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Real Talk By: KJ
Formerly a Kinect only title, this Xbox exclusive has morphed into a 3rd person brawler. Since its shocking unveiling at E3, gamers have been anxiously waiting to play the new and improved Ryse. Developer Crytek has taken a lot of heat despite showing off some stellar visuals. Players were complaining about Quick Time Events appearing often in gameplay demonstrations. Would it detract from the experience? This was the main concern. From the start we were shocked that Son of Rome was a launch title in the first place. This looks like a major undertaking for any company. Were they able to get the job done? Is it more than just a tech demo?
You Control Marius Titus. Lead him in his quest for revenge. Control a Roman Army and bring order. The story is filled with great voice acting, and decent writing. Destroy the Barbarians that killed your family. Ryse is a linear game. plain and simple. Go from Point A to B with little exploration options. In rare occasions though, players can slip off the main path to find hidden collectibles. They include: Chronicles, Scrolls and Vistas. Using tablet devices you can see what each Easter Egg represents. Read passages from fallen soldiers, look at concept art. Users can do it by installing the Smartglass App. Windows 8 owners can do it too.
The journey from a visual standpoint, stays fresh. Each level bears no resemblance to the next. The CryEngine does wonders with this new hardware. Everything from a little mud puddle to the highest building is rendered in fine detail. Blood looks good. Slice/dice, and see the crimson pour. Armor looks realistic. It accurately shines given the situation. All NPC’s received the same treatment. Whether Marius is fighting in broad daylight or pitch black environments, it does not matter. Still, more traveling in these beautiful areas would have been nice. Let us soak in this bold new generation. Levels are narrow in scope, does the combat follow suit?
I posted an article focusing on the combat in Ryse. There were a few concerns with the game. Questions were asked, and they will be answered. Are the Controls pick up and play? Absolutely. It feels great pulling off moves, the trick is in the timing. All attacks have force behind them. Hold in X to lunge at enemies, or Y to break their guard with a shield strike. Simply jamming on the button will get you killed, especially if your playing on Centurion or Legendary difficulty. Time the A button and block/deflect attacks, or B to roll away. Some foes have unblock-able moves, this is where evading and proper parrying will come in handy. The fighting gets rather challenging in later missions. One of the final boss fights will put everything you’ve learned the test.
Points are racked up for landing executions. This is also where the negative press aimed their focus. Is this game QTE overkill? Yes and no. after beating the mess out of an enemy, a skull will light-up above their heads. Initiate the cutscene by hitting the Right trigger. Or continue to time your strikes till the barbarian is defeated. It’s up to the player. We asked if the sword combat would get stale. Eventually. While Marius can throw his pilum at foes, use crossbow turrets, the bulk of story mode is all-sword. It depends on who is behind the wheel to keep it fresh. Use points from playing to buy more executions. Surroundings will help. Near a cliff? Chain a combo and kick someone off it with authority. There are 100 executions in total, so make sure to unlock many early in the game. Also when the focus meter is full, players can stun enemies, slow down time, and unleash a barrage of pain. Get two guys weakened enough and Marius can lock both of them into special double executions. Movements all look incredibly realistic make the payoff satisfying. The Motion-captured performances are top flight.
Like the executions, Heath and focus upgrades can all be purchased with experience points. Similar to Forza 5, want more gold and XP, then pay real world cash. For a game that can be completed in 6-8 hours even on centurion difficulty, this feels incredibly unjust. Also villain variety is sparse. Since so much detail was taken into each character, it stands out more. You’re killing the same people a lot. Could they have changed the hair color on some guys at least?
Controlling your army was fun, but never fully realized. You cannot call for help unless the game prompts you. The Roman legions that periodically fight by your side, are of little use in battle. They will clash with the bandits, but never really killing them without your help. They’re more for background garnish. I did enjoy the parts where everyone moved together at the same time, using shields in unison, deflecting enemy arrows. More of these sequences would have made ryse’s campaign feel more than just a solo act.
In some multiplayer components, the visuals take a hit to accommodate everything. While Gladiator mode is only two player online, not a single sacrifice was made. We could see people having more fun in this than the campaign. Earn favor with the audience by performing executions. You can taunt to raise the crowd excitement meter (just like Capcom’s PS2 gem, Shadow of Rome). Playing stages solo is an option. Enemies of all skill levels come after you. Select a god to fight for. Each has special enhancements that benefit you and the other player. Health bonuses, XP, focus, ext. Nice map variety freshens things. Different objectives come up, like defending an object from attackers or killing messengers. Special items are in each. Wooden Spikes, Bear Traps, play the game right and you can really do some damage to others. Also exclusive to this mode, are double executions where both players kill a single barbarian at the same time. Go through the stages and see the arena change before your very eyes. Upgrading swords and armor takes quite a while. Those who refuse to pay for a boost, will work hours before getting nicer accessories. With just one main melee weapon, some will be unwilling to put in that much time.
Ryse: Son of Rome is a fun launch title while it lasts. Your treated to a visual spectacle that features jaw dropping stages, and realistic violence. Fun as the combat can be, a sword and shield can only take you so far. We can understand the repetitive nature of the gameplay will wear out some. Fans of the Dynasty Warriors series would be the best group to recommend it to. For everyone else, it’s a solid rental. Or you could wait for Ryse’s price to fall.
Ryse: Son of Rome Gets
Out of Five
+Grand Presentation (Graphics, voice acting, soundtrack)
-Too light on content for $60
-Barbarian clone army
-Silly Micro-transactions (this isn’t a FTP game!)
Real Talk By: KJ
It’s hard to not get excited about something that looks so cool. Ryse: Son of Rome has been a hot topic since E3 of this year. I’m still stunned that it’s coming launch day. The XBOne title looks so ambitious. The detailed levels, the sound, both seem to be stellar. We shouldn’t expect anything less from Crytek on that front. My concern is within the combat. Being heavily criticized of incorporating Quick time events in live battles, the company has a lot to prove. We have seen plenty of games feature premium visuals, and that’s only going to be more prevalent in the future. The one thing that brings us back to the fight is the gameplay. It has to be polished plain and simple. It looks as if Ryse will fight like Batman/Assassin’s Creed at times.
Notice the way lead character Marius Titus, shifts back and forth between enemies. We know that the game will reward you for timing parries properly, opening up enemies for your barrage. Maybe they were trying to show gamers that fighting will be more of a challenge than most games. I say this because there were plenty of botched moves where the player controlling titus missed with his sword strikes, or was hit on many occasions (as seen in the video above). I hope that is human error and not because of shoddy game design. Are the Controls pick up and play? Companies presenting their games, tend to make their lead characters look indestructible. After all, you have a brand to promote, so make it look good. Right?
Will heads roll?
There are 100 executions in the game. What stood out were the options within the QTE’s. Marius stabbed a man in the chest slow-mo style, he could follow it up with different options. QTE overkill? Depending on how the dieing enemy glows, the death move will change. If he glows Blue press the X button. If he glows yellow, it’s the Y button. There will be environmental executions as well. I look forward to sending perpetrators into various traps. Let’s hope that it remains fresh throughout the campaign, and in arena modes.
I have yet to see head decapitations. The speed in which he swings his sword at barbarian throats, heads need to roll. Marius is clearly seen chopping off legs and arms in other animations. Maybe they are saving it for the final build. Crytek is shooting for realism. Right? It doesn’t get any realer than that. Will the sword combat get stale? Visuals are only going to take us so far. With this character truly having only one main weapon, it leaves room for concern. We could play an Arkham City challenge mission now, no questions asked. Why? City’s combat had an amazing level of depth. There were other playable characters, each with completely different attack patterns. Hopefully these guys are keeping some major animations and other primary weapons under-wraps. Can the Son of Rome Rise on the 22nd. We want him to.
Reported By: KJ
Check out the Gladiator Coop mode in Ryse: Son of Rome, shown at this year’s Gamescom. Players must keep the crowd entertained. There are multiple ways you and a buddy can make this happen. I would hate to be the guy at the end of the clip. Just saying.
Are you getting Ryse: Son of Rome at launch?
@PlayLegit #Ryse #Gladiatormode
Ryse: Son of Rome will be here sooner than you think. Check out this awesome mo-cap video, and more details in this video straight from the source. This title is still a lock for Xbox One’s Launch.
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Check this Clip Featuring Prophet and his buddy engaging in battle.
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Real Talk By: KJ
After jumping into the Beta for Crysis 2 one thing is evident. This game looks freaking great. When you see it in action, it truly speaks for itself. Hopefully the Campaign will be on the same level visually. But visuals were never this franchises problem. It’s all about the gameplay at the end of the day that brings people back. Crytek’s Beta released Tuesday morning. The only map you receive, is a map Continue reading “Crysis 2 Multiplayer Preview”