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Review

Ryse: Son of Rome Review

  • First Released
  • Reviewed:
  • XONE

You are not entertained.

Ryse: Son of Rome is huge in scale, but small in scope. For all the stunning spectacle it throws at you--the sight of a hundred-strong army laying bloody waste to a barbarian horde, the march of a legion as hulking great fireballs rain down from the sky--your part in it all is that of an outlier, a lone wolf single-handedly trying to save a crumbling empire. What you're left with, then, are the scraps: small melee battles against a procession of mindless opponents who you slaughter in painfully shallow third-person combat.

What initially seems like an impressive system based on precision and timing, largely thanks to some nice visual cues and elegant slow-motion animations, quickly becomes an exercise in mind-numbing tedium--and with just a sword and a shield attack on offer, it's hardly surprising. Sure, there are blocks, dodges, and counters to help things along, but when you're faced with opponents whose repetitive moves you'll have seen in their entirety after the first hour of the game, it's not long before you've experienced everything the combat system has to offer and figured out a sequence to repeat ad nauseam.

Even the gruesome stabs and bloody dismemberments of hero Marius' quick-time finishing moves do little to ease the banality of it all. Blood is spilled with such ferocious regularity in Ryse that what was once shocking and impressive is soon reduced to just another repetitive sight to endure. Killing enemies is less and less satisfying every time you lop off another limb, and for a game that's all about the combat, that's a really big problem. It's not as if you can avoid the bloody finishing moves either, with bonuses such as health regeneration and experience boosts tied to the attacks.

And so battles quickly blur into one another as you're endlessly marched from one small group of opponents to another, spilling litres of barbarian blood along the way. The odd turret defense mission and sections where you march a small legion towards a tower--raising shields to avoid a flurry of fiery arrows along the way--do their best to mix things up, but these moments are short-lived and so painfully easy that you feel like you might as well not be in control of the game at all. Even the moments when it seems like the game is drawing you into the larger fight offer only the illusion of control. You can bark orders at the Kinect to unleash a flurry of arrows, or choose where you want to station your archers while you fight, but all you have to do is play such battles a few times to discover that your choices have little bearing on the battle at large.

Ryse is all sizzle and no steak, a stunning visage paired with a vapid personality.

It's a good thing that stream is there, because Marius will need a bath after this battle.

That you're funneled into these battles along tightly controlled paths without any sense of exploration hammers home the fact that Ryse is a graphical show pony for the Xbox One, rather than a fully fleshed-out experience. Incredibly detailed cities and huge, beautiful vistas with impressive draw distances lure you into thinking that this is a living, breathing world, but as soon as you try to venture off the beaten path to explore it, you're sent crashing back to reality. Sure, many games put up invisible walls in an effort to keep the narrative and action flowing, but Son of Rome does little to disguise its limitations. You can climb up a huge towering wall one moment, only to have the savior of the Roman Empire stopped dead in his tracks seconds later by a small plank of wood. It's simply maddening.

With brain-dead combat playing such a large role in Ryse, it falls to the story to keep you ploughing through the battles. The trouble is that the hackneyed tale of murder and revenge is so full of cliches and iffy dialogue that it's hard to take it seriously. That I actually laughed out loud when Marius was asked to "put on this hat" to take his place as a centurion speaks volumes about the script here. Things pick up a little later in the game, particularly when you meet the wonderfully acted and thoroughly despicable sons of Emperor Nero, but for the most part, the story--like the combat--serves to showcase impressive visual touches such as the eerily good facial animation, rather than flesh out the game.

The online arena co-op mode mirrors the campaign's problems. The impressive-looking Colosseum is filled with spikes and obstacles, and it's there that you perform mindless missions like knocking over a cauldron to burn a catapult, or--in a wonder of originality--knocking over a cauldron to burn a pit of barbarians. It doesn't help that you're stuck using the same monotonous combat system as in the single-player game to fight off the waves of barbarians hurled at you, the only tweak being that you must choose a single bonus power such as health regeneration or strength boosts, rather than have access to them all. It's a mode you'll play once, and then never touch again.

Ryse 2 will be a buddy comedy.

Ryse is all sizzle and no steak, a stunning visage paired with a vapid personality. Everything from the leveling system that's so painfully easy to complete (and so devoid of any impact on the game that it might as well not be there), to the story that does little to flesh out its lead characters beyond puerile notions of revenge is a testament to how little Ryse can back up its gorgeous visuals with anything more than a shallow set of fisticuffs.

The Good
Wonderful visuals
Some fantastic vocal performances
The Bad
Combat is shallow and repetitive
Lays the gore on so thick that a severed limb quickly becomes yawn-worthy
Often laughable script
Bland multiplayer modes
Tightly controlled paths stop you from exploring the beautiful scenery
4
Poor
About GameSpot's Reviews
Other Platform Reviews for Ryse: Son of Rome

About the Author

Mark loves a good action game, having reviewed the likes of DmC: Devil May Cry and God of War: Ascension. He somehow willed himself to play Ryse through to completion, and spent an evening hammering through some multiplayer on Xbox Live.

Discussion

5193 comments
aretilda
aretilda

These are the most photorealistic graphics I've ever seen! I had to do a double take because at first I thought it was real life LOL! The game does look fun though.

poposki86
poposki86

omg i dont understand why so low score, game is very good , reviewer go play minecraft 


elessarGObonzo
elessarGObonzo

same problem with Shadow of Mordor. combat gets so old and only a few more moves are added to the melee through your progression.

jjleshko90
jjleshko90

why would they have a n00b review this game? where's carebear kevin when you need him? i would have even taken an eddy review!

obiken
obiken

I was shocked at this review, then and still. I own a PS4 but I thought this game looked like a sure hit. After this and Destiny I guess there Is no such thing.

DB2538
DB2538

I am not sure about the score, but everything he said is true. I don't think there is an arguement about the review.

Just ignore the score, 2 or 3 more points for a 4game doesn't make much of a difference!

Gaz134
Gaz134

This game deserves much more than 4/10. Yes it's shallow, but it's a lot of fun, something a game should be. 7 is much more accurate IMO.

hitomo
hitomo

best graphics ever + decent game = 8.9

downcore
downcore

Conan was much better of this

worryingrash
worryingrash

I think a lot of people who've actually bought and played this game find it really fun. It's definitely not an 8 or 9 out of 10 - but I think 6.5 - 7.5 is probably a fair review range. It looks beautiful and the action is simple but fun - it's the kind of game you'll stick on if you've got an hour or two to kill, or if some buddies come round and you want to show off the system's gorgeous graphical capability a bit. Not brilliant - and not worth full-price, but not as terrible as 4/10 and well worth buying second-hand or if Xbox Live do a good discount on it. 

heznave
heznave

Ok so I held off playing this game because of reviews but recently got it through gamefly and... It was really fun! It's a great rent, not sure if I'd pay more than $19.99 for it because of the fairly short story and lack of online community (as of today, April 12th, I cannot find a coop match online). If you were intrigued by this game but stayed away like me, I highly suggest playing through it.

oflow
oflow

Not that great of a review.  I felt the game was comparable to Uncharted. Same type of gameplay, game was fun to me.  Its not a masterpiece but its at least a 7.5.

Almost didnt buy ti because of this review but I'm glad I did was worth playing thru.

NTM23
NTM23

While these aren't the only problems, if it had been less linear and had more gameplay variety, it to me could have been superb, but as it was, I actually enjoyed it.

Zenwork21
Zenwork21

Not the greatest game ever, however I think the it deserves more than 4, I do enjoy it so I would give it at least 7

Regards


nebu10us
nebu10us

I almost didn't buy this game because of the review, but decided to buy it anyway and try it for myself. A 4, seriously? I loved this game! I don't see why it should have points taken away for not having an open world - not every game does, nor should it. Repetitive? Has this reviewer not played Assassin's Creed or call of duty? How do they get 8's and 9's and this game a 4? Also, no mention of the collectibles in the game, did the reviewer not explore and get those?

The visuals are AMAZING and script/voice acting great, I beat it today and want to play it again on a harder mode. Everyone I know who has played it has liked the game.

I'm not saying it's a 10 game, because it's not. It is a little repetitive, but the boss fights are each a little different, you have to use strategy to defeat them. I'd give this game a 7, worth the money and lots of fun but it's not epic. I could even settle for a 6.5, but a 4 is unjust.

I'm so disappointed in the quality of this review. It's one of many reviews that just haven't been accurate on this site lately. Some have been rated to high, others too low. I'm not sure if this particular reviewer was paid off by Sony, just doesn't like Xbox, or just doesn't like this genre, but his review sucks. Read the comments here and you'll get a better review than this idiot wrote. Sadly, I feel it's time to move on from gamespot; GS reviews are terrible and this one is the straw that breaks the camels back.

empiresdownfall
empiresdownfall

Eh, I like the game. It's not perfect by a long shot, but Im having a pretty decent time with it. 

waynesc242
waynesc242

Some people just expect too much! Ryse is a good game and the story line and combat system keeps you busy and entertained!

Kryptonbornson
Kryptonbornson

Just rented this game. I thought the graphics were full motion video until I saw a button prompt. Maybe the best looking game yet. Only thinking of Battlefield 4 Ultra outside of combat, can I think of any games that I'd say look just as good. It's scary what this weak console hardware is capable of.

Assimilat0r
Assimilat0r

Diablo 3 got  8 , this game got 4, i must switch to IGN. GS became pile of crap.

bilal2005
bilal2005

@mark walton.... read please the comments and edit your article...

bilal2005
bilal2005

Very nice game and entertaining.... My rate is 8.5/10

harithhammoshi
harithhammoshi

What hell Really 4rate from 10 ?! i will give at least 8.5 to 9 \ 10 !!!! -_-

inscript
inscript

i'd bet if there was a review pole here that 4 rating would change

inscript
inscript

Mark Walton Your gaming reviews are off on a few pages, a 7/8 would of been a little better. how could you judge this game with a rating of a 4 this game is actually one of my top 3 of next gen games. If for some reason Ryse is a tittle you don't have interest in then you should of let others handle this matter cause right now your reviews are suspect judging from the comments below

LtReviews
LtReviews

Combat in this game is so shallow its literally intellectually insulting.


Can't say I didn't have some good moments playing through it, but it was mostly just brainless button mashing that looked really cool.

grey_fox1984
grey_fox1984

I'm actually having a lot more fun with this than with Dead Rising 3 - Ryse actually feels like a next-gen experience and the combat feels really great. It's sort of like the Batman games, but with a much weightier feel. The setting and the story are really good too; despite the cliches Mark talks about in his review, it's presented well enough that I was along for the ride until the very end. It could use a bit more variety in its weapons (with a sword/shield combo being the only option, aside from the odd crossbow turret or spear to throw), but I think this is a good launch game that provides a lot of thrills, some great voice/mocap performances and plenty of eye-candy to show off your Xbox One. It's not a game of the year contender by any stretch, but if you were waiting for a good console Rome game and don't mind a short and sweet, linear hack and slash, Ryse won't disappoint. It would be hard to call it "great", but it's definitely better than "poor". I think "decent" is a fair thing to call it and it deserves a 6.5 or maybe even a soft 7.0. 

jayjay444
jayjay444

Half decent story but nothing special also the game looks like its a hack and slash kind of game but it isn't, there's different tactics for most of the enemy in the game you also need to time counter attacks perfectly. MP is okay for a short amount of time, there's also collectibles in the campaign and the graphics are easily the best on the Xone I can't wait to see what they can do 4-5 years from now, in my personal opinion this is a solid 6/10 maybe a 6.5, the game is good if you like these types of games but if your thinking of getting a Xone I would get Dead Rising 3 or Forza those are the 2 best games on it at the moment. 

BillKam
BillKam

This is a really enjoyable game, when i read the review i knew that most of the comments would disagree with the score ,i wont write anything more because i m so tired with reviewers (?) or whatever some people call themselves ..i m not saying its a masterpiece...but 4??? go home Gamespot you re drunk!

VakarianGirl
VakarianGirl

I just completed Ryse last night.  It was my first next-gen game on my new XBox One.  It wouldn't have been - but due to a defective disc drive Advance Exchange deal with MS, I chose to pick Ryse as my free consolation game as we already had been given Forza 5 by a relative.


I have to say, this review to me does not do the game ANY justice.  This game is a straight-forward hack-and-slash, yes - but it has aspects that set it far and above a lot of other games.  It gives the player a great insight (albeit a bit fantastical) into life in the Roman empire, and what Rome was like in its heyday.  It's graphics are absolutely nothing short of STUNNING, and that is coming from someone who is VERY critical of graphics.  And - perhaps most importantly for me - is the voice acting.  There was not one weak voice actor in this game.  I don't know who they got to voice Marius (the player character), but he was SPECTACULAR.  He had presence, nuance, emotion and sensibility.  What an awesome job by this guy!!


My personal score would be 8/10.  Oh - and the multiplayer is pretty awesome, because they took out PvP because it "wasn't fun".  So - now we're just left with the great fun multiplayer co-op in the Colosseum - what a great format!!  I am really enjoying another multiplayer where I can work WITH other players, and not against them!!

FAIL_TR0LL
FAIL_TR0LL

The critics really fumbled the ball on this one. Everything was so overwhelmingly negative about this game, but first hand accounts from average gamers is very positive. People are enjoying it. I bought it today based on the recommendation from the CAGcast folks and think it's pretty darn good. Not a masterpiece, but a solid 7

Gerrelli
Gerrelli

Wow, 4 is tough, I had to decide within 10 minutes as to if I should buy a Xbox One or a PS4, due to the dwindling availability of the PS4. I chose the Xbox One based on the fact it had some games I don't already have on the PC (BF4) so I got the Xbox One for this game (and obviously Titan Fall) and I have to say I don't regret it at all. I rarely play single player games, PC gamers typically play pure MP, but I've really enjoyed the Roman Campaign, the graphics are immersive and realistic and it looks great on a 52" LCD HD TV. I didn't notice many bugs.

Pondelicious
Pondelicious

I'm usually one who thinks people shouldn't bash reviewers for scores they think are bad. But this is just plain ridiculous. Sure, the game is not worthy of a 9/10. But i think at the very least a 6/10. The combat may be repetitive and their may be invisible walls etc. But to give the game 4/10? A score like that suggests to me that the game is broken or buggy and is just simply not enjoyable. Since I picked it up, I have had a blast and I just can't comprehend how Mark hated this game so much

Shahnil
Shahnil

Probably one of the worst and unfair reviews on Gamespot in recent memory. Not a 9 or a 8 but man not a 4 that's just ridiculous.

punisher1001
punisher1001

Could not disagree more. I picked up Ryse despite the negative review given by Walton. I think the review was pretty harsh and unfair.  The game was fun and parts of it were challenging. The story wasn't a masterpiece but nothing to merit a four out of ten.  A score this low is given to a broken game and this clearly not the case. 

TEFUKAM
TEFUKAM

@Gaz134

You must understand that reviewer is a girl and don t like that kind of games.

disneyskate
disneyskate

Too shallow to be a 7. Whether you enjoyed it or not, the content and it's quality isn't worthy of a 7.

serchenko9
serchenko9

@nebu10us  I'm surprised with the score of the review, the game is fun, addictive and challenging. 
I can't believe that someone who has completed the game gave a score of 4 because there is no exploration (who cares? I have come to save Rome not to take walks in the woods) or combat is repetitive (sorry? did you try to improve Marius with the blocked finishing moves?).

I bought the game in digital version for 30$ and it's more than worth.

Reading reviews like this I think the gaming press is definitely sic or near death for me..

disneyskate
disneyskate

So I shouldn't expect too much for THE F***ING LAUNCH TITLE OF A NEXT GENERATION SYSTEM? Yeah, sureee. The game that's supposed to show us how advanced the new systems are should NOT be this shallow, and we should NOT tolerate it.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@bilal2005  Why the hell would he do that and make a mockery of what the whole point of a review is in the process? A review is a well structured opinion. If you really want to turn it around make your own review.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@inscript  What the hell is it with you people and not knowing what a review is?

A review isn't one person trying to incorporate every single person's opinion on the planet into one neat little bow. It is a well structured OPINION. His opinion to be specific.

They chose him to do the review, and he gave his opinion of it. There are plenty more reviews on the internet for you to go look at. You can choose to only read the ones that are good if you want to justify your own feelings towards the game if you really want to.

oflow
oflow

@grey_fox1984  I agree with this review.  I'd give it an average rating as far as gameplay but it is next gen visually and the story and gameplay were as good as say Uncharted 2.  

I could tell they wanted to do a lot more with this game, with the way the arena level works, they really wanted to make this a hard core mp game but had to launch it.  

Could use a few more moves and more in depth combat. If it had the weapon choices and the moves of Spartacus: Legends, I would play this all the time.

It was more so just showing more of the CryEngine.  

They should do licensed DLC for this game with say Game of Thrones or Spartacus. 
I'd buy it.

Shahnil
Shahnil

@Pondelicious Gamespot keeps losing credibility for me with their reviews. Just way to inconsistent and I feel like no streamline thinking process exist so you get trolls like this one. The site was just my first for gaming outside of gamefaqs and since 98 I always had a tingly feeling for it.


Your right about 4/10 should be given to buggy games and in fact this is how it use to be done years back until trolls started taking over. The only guy I listen to here is Kevin, everyone else I just use to get a general feel of the game.

Trinitarian
Trinitarian

We'll then that explains it. Seems gamespots reviewers didn't even like the sex God gave them and thought they needed to correct his mistake. Boys want to be girls and girls want to be boys and good games are bad and bad games are good. Gamespots reviews are to be taken as serious as a cop chase in gta v

Carrig90
Carrig90

@Dannystaples14 @inscript   You are doing the same with inscript's opinion, why you criticize his point of view while he is saying a BIG true ?  What's your problem with people's opinion as we have the right to say what we think ? So listen because you don't own the truth man. This review has no point and everyone knows it. This game is not a 4 score game just because it's one of the best games that have been developed this year, and I think you are insulting developers with your pointless reviews and underestimating a great and hard job. So the story plot and combat technics make it a nice game that deserves a better punctuation and I think that a review has to be imparcial , the author's opinion has nothing to do when you are writing a review as a professional. If you don't like combat games like this, where you will be fighting again and again that's your problem, but there's a lot of people that enjoy playing war games, or shooter games, that have always the same combat mechanics. Is that a negative point to get a 4 score? So unprofessional, to be honest this review is disappointing and insulting for gaming industry

StinkB
StinkB

@Trinitarian It's a pity you can't swap the brain your God gave you for one that works.

Dannystaples14
Dannystaples14

@Carrig90 @inscript  I believe in credit where credit is due and discredit where it is needed.

The problem comes in when you take into account that all reviews are opinion. If I don't like a game for x, y and z reasons, it would be my job as a professional reviewer and games journalist to call them out on those issues. That is how progress is made.

If a developer works his ass off to get a game out and it still sucks then it is probably time they found a new profession is it not? Why keep around such people who are a detriment to the industry.

Imagine if everyone gave Ryse 10/10 for every review because the developers did work really very hard bless them. We'd probably end up in COD syndrome where everyone tried to copy the game and then we'd end up with what is essentially a mediocre game for the majority of people, for the next two or so years.

Many people said it was better than they thought not many people say it is the up with the best games.

That is WHY we have ratings. The best get the high scores, the less able get lower scores.

The point is Mark thought it was a poor game and gave some reasonable reasons for it. How does that in any way reflect on your own opinion of the game? Why does the average score it gets online mean anything to you?

If everyone on the planet but you hates something, why would they all make stellar reviews about it?

Ryse: Son of Rome More Info

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  • First Released
    • PC
    • Xbox One
    Ryse is a gritty, visceral action game that draws gamers into the epic times of the Roman Empire.
    6.9
    Average User RatingOut of 333 User Ratings
    Please Sign In to rate Ryse: Son of Rome
    Developed by:
    Crytek
    Published by:
    Deep Silver, Crytek, Microsoft Game Studios
    Genres:
    Action, Adventure, 3D
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    All Platforms
    Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language