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Review: Ryse: Son of Rome | Xbox One [VIDEO]

Ryse was very much the display piece for Microsoft whilst building hype for the Xbox One. The graphics are stunning and the in-game action has a truly blockbuster feel. With ships exploding from catapult bombardment next to you and the innumerable opposing force in front you can’t help but feel a sense of awe.

Ryse Xbox One

Its movie-like plot direction and a plethora of ‘in-game’ cut scenes definitely make the whole experience feel like a roller coaster. Which is great if you like roller coasters. You play as Marius Titus, a Roman Legionnaire on the quest for vengeance after invading Barbarians murder his family. I fully enjoyed my climb through the ranks, slicing and dicing the barbarian hordes until it reached the narrative twist and its ultimate conclusion. The sound effects and voice acting were top notch and the character moved with a natural fluidity that just wasn’t seen in the last generation, but it’s far from perfect.


As a story-driven simulation, Ryse is great, but as a game, it lacks somewhat. You will spend the majority of this game button bashing as you move from one barbarian to the next defending, then slicing then finishing. The finishing moves are plentiful and satisfying but they feel like an interactive cut scene where you have to press the right button at the right time to get the full point bonus.  After a while, you do get a little sick of them.


When I first envisioned this game I had thought it might be ‘Halo with a sword and shield’ and that each level would be a series of linked battle zones that can be circumnavigated in various ways as you hack your way to your goal. Sadly, it was more like Final Fight as you are taken on a very linear path mashing the buttons and beating up the same five-character models over and over again. Don’t get me wrong, it is fun but by the halfway point of the 8-hour single campaign, you must have dispatched the same fat guy with a shield a hundred times.


To break up the constant swordplay there is a range of mini-games. One involves moving forward as a unit and covering yourself up with shields when flaming arrows come overhead, which looks cool for viewers but requires the motor skill of a 5-year-old. There is also a pseudo-tactical game where you choose to take one path or the other, however, both seem to involve firing arrowing into barrels for a certain time frame. Whilst these do provide some change in the normal gameplay and add to the overall epic feel of the game, in order for them to provide any real challenge the game needs to be on the hard setting. Finally, there is a series of boss fights that pitch you again foes such as Boudicca and a skeletal Minotaur but ultimately they just have a set number of easily predictable attacks which rely on timing to overcome. Sure they take a few goes to beat but they lack any real intelligence to put up a good fight.

The multi-player is just silly fun. You and a friend can co-op in a Roman Colosseum doing objectives and killing people. It adds nothing new to the multi-player ‘genre’ and is very similar to ‘Horde’ with a few missions thrown in for good measure. Whilst I only played it for an hour or so I found it fun and an entertaining extension of the game.


Overall, this is an audio-visual masterpiece that will take the player on an adventure from Rome to Scotland and back traversing beautiful and varied landscapes, fighting off legions of Barbarians as you go. The 8-hour roller coaster that is the single-player campaign is just the right length for any gaming veteran as anything more would just become tedious, however, I would recommend starting it on a harder difficultly as it will present more of a challenge and you are unlikely to want to play through it a second time. The multi-player will kill an hour every now and then and with the additional skins and maps available it’s sure to keep you entertained.

Ryse: Son of Rome looks and sounds the business and I do hope they take the franchise further as there was so much right about this game.  It would be a shame to see it disappear as Kameo: Elements of Power did after the 360 launches.  With some gameplay tweaks, a more diverse level design, and a lot more characters this could be greatly improved.

Key Questions on Ryse: Son of Rome

What is Ryse: Son of Rome?

Ryse: Son of Rome is a third-person action-adventure game developed by Crytek and published by Microsoft Studios for Xbox One and Microsoft Windows.

What is the storyline of Ryse: Son of Rome?

The game is set in ancient Rome and follows the story of a Roman soldier named Marius Titus as he seeks revenge against those who killed his family.

What kind of gameplay can be expected in Ryse: Son of Rome? Answer: Ryse: Son of Rome features a mix of third-person combat, puzzle-solving, and quick-time events.

Can the game be played in multiplayer mode?

Yes, Ryse: Son of Rome features cooperative multiplayer mode where up to two players can team up to fight against waves of enemies.

What is the combat system in Ryse: Son of Rome like?

The game features a tactical combat system that allows players to switch between different weapons and execute various combos.

How does Ryse: Son of Rome use the Kinect sensor?

The game features voice commands and motion controls that use the Kinect sensor to perform various actions such as executing special attacks and ordering troops.

What kind of enemies can players expect to face in Ryse: Son of Rome?

Players can expect to face a variety of enemies including Roman soldiers, barbarians, and mythical creatures.

Is there any DLC content available for Ryse: Son of Rome?

Yes, the game has several DLC expansions that introduce new story missions, multiplayer maps, and character skins.

What kind of visual presentation can players expect from Ryse: Son of Rome?

The game features stunning graphics and cinematic cutscenes that showcase the beauty of ancient Rome.

How was the critical reception of Ryse: Son of Rome?

The game received mixed reviews from critics, with praise for its graphics and combat system, but criticism for its repetitive gameplay and shallow story.

Is Ryse Son of Rome good?

Ryse Son of Rome received mixed reviews upon its release, with some praising its graphics and combat, while others criticized its repetitive gameplay and story. Personally, I liked it!

How long is Ryse Son of Rome?

The main story of Ryse Son of Rome can be completed in around 6-8 hours, depending on the player’s skill level and chosen difficulty setting.

What are the different versions of Ryse Son of Rome?

Ryse Son of Rome was originally released for Xbox One in 2013. It was later released for PC in 2014 as Ryse: Son of Rome – Legendary Edition, which included all of the game’s DLC.

When was Ryse Son of Rome released?

Ryse Son of Rome was released for Xbox One on November 22, 2013.

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