RYSE: Son of Rome is one of the launch titles for the XBOX ONE. In this game you will be playing the part of a Roman soldier that rises through the ranks and ends up in a position to save the empire. This is a 3rd person hack and slash, combo reliant game that utilizes CryTek.
Graphically this game looks amazing. The animations are smooth the amount of detail in the world is amazing. The different locations you'll go to also show a ton of work done ot make it feel like you are truly stepping into the role. The one issue I had with the graphics because I'm sure they are to blame are the insane load times that this game took to get into the game if you were picking up where you left off the other day. I would have figured that load times would be almost non-existent, not worse that 80% of the 360 games that I played.
The music in the game kind of reminds me of Gladiator mixed with a tinge of Braveheart. The voice acting was well done, and definitely enhanced the experience of playing the game. Now of course I know that this is probably a given, or one would assume a given, but ALL dialogue was voiced and there was no need to read the sub-titles.
The controls on the game had their tight moments, and then there were other times where I felt that they were just slightly loose. You're going to be using the X, Y, A, B, shoulder buttons, and right trigger to truly get this game rolling. The X and Y are going to be your main attack options, one is for the shield the other is for the sword, and once you've scored enough hits you will be given the option of entering a final combo sequence. Which you will have to follow the color shown on the character for maximum damage.
This game definitely was fun, but it also showed what could potentially wreck gaming. There were micro-transactions put into place to allow those who are willing to spend more than the $59.99 for it to quickly level up the character, and remove that element of the game. Some might call it paying to win, and I would have to agree. I did not stoop to that level, I unlocked everything with lots and lots of combos, but I can see that this does present one hell of a slippery slope that most could fall for if they get frustrated with the game. There's also an Arena, multi-player portion to the game which some might like.
I have to say that I liked the story, though it is now a mechanic we have grown very accustom to its the peak into the present, and then tell the story of how you got there move. This definitely helps to fill in some of the story, and it gives you some motivation for what you are trying to do. Now of course there's all kinds of twists and turns in the game, and there's even characters that will be causing some of these twists. As bloody as this game was, I have to say that got the gore right, it wasn't over the top, but at the same time it showed what would happen if you cut someone in that fashion, especially during combo executions. Speaking of combat, there's also a focus attack that allows your character to basically slow down everything, or make him super focused and allows for you to button mash against enemies in that specific area. I have to say that that feature saved my bacon on more than one occasion.
My favorite feature of the game though has to do with the power-up mechanic. What I mean by that is that as the game progresses you're able to utilize your combos towards something beneficial to your character, and it can all be controlled from the d-pad, and be changed by a quick in game button press. You see you can gain health, focus, extra experience, or cause more damage as long as you keep the combos going. Of course if you take a hit or you don't attack for a certain amount of time the combo will stop, but it definitely defuses the need to micro-manage potions and whatnot and allows you to stay strictly in the battle aspects of the game. Sure there are some hidden goodies for those who want to seek them out, but you're not going to feel cheated if you just hack and slash your way to victory.
The final thing I will say about this game is that there is some Kinect-ability in the game, though it really is just for shouting out commands to your troops when you are in the heat of battle, and 9 out of 10 times it works perfectly. So I should probably give this game a score, and with that I will tell you that even with the LONG loading, and the pay to win piece in the game I still have to give it an 8.5 out of 10.