Five Tips for Becoming a Legend in Ryse: Son of Rome

It takes guts.

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Now Playing: Ryse - 5 Tips to Make You Legendary


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My goal: become a Roman legend. My method: perform rhythmic sword acrobatics on Ryse: Son of Rome's Legendary difficulty level. Completing Ryse on Hard was not much of a test, but Legendary posed enough challenge that I had to change how I approached certain sequences. And so I bring you my five tips on how to keep barbarians at bay on your way to true glory.

Tip 1: Wait and Watch

On Legendary difficulty, the big, roaring brutes aren't your primary problem. Instead, the trickiest standard enemies are the axe-wielding barbarians you've already faced dozens upon dozens of times already. Their danger lies in how they perform one of two attacks; one of them is a straightforward lunge, while the other has the attacker leaping into the air and performing a downward slash. It's that second attack that's so tricky, because you can easily block too early in anticipation of the former kind of attack, only to discover that your enemy is performing the other. In that circumstance, you leave yourself open to attack by being too quick to block. Lanky axe-wielders are the guys to keep your eye on, and you should take them down first before worrying too much about the big hulking guys. Wait to counter their attacks until you know which one they will perform, and keep in mind that countering the leaping move will stun you for a very brief moment.

If you block too early and a barbarian performs a leap attack, try a last-minute slash or roll. You may just save your own skin!
If you block too early and a barbarian performs a leap attack, try a last-minute slash or roll. You may just save your own skin!

Tip 2: Manage Your Focus and Health

Chances are you don't need experience gain by the time you play on Legendary, and I'd argue that crowd control is more important than damage in this mode. This means you should switch between two perks: focus gain and health gain. When your health bar is full, set your perk to focus gain. Being able to enter focus mode is incredibly handy when you're in a tight spot, so you'll be thankful for every drop you can muster. When your health bar starts dropping, however, switch to health gain. This way, you won't be gaining health when you don't need it, and you'll have focus when the crowd becomes too hot to handle.

Tip 3: Control The Space

Don't worry about how Marius rolls so easily in his heavy armor. Just do it!
Don't worry about how Marius rolls so easily in his heavy armor. Just do it!

You probably noticed on other difficulties that Ryse's camera doesn't always frame the action perfectly, sometimes allowing an attacker to slash into your flesh without giving you proper time to react. Even on Hard difficulty, however, taking a bit of damage isn't a big deal. On Legendary, you need to avoid as much damage as you can, so it's really important to give yourself space so that the camera can frame the action properly. Don't let yourself get cornered, and don't be afraid to roll into a better position. This is especially helpful in chapter 3 when you enter the tower to disengage the chain locks. Roll into an ideal position whenever you need to, and avoid getting surrounded. It'll also help here if you heed…

Tip 4: Thin Them Out With Pila

The controls for quickly throwing pila are finicky, but quickthrows can help thin the herd. Try quickthrows in spacious arenas where you know you have enough time to toss a spear. Pila are also at the center of Ryse's most frustrating sequence on Legendary: taking down the archers in chapter 3. Before you throw your controller at the TV, try this: drop down as soon as the cutscene ends and stand over the pile of pila. Take down the archers on the right with fully charged throws, and deal with the rest with quickthrows, or with slightly charged tosses. Focus on the archers in the foreground, and don't waste pila on archers taking cover or standing behind obstacles. Also, exercise care when trying to pick up pila: Marius will sometimes just stupidly bang his shield when you reach for a spear, even when the grab prompt is visible. It might take you a few tries, but some quick pila throws should allow you to make your way through Ryse's most annoying confrontation.

This is Ryse's most frustrating sequence. Don't bother fully charging your tosses; your troops will fall in no time flat.
This is Ryse's most frustrating sequence. Don't bother fully charging your tosses; your troops will fall in no time flat.
You're too busy hacking of limbs to worry about holding down a bumper. Use Kinect. No, really!
You're too busy hacking of limbs to worry about holding down a bumper. Use Kinect. No, really!

Tip 5: Shout Out Your Will

The last thing you need to deal with in the middle of a chaotic battle is to hold down a bumper, especially a stiff Xbox One bumper. When you need to issue orders to your archers or catapults, forget the the bumpers entirely, and use Kinect. When using the controller, you have to hold the bumper down for a few seconds before your archers heed your commands. Voice controls are immediate, so don't be afraid to annoy your significant other by shouting out "Fire volley!"

Do you have any other tips to share for Ryse: Son of Rome's Legendary playthrough? Let us know in the comments below! Until then, I'll be seeing you in multiplayer, and we can find out just who has the guts and the glory to be called a true Roman legend.

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