RYSE: Son Of Rome Review
So I completed this the other day and wanted to add some more thoughtful comments to the excited gasps I posted when I started playing.
Now, I appreciate that there have been a lot of reviews of this game that have been rather critical, and I will be touching on some of the points made, but I wanted to focus on what I really enjoyed about the game.
The story is one of the strongest things about this game. It is not the most original, but the telling of it and voice acting are superb.
Essentially, you follow Marius, a Roman soldier, as he defends Emperor Nero from a Barbarian rebellion and tells him of his adventures that led up to him being by the Emperor’s side. Playing through the memories and adventures, as Marius rises through the ranks, both in Rome, across Britannia and even across the Colosseum.
There are introductions and reflections that follow stone carvings before each chapter that ooze with quasi-historical ad mythological beauty, as well as lengthy cutscenes in which we see the characters play out in their beautifully rendered glory.
The animated and voice acting are glorious to behold and really give the feeling of being sucked into and playing through a show like Rome or Spartacus. I could seriously watch an animated series of this game or other adventures exactly as it was in the game, it’s that good.
The basic controls are very simple: a button for block/ deflect, one for heavy, one for light attacks and one for dodging, though the timing and perfecting of these moves does take a little time. There are also the executions that are myriad and brutally exquisite, which are activated by pressing the highlighted colour, and here is where the timing and practicing really come in because it is so easy to press the wrong button and hear the disappointed sound that means you failed (though the execution still takes place).
There is the ability to call in archers and catapults by shouting at your Kinect, which does make you feel rather epic when you call, “fire volley!” and a focus ability that stuns enemies so you can slice and dice merrily.
Slicing and dicing merrily is what this game is all about and in that it is great, as well as having a wonderful backdrop and story. This is a hack and slasher much like Dante’s Inferno in the previous respects.
It is really in the customisation and other abilities side of things where Dante’s Inferno outdoes its nextgen cousin, but the story and style mostly make up for that.
There is some customisation in the multiplayer in which you play alone or with someone online (but not split screen on the same console which is a DAMN SHAME!) through challenges in the Colosseum, earning coins and buying packs with weapons and items, much like Mass Effect 3 online, But a few different weapons or upgrades, other than the life, focus, damage and XP, in the main game would have taken this game one step further.
Another place where this game falls down is the lack of diversity in the enemies, of which there are a handful or so, including some of the bosses, which turn up as elites later on, as if this was Streets of Rage. There’s stabby, shieldy, axey, stabby stab stab, stabby stab stab & flourish, as well as a a couple of varyingly sized and attack numbered thumpers, and the odd unique-ish boss.
If you want some captivating hack and slashing with good looks and great story that plays out then this is for you, so ignore the negative points and and go and have some fun.
If you aren’t sure if this is your thing and you want to spend the huge sums of money that nextgen games cost on something you will play forever and will take years to get bored of then maybe wait until it’s a bit cheaper and then have some fun.
Either way and despite the criticism this game has had, it is extremely fun and a wonderful escape, which is exactly what it was made to be.
Feels like a 10 when you start playing, which does drop a bit over time, but all in all I give it a good 8.5/10
- Darth Sebious