Ryse: Son of Rome was one of the original launch titles for the Xbox One that featured glorious graphics, an exciting story and hack n' slash gameplay. I personally loved this title as I'm a huge fan of Roman history and had always wanted a game that emulated the society. Releasing in 2014 the game was developed by Crytek and published by Microsoft Studios as a first party title. The story follows Marius Titus as he becomes a leader within the Roman Legion, the story itself takes place in an alternate historical Rome but is authentic to the time. The main clash of the game is the Romans dealing with barbarians while keeping a tight focus on Marius' path and destiny.
The game had originally started production back in 2006 as a first person Kinect game which would have been quite something and eventually became the intense third person hack n' slash we know today. The Kinect controls also appeared once again and honestly it's a shame that more games don't use them. These were mostly for secondary controls within the game and it worked incredibly well with the controller. You could rally the troops, send commands for attacks and do other minor enhancements during gameplay without getting distracted by controlling clicking. Aside from being a launch title for Xbox One, it eventually released for Steam PC later on and it would actually be great to see this get a rebrand for the Xbox Play Anywhere program.
The story was actually great taking players through beautiful country sides while the Romans campaigned and then to Roman cities for massive theaters of war. It was quite something with this being a prime example of what a next generation console could do, at the time of course. The gameplay could be somewhat repetitive at times or exhausting, yet so rewarding with executions. The enemies could be slaughtered in a number of ways once a skull appeared over them and then a chain came into play. It was simple and locked to colored glows which worked well. I did really enjoy the story finding it to probably be the best take on the Romans I'll ever see in gaming, it would be great to see this become a series or continued.
There was also a multiplayer component which was meant for two players and fun. I would play hours with one of my friends at launch as it's just a gladiator ring. The arena constantly adjusts for random challenges or events across a multitude of sets. This was great though not long lasting for appeal since earning coin was a grind. This left me always with a plain looking gladiator, but still having a good time. Ryse: Son of Rome was a solid game and worth a visit if you had skipped it. Historically it's fantastic for those that love the era with a tale that was exciting.
Our Xbox Hub
Read our Ryse: Son of Rome Review