The launch of a next-gen console, while hailed as the arrival of exceptional new games boasting staggering graphics, can often turn out to be a case of exaggerated hype. The PS4’s launch line-up has shown that next-gen doesn’t automatically mean ‘flawless’ – but it can occasionally mean ‘surprising.’
Take, for instance, Ryse: Son of Rome. With the talents of Crytek behind its next-gen graphics, it remains one of the best looking launch title for the Xbox One. Its gameplay may not be for everyone, but as its launch trailer shows, players will have one game come launch day that looks poised to impress, in one way or another.
Don’t get us wrong: we’re not quite sure how Ryse will shake out once its released to the masses. While the gladiator combat wowed fans when first unveiled, much of Crytek’s time since then has been spent convincing players that the combat is far deeper than simple QTE’s. However, repetitive gameplay might just be forgivable if the story driving the game’s campaign – and the performances – are compelling (and pretty) enough along the way.
If convincing skeptics that Ryse was worth a look based on setting alone, the launch trailer is a success. Well-written, well-directed, and dripping with epic action and bloody combat, it seems to act as a strong reminder that underestimating a studio like Crytek isn’t always a wise decision. Especially where next-gen graphics are concerned.
Given that, now seems a fitting time to take a look at the various environments that players will be exploring in the role of Marius Titus, and the enemies that can be expected in each:
With Rome in the title, it went without saying that the city itself would be a major star. But the trailer shows just how much of the ancient city’s architecture, art and detail has been recreated. History buffs will no doubt appreciate the stroll through Rome’s glory days, but the presence of Emperor Nero (and his famous… eccentricities) promises that Ryse will be adhering to the theory that absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Of course, not every corner of Rome’s empire was as fortunate. While the city of York may have embodied Roman structure in the wilds of Britannia, the differences are clear:
The combat videos previously released showed that Marius would be charged with defending York from barbarian invaders, so the ‘unrefined’ tribes of the wilderness will clearly be playing a significant role throughout the campaign.
Unfortunately, that also means that Marius will need to venture out into barbarian lands, to do battle with ‘The Minotaur King’:
We’ve yet to see the Minotaur King in anything other than a few brief trailers, but we’re willing to bet that Marius will come out on top.
What do you think of the trailer? Are you intrigued by the story and cinematic treatment of the game, or is it the gameplay itself that will determine whether you play or not? Share your thoughts in the comments.
Ryse: Son of Rome releases on November 22, 2013 alongside the Xbox One.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.