull above their head. Then you hit the R trigger and do an execution. Even with 100 different executions it still gets tired and boring after a few chapters. There is no way around it, it is in fact a QTE game, instead of giving you button prompts they make the enemies light up the color corresponding with the button, which is pretty lame..I'd rather have seen a button then take me out of the immersion when the enemy turns into a smurf right before I slit his throat.

About the graphics, Character models are top notch yes. I agree. If you played on anything bigger then a 27" tv (I played on my 65" tv) you will see that while characters have great animations, the texture work in the game isn't the best. I think that has to do with their AA method.
#3.2 (Edited 261d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(1) | Report | Reply
Jack of Death  +   261d ago
I agree with you 100%. This game is fun. Great graphics, gory fighting, and a really good story. That's what makes a good game. How does that deserve a 6.5. You have to be crazy to give it that score. Last of us got a 10 and there was so much wrong with that linear game. The online is fun too. I guess some people just don't like games with a great story and incredible graphics. So far everyone I showed the game too was just amazed.

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Ryse: Son of Rome

Average Score 6.6 Reviews(155)
Release Dates