Have we been naive enough to believe, in the space of an instant, that Ryse could become Xbox One's God of War? We'll tell you straight up, it won't be anything, besides the sexy veneer that Crytek's title hides itself under. Certainly, the spectacular panorama views are numerous (English cliff, Roman hills), filled with ultra-high polygon models and with decorations filled with details, all draped with beautiful textures dunked in a bath of next-gen shaders. But while we're talking about spectacular views, the extremely linear levels to the extreme don't offer any possibility of exploration (in terms of climbing or platforming segments like God of War) and instead strings together combat arenas (a street, a market, a beach, repeat). Combat finds itself the central -- even if we wouldn't say only -- mechanic of Ryse.
Let's talk about combat. Commanding of Roman General Marius Titus, who launches into a campaign against the barbarians after the murder of his family (in a totally ridiculous scene), the player will initially start out impressed by the scene that ends each combat scenario, which underlines the brutality of each strike in a classy slow-mo. You'll amuse yourself for a while with the limpid mechanics, alternating between sword attacks, parries, and dodges to stop or stall enemy attacks, as well as QTEs that are symbolized by the colours of the gamepad buttons, which need to be entered as fast as possible to multiply their benefits (you can choose between health, XP, slower power gauge, or bonus damage). A few tens of minutes later, the snoozing rhythm of the combat risks ruining the veneer: our session quickly turned into a repetitive and undifferentiated fight depending only on the type of enemy (small barbarian, big barbarian, end of level boss).
An hour and a half gave us enough time to beat almost half the chapters that make up the game, in other words we have little hope that our final verdict will sing a different song than this preview (at least without an end-game miracle or time spent in co-op).
At this time, we can only tell you this: Don't buy an Xbox One for Ryse, because the chance that the game won't disappoint is low.
(Should I buy it) Day One ?
Why: Because this title has a strong risk of just being a tech demo, its visuals hiding poorly an vulgar retelling of ancient Rome and a game design centered on an extremely repetitive combat system. You probably won't want to buy this ever, let alone day one.
Ahahahahahahahaha. Typical, Microsoft. Why not make a game with some single player substance for a change? We'll wait. We have been waiting the last... twelve years.