Crytek’s Ryse: Son of Rome hasn’t had the easiest time since going public at Microsoft’s E3 2013 Press Conference. While the initial footage was certainly graphically impressive – expected from a next-gen Crytek game – there have been questions about the how the game would actually play. The debut footage seemed focus heavily on quicktime events, leaving critics fretting about potential restrictions on playerfreedom in the game.
Amidst the flurry of Gamescom, a new Ryse trailer showcased one the game’s multiplayer components, Gladiator Mode. While playing, players band together to take on hoards of enemies in a massive Colosseum arena. There is an emphasis on hack and slash combat against enemy AI, while also dealing with an ever changing environment and the hazards that come with. There’s also the crowds to contend with, so as well as trying to stay alive between the hoards of enemies and environmental hazards, players must ensure the crowd is enthralled throughout. Tough gig.
The combat from the co-op gameplay looks fairly dynamic and doesn’t appear to involve quicktime events, even if there is a large emphasis on ‘Executions’. Cryteak outlines how the execution system works, stating, “When an enemy has been nearly defeated, an Execution can be enabled to finish them off. These are made up of a series of timed blows using either the sword or the shield, with associated rewards that can be assigned to different perks.” There are several tiers of Executions to be unlocked including a variety of co-op Executions.
Trying to further dispel the aura of quicktime-centric gameplay, the focus of the newly announced info and features explained that combat is all about player timing of attacks and blocks. Well-timed blocks can deflect incoming blows and leave opponents open. It is perhaps not revolutionary from the description, but if implemented well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. A robust system, matched with the stunning graphics and Roman setting could be a winner.
Players will be able to customize their gladiators with different armor, weapons, shields and consumables for in-game gold earned in combat. There are even a few ranged weapons. Ryse will launch with 11 multiplayer maps, with an additional bonus map for purchases of the Day One edition of the game. The two maps revealed so far at Gamescom were ‘Courtyard’ and ‘Stronghold’.
- Courtyard is an open environment highlighting the dynamic nature of the Colosseum. With each wave new dangers are introduced to the Arena, from flaming pits, to deadly traps, to automated catapults.
- Stronghold shows off the ability to completely change the environment, re-creating a battle between Roman forces and the barbarian hordes in the distant pagan lands of Germania.
Players will also be able to setup custom arenas and challenges by mixing events with maps and creating their own playlists.
[Update: Ryse: Son of Rome features microstransactions – concerned that devs have an incentive to make content take longer to acquire?]
“The way that you get armour is very similar to how you get it in like Mass Effect or FIFA. You only earn gold while playing multiplayer [and] you use that gold to buy booster packs. Those booster packs contain random sets of loot. Based on the different tiers of loot that you get – whether you buy Bronze, Silver or Gold Packs – guarantees whether you get rare or common items.
“One of the things that we did a little different is that you can buy them with in-game currency and real world currency. The difference is that if you’re close we also have small microtransactions.
“Say for instance a gold pack costs 15,000 gold, [and] you’ve only got 12,500 you can actually buy the difference and only spend a little bit to make it go to a Gold Pack. So we offer some variety there.”
Read our E3 preview of Ryse: Son of Rome for more.
Ryse: Son of Rome will be available on the Xbox One at launch. Mark that down as some time in November.