Ryse: Son of Rome for Xbox One had a hard time gaining hype in its early days. Many people called it a “quicktime game” in the sense that it apparently lacked much user input and was essentially DDR with swords and buttons instead of dancing on a floor mat. While I never played early versions of the game, I’m told they improved it greatly. However, these preconceived notions didn’t disappear. When I tweet about the game, I still get people responding with ignorant comments like “lol quicktime”.
The polished, final version of the game launched alongside the Xbox One to mediocre reviews. Ryse currently sits at a 60/100 on Metacritic
The game is GORGEOUS. Utilizing the Crytek engine it is one of the best looking games you can buy, and the Xbox One handles it like a pro. Seeing the individual shoulder plates move as your character runs forward is awe-inspiring. Graphics aside, the gameplay isn’t any more “quicktime-y” than Assassin’s Creed. You often find yourself standing in a circle of enemies waiting for one to attack so you can press A to deflect it and counter attack. There are some enemies that can’t be hit unless you first break their defence. Lowering an enemy’s health and pressing Right Trigger brings you into an Execution. Enemies targeted will glow either blue or yellow signifying the button you must press to continue the kill. However, and maybe a slight flaw, pressing the wrong button will only grant you less of a bonus. The kill will proceed no matter what. It does make you feel like a badass, but that takes away a lot of the skill.
Multiplayer is surprisingly fun. It works the same as single player except you are in an arena with one friend fighting hordes of enemies. It employs the Mass Effect 3 style of obtaining loot, where you buy “Booster Packs” with your hard earned coins and hope for the best gear. The more you spend the better the chance of Rare gear.
If you enjoy going on killing sprees in Assassin’s Creed as much as I do, Ryse should be right up your alley. Don’t listen to many of the mediocre reviews. With its fun gameplay, amazing graphics, and solid voice acting, Ryse: Son of Rome is worth picking up. It might not have the most depth, but it’s an amusing, beautiful hack ‘n slash.