Previews Xbox

Ryse: Son of Rome Preview – Brutally Gratifying

During Microsoft’s Pre E3 Press Conference way back in June of 2011, the studio announced a new IP currently being developed alongside the talented team over at Crytek. Slated as an Xbox 360 exclusive, Ryse was poised to put players in the role of a vengeful roman general while also delivering a hardcore first-person Kinect game experience for mature audiences. This initial concept evolved over time and was revisited again during this year’s press conference just a few short weeks ago.

Ryse: Son of Rome is now a third-person action-adventure/ hack and slash launch title coming exclusively to the Xbox One this November. While the video presentation shown during the Microsoft conference gave fans of brief glimpse of what to expect, we were fortunate enough to learn a little bit more about the game during a behind closed doors session. Here are a few of my thoughts on Ryse and why it will be a must have title for Xbox One owners.


The premise of Ryse: Son of Rome follows the trails and tribulations of a Roman general by the name of Marius Titus. After enduring hardships throughout his childhood and into his adult life, Titus sets out on a quest for revenge against all who have harmed him. It’s unclear right now if this redemptive storyline will have us all playing as a younger Marius, but Crytek has continue to maintain that their goal is to tell a story that lasts an entire lifetime. If this is indeed the case, then we may be in for one hell of a story.

When it comes to combat and gameplay aesthetics, one of the early misconceptions has been that Ryse is nothing more than a QuickTime events free-for-all. The developers on hand assured us that the game was built on an intuitive system where players have the option to either button mash simultaneously or use the QuickTime prompts as directed. Both actions lead to different attack variations and precise timing can lead to bonus XP (experience points) and health boosts. Another interesting tidbit of news is that the creative team has developed an arsenal of never-before-seen attacks and double executions. With an endless array of moves still to be seen, the combat system could very well look even more impressive by the time this game hits stores in the fall.

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With Kinect 2.0 functionality enabled, Crytek has focused on using the device for squad-based commands such as rally formations and both defensive and offensive counter attacking. Just as demonstrated during the Ryse presentation at the Microsoft conference, several errors can be made in how you tell your team to respond to attacks. The developers also emphasized during our session that the Kinect will pick up most sounds and thus players should exercise caution when trying to execute strategies flawlessly. Alternatively, people will have the option to turn the Kinect off if this all gets to be too bothersome for some.

The final tidbit of news on the game comes in regard to the multiplayer features. Crytek are currently working on a Co-Op multiplayer mode where players will be able to fight against each other in a Gladiator arena setting. There are expected to be several options where players will be able to customize their fighters, but as of now everything else remains a secret. If executed correctly, this mode could bring about a nice amount of replay value to an already compelling package.


Ryse: Son of Rome launches exclusively on the Xbox One this November. Expect more news on the game in the months ahead leading up to PAX Prime. Where you impressed by Ryse: Son of Rome? Do you plan on preordering an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, or both? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.