Crytek’s Ryse Son of Rome is an epic third-person hack-n-slash set, surprisingly enough, in ancient Rome. If I had to put my pen to paper and describe it, (which I do) I’d say its a Romanised version of Gears of War with just a hint of Batman Arkham City.
The presentation of this game is simply stunning. the attention to detail and the quality of the graphics and audio leaves lesser games weeping – and the PC version really utilises all that extra horsepower over the consoles. Every single detail of Ryse’s Rome (well – with very few exceptions) is lovingly crafted and clearly based on serious OCD-level research. From the high-res cloth textures to the professional voice-acting, this game’s stylistics are executed superbly – giving a real feel of Rome as it once was.
Sadly, for me at least, the gameplay of Ryse is what lets it down. The control system is good and I like the fast paced free-flowing combat, but there are way to many scenes were the game feels like quick-time boss fight inspired by God of War – and that game’s over a decade old now. Despite all the incredible attention to detail I just didn’t feel sucked into the game – some part of me felt like a parrot perched on the pirate’s shoulder – watching the action but doing much myself. This is certainly an over-exhageration but you get my gist.
Suffice to say Ryse was clearly created with love and its detailed interpretation of the Roman culture and aesthetic is a brilliant testament to the developers skill. But the gameplay, for my taste at least, leaves you wanting just a little bit more direct engagement, outside of the hack-n-shash fights. If you’re a Roman fan-boy then you should buy it – but wait till it comes on sale, because for me it’s not worth 35GBP despite its amazing ambience.