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

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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Avatar image for Vodoo

This is easily one of the best action brawlers I've played in a very long time. It's very similar to God of War. GoW has button prompts for finishers as well. GoW is a linear game also and not every game needs to be an open-world game. When the developer is trying to give you a certain experience, having a linear game is a lot more approachable. It's pretty much just fighting as a real Roman soldier would.

I think Gamespot knows their review of Ryse is complete horse shit and doesn't reflect the gameplay at all. Therefore they're trying to make up for it with stuff like this. Because there's definitely something wrong when the community is saying the complete opposite as the review. There's not a single person that's played Ryse that agrees with anything in that review.

And you Sony fanboys are saying Microsoft is paying Gamespot for articles like this, whereas it's much more likely that Sony paid that trash reviewer to give it a low score.

Avatar image for coight30

ahhh the bribe money must have cleared into the bank account a bit late last month!

Avatar image for meatz666

1 tip to become a Roman legend: Play Rome Total War. The first one, of course.

Avatar image for naryanrobinson

Or you could not play it. It's much more fun that way.

Avatar image for sammoth

Wait, Gamespot let me get this straight. You give this game a bad review. Claiming it was way to easy now you put out a guide on how to beat it on a harder mode. Oh the irony.

Avatar image for Zjarcal

<< LINK REMOVED >> Ironic indeed... :/

Avatar image for voice_of_enigma

@ zjarcal @sammoth This review was actually loaded full of ironies - read my post on the Ryse review page, as I don't want to explain them again here - but yeah, the reviewer set it to easy and plowed through the game on a deadline and didn't even mention the collectibles that were in the game! that's why you should listen to your friends and read user reviews - but don't get tricked by the trolls!

I really really liked this game a lot! It's really sad because reviews and review scores do matter - word-of-mouth spreads and companies get shutdown because their game didn't do too well - I can't stand the guy that reviewed this - if I see his name I immediately back out of the webpage because if I see his face I'll puke.....

Avatar image for solid_snake1461

And here is another hint: stay out of these interactive-dramas and play something else.

Avatar image for DarkSaber2k

Anyone else finding it pretty funny the morons on Gamespot felt a QTE game warranted a "top tips" article? Or that it warranted any more press coverage period?

Avatar image for sammoth

<< LINK REMOVED >> It's not a QTE game. You clearly haven't played it.

Avatar image for hadlee73

Would be nice if the developers put in an easter egg in which all the surrounding centurions began laughing if you yelled "Biggus Diccus" at the Kinect.

Avatar image for Demanufactur3

Does anybody even play this?!

Avatar image for Snakepond1

Man I really like this game. Combat is basic, but tight and responsive. Great hack n' slash.

Avatar image for 1wikkid1

Good stuff. But, this game doesn't look all that next-gen though... The racing game (forget which one, either forza or GT) looked stunning, near photo quality, this game on the other hand looks like crap. Personally I also find all the gore to be unnecessary and way over the top, it would take an insane amount of strength to swing a sword clean through somebodys armor, skin, muscle and bone... and then to turn around and do it another bazillion times, well that's more in the Saint's Row territory.

Avatar image for voice_of_enigma

@1wikkid1 stop trolling you clearly haven't played this game - if you did you would know that it is basically the only real looking NexGen title on either system - people like you suck for our industry. Do you have a single friend that has this game?please go check it out for yourself and you'll know it's true.

I take that back Killzone does look amazing on the couch too, and it is definitely a good time waster!

Avatar image for voice_of_enigma

@ 1wikkid1

Just reread your post that I replied to and I'm sorry for calling you a troll - I just get so worked up from the actual, real trolls which you don't fit the definition of by reading that post - but I definitely think you should try this game. The audiovisual presentation of Ryse, by far, is easily my most favorite of every launch title for both systems and I have seen them all.....

Avatar image for Shadowdanc3r

An editor sharing gameplay tips for taking on a greater challenge takes me back to the days of print. I don't have the game but I liked checking out the article anyway. Nicely done.

Avatar image for leakingdogmilk

"Top 5 tips to become a legend in a game that is rated 4/10 by my colleague"

Avatar image for zyxahn

Yes I have found that using Kinect for those areas to be pretty damn cool actually. Madden audibles being another one. I laughed at the shield banging animation while grabbing for spears. Frustrating X10. Not sure why I find it funny to think someone else is doing the exact thing I am doing in frustration at the same spot in a game is amusing but that it is Edward.

Avatar image for raiden3788

What's next? 5 tips for Dear Esther?

Avatar image for informalmrtom

Tip 1. Don't buy it... instant legend!

Avatar image for Shadowdanc3r

<< LINK REMOVED >> Tip 2. Troll about not buying it...instant likes from other trolls!

Avatar image for voice_of_enigma

@ shadowdance3r


Yeah, my morning is now complete! Thank you kind sir, now I'll go play some dead rising! Got the whole house to myself all day!

Avatar image for berserker66666

Here's my 5 tips.

1. Watch the movie Gladiators.

2. Learn how to speak like a roman.

3. Button mash your way to victory followed by color coded QTE.

4. Shout "Are you not entertained?" after each kill.

5. Kill Hannibal.

Avatar image for Shadowdanc3r

<< LINK REMOVED >> Can I substitute the first tip with American Gladiators?

Avatar image for dominoodle

Or just spend a couple bucks to upgrade you character.

Avatar image for deactivated-58a78a043e9d4

Press X to not die.

Avatar image for Carpetfluff

Tap buttons. Not be colour-blind.

Avatar image for reddead123

Thanks kevin! always enjoy reading your articles!

Avatar image for rallykupo

Really surprised to see Kevin writing about this game after tearing it from limb to limb in the (now defunct?) Gamespot Gameplay podcast. But that was all pre-release, so I guess it pays to have an open mind and maybe you'll end up enjoying something you thought you'd hate. I still think it looks like rubbish though.

Avatar image for R3FURBISHED

Because of the combat system and its overtly simple nature, this seems largely unnecessary. The fact that combos can be finished even by pressing the wrong button, I really don't see a need for a guide...other than fishing for website hits.

Avatar image for jT415Gz

@R3FURBISHED Owned on the weekend haha =P

Avatar image for Kevin-V

@R3FURBISHED Have you played on Legendary? Executions will finish if you press the wrong buttons, but you will not receive health/focus/experience/damage bonuses that help keep you alive, and actual combat requires you to block, roll, and parry on Legendary. I started playing on Legendary and ran into snags I didn't find on hard, so I thought I would share a few hints, particularly for that excruciatingly awful archer bit.

Also, you seem surprised that a gaming website would provide gaming content, and that we would want people to read it. Is "writing content that I hope people will read and be useful" the same as "fishing for website hits?" I suppose. After all, it's my job to write things about games, and it's the fact that people read what I write that lets me have that job. If you didn't see the need, or the story didn't interest you, why click?

Avatar image for xxmavr1kxx

@Kevin-V I think what you said above is what had a lot of people baffled when the reviews came out. Almost everyone I talked to who had played on legendary loved the game On legendary it's complete different game. The QTE's have a purpose, and your happy there is not a mob of enemy's slashing you. I think the game wouldn't be able to be completed if there were more than 4 enemy's on you at once all the time.

Also, people who didn't play the game keep ragging on the finishing move running through the sequence even if you hit the wrong buttons. I think it was a good design choice to have it that way so it doesnt break up the flow of the game. I remember some games if you didn't hit all the correct buttons the enemy would just fall. It broke the rhythm of the game. The finishing moves are basically a small death cinematic with a player bonus if completed correctly. Thats is the way it should of been reviewed, not as a useless event as some people stated (not you).

Avatar image for blackace

Great info Kevin. I will definitely use some of your tips now and when I finally try Legendary difficulty.

Avatar image for omNOMinator

Nice on Kevin. This was unexpected, but welcome.