Ryse: Son of Rome‘s unveiling at E3 this summer was met with mixed reception. It looked pretty, but critics who got hands on with it shared concerns about the game’s combat and structure. Ryse has since received a lot of grief in forums and comment sections from gamers about appearing too linear and reliant on quick-time events.
Crytek is no stranger to graphical excellence and have built their reputation on some of the prettiest games of the time. From the first Ryse reveal, the title presented gameplay graphics that are often only associated with pre-rendered cut scenes and cinematic trailers. No one was doubting that Ryse would at least look pretty, but with its unusually late review embargo is up, how has the internet judged the Roman hack and slash?
We take a look at some of the outlets who have reviewed and scored the game to find out if it is all show or if its gameplay can match its graphical prowess to make it a worthwhile purchase for early Xbox One adopters.
Polygon (Phillip Kollar)
It’s a gorgeous, dark and bloody tableau. But all that visual beauty and dramatic gravitas goes to waste with an aimless plot and a monotonous combat system. Ryse has all the guts of next-gen – often quite literally – but none of the glory.
Game Informer (Andrew Reiner)
When I show my friends what Xbox One is capable of graphically, I’m going to pop in Ryse. The visuals are breathtaking, but the gameplay flips on a dime between being legitimately fun and downright bad. There is no middle ground. It’s very much the extreme of both.
Games Radar (Hollander Cooper)
Ryse: Son of Rome is the definitive Xbox One launch title–for better or worse. It’s an incredibly pretty game with some impressive ideas, and it’s going to surprise you with its engaging story and weighty combat. The short campaign and repetitive battles hold it back from greatness, but it’s a journey through Rome absolutely worth experiencing, if just to see exactly what the console is capable of.
Games Beat (Dean Takahashi)
When I finished playing this game, I felt like I wanted more. That’s the mark of a good game. I also felt like I had played something fresh. If there were 20 games about Rome, this one might not stand out as the most outstanding. But it’s good, and there aren’t enough tales with a historical background that wind up being big budget video games. I’m glad that Crytek stayed the course on its seven-year journey and finally finished Ryse.
You will be, too.
EGM (Marc Cameron)
For those who enjoy a simple hack-n-slash game, Ryse: Son of Rome fits the bill. This is no deep adventure, but rather a chance to burn your aggression by chopping your way through hundreds of barbarians, slowing only to enjoy the carnage during the brutal executions. Still, the stunning visuals and compelling setting will keep some gamers engaged throughout, making Ryse a flawed-but-interesting addition to the Xbox One launch lineup.
Joystiq (Xav de Matos)
Ryse: Son of Rome falls into the trap of your typical launch game: it does well to show off the power of the system, but it’s slim on substance. Production value aside, Ryse is short, easy and lacks the punch of other action games. For all of it’s pomp and flash, Ryse: Son of Rome is a shallow bore.
IGN (Brian Albert)
Ryse has an entertaining story and sky-high production values. The gameplay that’s there isn’t bad — it just stops in its tracks before it gets anywhere near close to demanding. The multiplayer mode has some neat ideas, like a deadly, shifting Colosseum, but it’s hamstrung by the same combat issues that affect the main campaign. But if spectacle is what you want, Ryse: Son of Rome will keep you entertained.
Destructoid (Chris Carter)
In fact, the promising arena mode is the only saving grace of Ryse. The campaign may as well not even be there, and having to fight the same handful of enemies over and over on top of a trite, stereotypical narrative is not an example of a good time. Ryse looks great and has a lot of great ideas, but it falls flat in nearly every respect in regards to its core story. If you’re a hardcore action fan you may get some satisfaction on the highest difficulty setting, but even then I’d wait for an equally hardcore price drop.
Game Spot (Mark Walton)
Ryse is all sizzle and no steak, a stunning visage paired with a vapid personality. Everything from the leveling system that’s so painfully easy to complete (and so devoid of any impact on the game that it might as well not be there), to the story that does little to flesh out its lead characters beyond puerile notions of revenge is a testament to how little Ryse can back up its gorgeous visuals with anything more than a shallow set of fisticuffs.
Eurogamer (Oli Welsh)
There’s no brains, no muscle, no fibre beneath Ryse’s extravagantly engineered good looks – this game rings loud but hollow. Crytek likes to contrast Marius’ moral strength with the vanity and cruelty of Nero and his made-up sons, but Ryse feels like a product of their dying empire. It’s just empty decadence.
Xbox 360 Achievments (Lee Bradley)
Ryse: Son of Rome then, is a very easy recommendation. With satisfying combat, breathtaking visuals, a decent campaign and a surprisingly entertaining multiplayer mode, it may not break new ground in terms of gameplay, and it offers little in the way of variety, but what it does, it does well. Alongside Dead Rising 3, it deserves a place in your fledgling Xbox One game collection.
What do you make of the Ryse‘s disappointing reception? Is it a game you want to pick up on your new Xbox One? Why do you think the game has divided reviewers from great to terrible? Which side of the fence do you think you are going to end up on?