I never expected to play Ryse: Son of Rome on PC since it was touted as an Xbox One exclusive. I remember seeing this game back at E3 and pre-judging it as a Dynasty Warriors clone almost immediately. I was wrong about it being anywhere near as straight-forward in its approach. It instead mimics the free-flow combat of Batman as closely as possible with a violent and linear emphasis.

What we liked

Ryse Murk City

  • Absolutely gorgeous visuals that make great use of a powerful PC. There aren’t many games that have detail and fantastic facial animations like this. The Voice actors do a great job of passing as Russell Crowe and roman James Bond It has a slick soundtrack that meshes up well with the epic battlefield combat.

 

  • Bone jarring and visceral combat is the highlight of the game. Blades pierce through the flesh as blood washes blood flows out like a tidal wave. Death has somehow transformed into an art form in Ryse, and Marius is the artist.

Love/Hate Relationship

  • The revenge story doesn’t try hard enough to be different. It shoehorns in some kind of mythology surrounding gods that doesn’t fit well with the overarching plot. We already knew this was a story of good vs. evil, the inclusion of deities only serve to downplay the heroes thirst for vengeance. Imagine For a second that Batman constantly failed on his quest for vengeance, and Superman would show up and say “Hey, you can’t give up now, you’re almost there buddy, aren’t you Batman?”

What we didn’t like

Ryse Throw

  • Quick-Time event executions got old after the first stage. You can’t really avoid using them since there are buffs like damage that let Marius destroy his foes faster or experience boasts for earning better skills.

 

  • Minor graphical glitches like floating shields can take you out of the combat zone.

 

  • The I tends to strike at Marius two at a time and don’t attempt to swarm him in the slightest. They also tend to repeat the same combat patterns, and easily fall prey to murderous blows.

 

  • Combat isn’t as fluid or quick as other Arkham based games. Marius is slower and more deliberate in his strikes, and that means enemies with more stamina end up taking longer to put down.

 

  • The Shooting gallery and Shield sequences are a novelty that run out just as fast as the executions. The idea of arrows blotting out the sky loses its appeal after blocking arrows from dimwitted Arrow rejects. The shooting portions are focused on guarding against dull enemy waves.

Conclusion

Ryse: Son of Rome is a game that focuses more on being beautiful instead of unique. The flashy graphics are dulled by a not so fancy combat system with stiff animations and forced Quick-Time-Events. Geek Citadel gives Ryse: Son of Rome 3 stars out of 5. This title has phenomenal visuals as per usual of Crytek titles, but the average story and dull game play don’t do it any favors.