Very recently I found myself going through a backlog catalog of games I had wanted to get around to playing, but never had the motivation to do so. I had been in a bit of an odd mood to where I had found myself hopping around trying different games hoping something stuck. After finding myself going through a third playthrough of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided I decided I wanted to try something else, something different, something that I had very little knowledge of and wanted a fresh experience. Look on ye to Ryse: Son of Rome. Yes, Ryse: Son of Rome. This was a game I had very little knowledge in, I knew of it’s existence but not much outside of that except for it’s mediocre reception as well as being a game developed by Crytek as an Xbox One launch title in 2013. Being familiar with Crytek at the very least, a company who I feel is probably best known for developing Crysis. I was open to at least seeing what Ryse: Son of Rome had to offer.
First of all I’ll get the weakest point out of the way. The slow motion. I hate it, and thinking about it stirs up nothing but a nasty feeling in my spine. After every take down in the game you are greeted with a slow motion kill. Now, going through the first few chapters, this is fine. However. Eventually seeing the same enemies arms being chopped off, followed by a throat cutting, it will eventually start to wear you down to the point where you start asking to yourself words no one should ask, “Is there any other kill animation?” and “A decapitation sure would be mighty fine right about now.” I feel like playing through Ryse if I had a thousand kills 90% of them was that slow motion kill to the point where I can visualize the sliced bone in random enemies meaty arm’s. I do believe there was a way to unlock more slow motion kills but this is the one that had stood out to me because I had seen it so much.
Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll get to what was noteworthy, keeping in mind that I don’t think the game is anywhere near perfect I do feel it deserves a little more acknowledgement and at least some recognition. Being a huge fan of the 2000 movie, Gladiator. I found myself being reminded of the now 18 year old Russell Crowe film on multiple occasions while playing Ryse, from the obvious Roman attire, to the whole colosseum and the obvious Commodus fight in the arena. That being said story and voice acting alone were well enough to keep me engrossed the entire time to just to see what exactly was going to happen next. To me Ryse felt like it was designed after some people sat around watching Gladiator out of the blue and decided they wanted to make a game after it. This isn’t a bad thing, to me we haven’t had an abundance of games with ancient Roman inspiration in mind in a while, in fact thinking off the top of my head unless you can somehow throw God of War into that mix even with it being more mythology based, the ones that come to mind outside of Titan Quest are playstation 2 era titles like Shadow of Rome, Gladius, Rygar and maybe Maximo, maybe.. It’s not an overly flooded kinda market and with that, I do feel no one would be hurt for Ryse to get a square shot at a second title. Just remember, worse games have gotten sequels. Two Worlds happened.