Ryse: Son of Rome
Gamescom 2013: Ryse: Son of Rome Preview - When in Rome…
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Ryse: Son of Rome hardly made a good impression on us at E3. In fact, it went so far as to leave a negative impression upon us - it won our Disappointment of the Show award, after all. "Why?," you may ask. Well, it boasted unnecessary and garish QTE sequences, combat that looked about as deep as the kiddie end of a swimming pool and about as much substance as a recent Jackie Chan movie. We were unimpressed to say the least. Here we are though, a few months later and Crytek has been hard at work listening to feedback from the community and press, alike.

The first change? Gone are the garish QTE sequences (huzzah!), and in comes a new(ish) system that puts the emphasis on where the emphasis should be: the visuals, rather than some off-putting floating button symbols. It's the one thing that Ryse really excels in, and as a launch title on a new generation of hardware that is ten-times more powerful than the current-gen, you'd expect that too. Our behind closed doors demo was one beautiful looking piece of eye candy, that's for sure, from the grass and flowers swaying in the wind to the enemy limbs being chopped off left, right and centre, it's one hell of a pretty game. It's a brutally gory game too.

As you're probably aware, Ryse: Son of Rome is a third-person action game, one with melee weapons at its core. And as protagonist Marius Titus engages in combat, he's slicing off arms, jabbing a sword through an enemy combatant's neck or slicing his throat. It's not just melee weapons though, Marius will be able to pick up long spears and the like, and use them to keep foes at arm's length, if he so wishes.

The depth of the combat remains to be seen, but in our demo Marius was using shield pushes to deflect attacks and rolling to avoid damage. In Ryse: Son of Rome, expect enemies to swarm you rather than waiting to attack one at a time; they'll look to catch you off-guard and attack from multiple angles at the same time. There'll be different variations of enemies as well, as you'd expect, with Shield Barbarians and Dual Sword Barbarians being slightly tougher than your standard grunts, meaning you'll have to take a different approach with them.

Timing is a big thing in Ryse's combat, with executions rated on how well the player times their attacks. It's meant to be a brutally tricky game, and players will have to make use of their focus attacks - to stun foes and make them slower - and execution rewards - whether it be more XP, more focus, more damage or more health - to survive. Combo together enough perfect hits and you can enter Burning Eagle mode, making Marius an almost unstoppable force.

Little has been shown of the game's campaign mode thus far, apart from the brief sequence at E3 which seemed to focus more on combat - like our demo behind closed doors - but Crytek is promising to really push the story in more ways than just the visuals with on Xbox One. To give us something to whet our appetites for the campaign, Crytek showed off a short story-driven sequence in which Marius walked amidst a Centurion graveyard, with Centurions strung up by their necks. Everything was in-game, the visuals were as stunning as you can imagine next-gen to be and the vibe was rather chilling. It was only a brief look, but it does give us some hope that there might be something beneath Ryse's pretty exterior.

In addition to the combat, Crytek was also showing off the game's multiplayer behind closed doors… well, co-op that is. The Gladiator mode is effectively a co-operative multiplayer experience. Launching with 11 maps at launch - unless you pre-order - players will be able to battle together against waves of enemies with landscape changing environments and co-op executions. The levelling system will be entirely armour-based, with 700 pieces of armour available to make your Centurion the ultimate killing machine.

So, while Ryse certainly had a better showing at Gamescom than E3, it's still not really doing enough to capture our imaginations. It seems to be a lot of old ideas housed in a rather pretty shell, which might be okay for some, but we're hoping next-gen can advance gaming from more than just a visual perspective. The combat, no matter how brutal and pretty it is, seems to be rather one-note, and if, as a third-person combat game you don't have that in order, how can you expect it to succeed? There's still a few months before launch and as we can see from E3 to Gamescom, a lot can happen in a few months, so we'll keep our fingers crossed and hope that Ryse: Son of Rome can come out of left field and really win us over. Until then, we'll remain cautiously optimistic. It'd be foolhardy not to.

Ryse: Son of Rome is scheduled to launch alongside the Xbox One this coming holiday season.


User Comments

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #1 by DJWonderbraDJ
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 10:07:14 AM
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It looks and sounds crap. Sorry I know people despise opinions of negativity but iv read everything you have had to say and think it sounds crap.

Forum Posts: 391
Comment #2 by smokevf
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 10:08:48 AM
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So hard to please people now a days. What somes good to you? Another remake of call of duty?.

Forum Posts: 755
Comment #3 by Hurricane Of 87
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 10:16:54 AM
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Bet the SP is short like previous Crytek titles too (Crysis).
At least the co-op demos were good for various visual bugs.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #4 by DJWonderbraDJ
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 10:19:04 AM
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@2 Somes? The New Zealand Island? Yea that sounds pretty good.

As for the Call of Duty Ball bust. I don't like FPS games, I did think Bio-shock was excellent though. Out of all the launch games I probably fancy Killer Instinct the most as im a fan of fighting games, which also exemplifies my credentials to judge this game.

But thanks for asking.

Forum Posts: 21
Comment #5 by creaper210
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 10:26:11 AM
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I agree with #1.
This game doesn't look anything special. Coop may be the only good thing about it. But combat looks dull, QTEs or not, so it won't really change much.

Not much(if any, at all) innovation for being an exclusive launch title.

Forum Posts: 271
Comment #6 by the action frampton
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 10:56:39 AM
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@4 but your 'judgement' is based on second hand information of a non finished game... This preview certainly seems a lot more positive than past news, so I'm really hoping it turns out well, seeing as I preordered it.

Forum Posts: 1741
Comment #7 by FSparacino4
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 10:57:45 AM
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Yet the PS fanboys rave about about the button mashing God of War series...

Forum Posts: 391
Comment #8 by smokevf
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 11:05:28 AM
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Have you played ryse? No..well you might have. I played it. Its a good game but wasnt the final game when I played. I also played killer instinct. Ryse is a better game. I hate how people judge a game when they never played it in there life. So I had a typo so what the biggest journalists in the world have typos. When it comes down to it. Dont judge a game till you play it.

Oh yeah. Thanks for the hate button shows I have people that are mad at what I say!!!

Forum Posts: 6
Comment #9 by dbdikillhaji
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 11:11:00 AM
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@6 agreed with you I do. my and one of my best friends are both getting this day one. We have it preordered and we will most deff get fun out of it. I'm just glad they took away the qtes. those games are just too easy to beat.

Forum Posts: 813
Comment #10 by XxStuartxX 1990
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 11:12:56 AM
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@7 God Of War actually quite good, not as good as a lot of Playstationers it make out to be, but it is a pretty solid franchise.


Why are people surprised this game looks crap, this is Crytek we're talking about all they seem to care about is a pretty paint job I don't think I've ever enjoyed a Crytek game sure they look pretty but they're boring as hell.

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #12 by DJWonderbraDJ
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:39:29 PM
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@8 *their

I said based one what iv seen and read I think it looks crap. You have an issue with my personal opinion ? Really....?

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #13 by DJWonderbraDJ
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:42:37 PM
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@6 my judgments based on this preview you fucking idiot ? It doesn't exactly paint it in the best light does it ? No. So lay into the author.

Jesus what's wrong with you people ? Its not like crytek have a sterling record is it ?

Forum Posts: 391
Comment #14 by smokevf
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:49:07 PM
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If the game looks like crap to you why keep on coming to this part to talk trash?

I call playstation troller right here! All the way

Forum Posts: 15
Comment #15 by DJWonderbraDJ
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 12:59:27 PM
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@14 I don't think you quite understand the concept of a preview do you?

Forum Posts: 13
Comment #16 by LeeJ2512
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 02:03:10 PM
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I actually have this preordered but I'm not sure any more, the multiplayer looks AWFUL and really glitchy.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #17 by ziggy78900
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 02:14:41 PM
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looks and sounds wil fail

Forum Posts: 1194
Comment #18 by gazmaster1
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 02:45:17 PM
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Im of the ''negative'' brigade on this one. Looks old hat with a new paint job. Nice graphics but does nothing new.

Forum Posts: 271
Comment #19 by the action frampton
Monday, September 02, 2013 @ 02:49:09 PM
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@13 I feel sorry for you. If you never experience any games with negative press, you'll be missing some great games. And for that reason alone, you are the fucking idiot.

Forum Posts: 4849
Comment #20 by Evo Kazz
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 @ 12:34:02 AM
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Initially wanted to order this but as times gone on, decided not too.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #21 by SoundW4ve
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 @ 04:37:01 AM
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I think the game is cool! It has a 300(movie) feel to it! THIS IS ROOOMEEE!!! Wuuhahahaha

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #22 by blamesluck
Tuesday, September 03, 2013 @ 07:16:33 PM
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I can not believe how fucking stupid this guy sounds!! huzzah they took out QTE? wtf is wrong with QTE at least it wasn't the same old shit that all other similar games have. and last time checked a SPEAR IS a MELEE WEAPON!! especially when it is used at arms length! i was actually really excited to have a GOOD game set in this era but thanks to stupid ass people like this guy and whining dip shits the game has no appeal to me now. good job fucktards!!

Forum Posts: 291
Comment #23 by ViNyLek
Wednesday, September 04, 2013 @ 12:00:37 PM
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I wouldnt say it sounds crap, but it definitely is nothing special either. Not a launch title I would hope for, but by the time I will be getting Xbone, this will probably be closer it its value at half the price or less. Sounds like fun for a single play through campaign at the very least.

Forum Posts: 84
Comment #24 by angelusanya78
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 @ 07:39:20 AM
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I am unsure of this game. Looks aside I am worried about it all coming down to who can hit the buttons quicker... God of War was a great game but it started to get tedious (like DMC did as well). I may have to wait for a while before I Get this.

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Game Info


US November 22, 2013
Europe November 22, 2013

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