Ryse: Son of Rome Review - Xbox One: "Graphical Marvel With Engaging Story"
- By Sehran Shaikh
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Ryse: Son of Rome had a dream team behind it, "Crytek: One of the best video game developer of current time, Microsoft: Publisher known to do anything to satisfy Xbox community, CryEngine: the most powerful Engine which already proved its metal with Crysis series and Xbox One: a console with features that developers die to work on", so success was just a mere formality for Ryse: Son of Rome.
But as the golden rule says: Success and Failure of anything is decided by consumers, similar thing happened with Ryse: Son of Rome, even after having a dream team, the game was not as successful as expected by critics and fans. What are the reason that came between Ryse: Son of Rome and success?, let us try to find out in our review below.
Ryse: Son of Rome is all about one man named as "Marius Titus", a fearless Roman soldier who witnesses brutal murder of his family at the hands of Barbarian bandits. The story begins with Marius Titus repelling a barbarian invasion of Rome and rescuing the emperor, Nero. Marius with Nero walks to a secret chamber where he tells him about his past life. As the story unfolds, players will re-live each moment of Marius's life in-game, from "Marius role as a common soldier to his journey to Centurion and beyond".
The overall plot of Ryse is about vengeance, however Crytek did add few small and big surprises here and there to keep players engaged during inital run through the campaign.
The storytelling is very well supported by solid voice acting, excellent soundtrack and stunning cut-scenes. One thing i personally like to mention, the initial outcome of the game that came of my mind following all the initial sequences of the campaign was nowhere close to final ending of Ryse: Son of Rome, and for this great storytelling ability Crytek does deserve a pat on their back.
One department where Ryse: Son of Rome performed outstandingly well is graphics/visuals, hardly anyone can make out the differences between cutscenes and actual gameplay graphics/visuals. Most of you will agree with me if i say Ryse: Son of Rome is the "Best Looking Next-Gen Game" on either consoles. From environments/surroundings to characters model to armor to lightning to destructive environments to brutal executions, everything looks impressive and next to its real counterparts. One section where Ryse: Son of Rome disappoints the most is enemy variety, there are hardly six or seven styles of enemies and also way of fightning of all enemies are the same throughout the game.
Now comes the most faulty areas of Ryse: Son of Rome, GAMEPLAY. Overall its not that bad, but lacks one of the most important things with respect to players, "Diversity" from one area to another. The combat system of Ryse is very much similar to that of a Batman Arkham series. Players will go against hordes of enemies at once, and make use of dodge, blocks, bounce from enemy to enemy and attack policy. As soon an enemy goes into low vitality, players are notified to perform execution attack via an execution skull on that particular enemy's head. Completing an execution attack will result in XP combo earning by means of which players increase their combat skills, health and other extras. The issue with the exections in Ryse is that they all are the same throughout the game.
If your only aim in Ryse is to take on hordes of enemies via button mashing means, then the rewards you receive is not worth, but this path is still an option for few gamers.
Executions in Ryse has its own share of benefits as well, first and foremost, there are tons and tons of them and players are not short of options and on top of that almost all are BRUTAL. The second benefit is execution bonus (as mentioned above as well), players can opt for different exection bonus such as "health, XP and other" by making use of D-pad.
In addition to singleplayer campaign Ryse: Son of Rome also features co-op multiplayer section "Gladiatorial" combat in Coliseum mode. In this mode players can move on according to their wish, either they can go solo or side by side with a friend from Xbox Live against the array of enemies and challenges.
In total Coliseum mode offers 11 maps each with unique tile sets which further includes obstacles, scenery and more. Everytime you select a map to play, it will automatically rearrange themselves to present a unique challenge and setting. Players should not expect too much from this Coliseum mode as it only offers some sorts of replay value outside main story mode which is just 5 to 6 hours long.
As a whole, Ryse: Son of Rome is a solid launch title for a Microsoft's next-gen console, Xbox One. The game looks pretty amazing and have a great story to keep players engaged for hours to come. However, its pretty hard to ignore that gameplay does get a bit repetitive after sometime and carry forward in the same way till the very end. But still Ryse is a graphical marvel and a pretty solid hack-and-slash game with enough replay value and worth a try atleast once.