One of the more curious game’s to be shown at last year’s E3 was Ryse, Crytek’s mature-themed, sword-wielding Kinect adventure being published by Microsoft exclusively for the Xbox 360. It flashed by at Microsoft’s E3 press conference in a concept trailer depicting the sacking and burning of Rome, and displayed a player of the game using sword swipe, kick, and throwing gestures to attack an enemy soldier.
The trailer was a teaser in truest form. Two minutes of blood-soaked action that, to this day, the last day of E3 2012, stand as the only glimpse of where Crytek is looking to take the project formerly announced two years ago as “Codename Kingdoms.”
For those who still remember Ryse, its absence at this year’s show is enough to raise a few eyebrows and wonder what direction the game may have taken. Is it even still a core part of Microsoft and Crytek’s plans?
Phil Spencer, corporate VP of Microsoft Studios, was on hand at E3 and able to provide an update on the game to Joystiq. And although Ryse, ostensibly, was early along in production last year – the entire trailer was pre-rendered – it’s still not at the stage where Microsoft is ready to unveil it further:
“We’re just not at a point right now to show the game, and instead of … we’re still working with Crytek, we’re still extremely committed to the relationship, but we want to make sure that we’re putting our best foot forward every time we show the game.
“You’ll see more about that game, no doubt.”
Assuming nothing went critically wrong at Crytek, taking the appropriate amount of time to develop the game is entirely understandable (and commendable). But what does it mean for Kinect, the foundation of Ryse that appeared to be the only way to play it?
“Kinect will be part of the game, absolutely.”
And thus, the whole is anyone’s guess.
Ryse originally piqued the public’s curiosity because it promised a uniquely violent, hardcore, hands-on experience specifically tailored for Microsoft’s motion-sensing apparatus – something the Nintendo has attempted for the Wii with games like Red Steel, but never managed to draw in a large new demographic. The last year, however, has seen Kinect settle into a groove where, yes, it’s still the centerpiece for casual games like Kinect Star Wars, Rabbids: Alive and Kicking, and Kinect Sports 2, but triple-A titles like Mass Effect 3; Skyrim; and now, Splinter Cell Blacklist seem content using it as an accessory to core gameplay functionality.
Could Ryse be crossing over those two realms as we speak? Spencer isn’t dissuading the notion. Though don’t be surprised, either, if we next see it as a next-generation Xbox title utilizing the features of Kinetic 2. Rome wasn’t built in a day – even if burning it was a long weekend.
Ryse is still in development as an Xbox 360 exclusive.
Follow me on Twitter @Brian_Sipple.