dimsey's Ryse: Son of Rome (Day One Edition) (Xbox One) review

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More a visual showcase than game, but still quite fun regardless.

The Rad

  • Visually stunning.
  • Solid combat mechanics.

The Bad

  • More linear than you might hope.

So I got my Xbox One and Ryse was the first game I got going.
I can’t say it held as much interest to me as say, Dead Rising 3, but of all the launch games this is the one that people say LOOKS next-gen.
And boy does it.

The visual fidelity is just mind boggling, there are times you’d swear you were looking at prerendered cut scenes if it weren't for the fact you had control.

Does it play as good as it looks?

Almost. The game is very heavily combat driven and it derives inspiration from the Batman Arkham games, as a lot of action games do nowadays.

Of course your Roman solider doesn't come packing as much equipment as Batman so it’s much more simple than that. You can deflect and some enemies will require you to deflect, you can dodge and some enemies will require you to dodge and you can use a pushing attack and… You get the picture.

Successfully maiming enemies will also afford you the opportunity to perform executions, which there are a good variety of - including a bunch you can unlock. Performing executions has the added benefit of bestowing upon you bonuses of your choosing, such as extra XP or healing.

If you’ve begun to find this games brand of combat tedious and repetitive than you’ll probably wanna avoid this game. It doesn't really bring anything new to the table on that front, but I enjoyed the visceral nature of the games violence for the duration of it’s eight hour or so run time. And will probably enjoy it at least a little more when I dabble in the games multiplayer, which I’m not covering here but from what little I’ve played so far seems fine.

I suppose it’s worth noting that the game utilizes the kinect, though not to the extent it did originally, thankfully they pulled away from that. But there are still occasions where you’ll be able to order your troops to raise their shields to block incoming arrow fire or fire volleys of their own.

I don’t recall if these commands have assigned buttons, but the voice recognition worked just fine for these scenarios - never encountered a situation where it didn't understand me.

I think it’s fair to say Ryse is this generations Fight Night Round 3. The launch game you pull out to show people on account of how shiny and new it looks, in spite of how you feel about the gameplay.

Fortunately I had a fair bit more fun with this than I did with Fight Night back in the day. If you want something that looks nice and can still appreciate this brand of gameplay, there are worse titles you could pick for your new Xbox.

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