It may not have been an anticipated game from the start, but when Ryse: Son of Rome was unveiled at E3 2013, the flat-out staggering graphics awed crowds, proving that developer Crytek hadn’t lowered their standards one bit. But from the first look at gameplay, concerns arose over just how much control players would have over the cinematic action.
The latest batch of gameplay videos are designed to prove that Ryse is far more than a chain of QTE’s, and erase any doubts that it will be one of the best-looking games available for Xbox One at launch.
At this point, the gaming community seems to be of two minds about Ryse’s potential; the visuals aren’t in question, and the cinematic trailers promise a story befitting a gladiator epic. But the wealth of on-screen button prompts seen in most walkthrough videos led many to believe that the game was little more than one big cutscene.
Having played it ourselves, that’s certainly not the case. The developer video does a good job of showing how weaponry, timing, and even the player’s proximity to in-game locations and objects play a role in executing perfect attacks. With a better sense of what’s going on below the surface of the combat, feast your eyes on one of many gameplay videos below:
Besides proving how deadly the hero Marius Titus is with a shield and blade, the gameplay footage also gives a brief idea of how the player will be granted control over the legions under his command. The added facet of gameplay will likely be used for cinematic set-pieces, but their is a chance to bring a bit more diversity to each player’s approach or preferences.
The next gameplay video takes Marius from the city to the wilds, fighting barbarians on their own turf:
In case those videos imply that Marius will be ferocious enough to dispatch every enemy with ease, the next promises that success will rely on more than just timing.
Marius will be doing more than just slicing and dicing in his quest for vengeance – and we’re not just talking about the incredibly tantalizing multiplayer Coliseum modes. The next challenges the player to defend York from a barbarian invasion, accomplished by repelling soldiers, removing ladders, and avoiding bombardments and environmental hazards.
Besides promising a bit more strategy and tactical gameplay than a simple move-forward-slashing gameplay loop, the video shows that Marius will have an army of archers to call upon should they be needed. Hopefully more developer details will be released soon, but from what’s been shown, it seems gamers still don’t know just what experiences lie in store with Ryse.
The lasting question remains: how long can obliterating enemies be considered entertaining – or meaningful? That’s a question that will only be answered once we’ve gotten a chance to play more of the game, but if the variations shown in these videos is representative of the finished product, it could surprise. With stunning visuals, and a well-told story, next-gen fanatics could be swayed despite some apprehension. Only time will tell.
What do you make of these videos? Is Ryse shaping up to be a deeper experience than you may have first thought? Where does it sit on your list of anticipated next-gen titles? Sound off in the comments.
Ryse: Son of Rome releases on November 22, 2013 alongside the Xbox One.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.