Ryse Son of Rome: Retrospective Review

15 Oct

While the year 2020 has sunk into chaos, the news of XBOX Gamepass, and Bethesda being bought by Microsoft, rejuvenated the urge to try and see what XBOX offers compared to Sony, which if Playstation 5 is backward compatible for all there library, it was time to see if Sony or XBOX would get my attention for the future of console supremacy. It’s when all who fight for domain are left sunk into the battle of digital fury, but seeing a forgotten gem like Ryse: Son of Rome, on XBOX, included on the Game Pass, plus an XBOX Live exclusive included, for 14.99 a month (as of 09/15/20 this may change in the future and package contents may vary), is well worth the price for the library included, with Bethesda’s catalogue entering the Game Pass, a well. Overall, both systems are graphically at the same level, but the only difference is choice of games. Do you want the moody Academy award cinematic approach that Sony offers or competitive multiplayer experience that XBOX has to offer, but somehow, Ryse: Son of Rome, is appealing since it does combine both a PlayStation experience in an XBOX console.

            Ryse: Son of Rome, sticks with a very simple premise of Marinus, is retelling his story to Nero, whose father is killed by barbaric hordes, and he begins his journey in the Roman army fighting the Saxons, and returning to Rome, realizing that most enemies “don’t always draw there swords” as Commodus killed his parents. Through eight succinct chapters, the confidently short story telling is a gem for those who want God of War, Assassin’s Creed, mixed with Gladiator style visuals and storytelling, only make the cult classic a force to be reckoned with, that Assassin’s Creed could never do in one game, let alone ten. Ryse: Son of Rome impressively combines all of the above into one game that a sequel would have proven pointless to Crytek’s superb story telling efforts.

            Ryse: Son of Rome is visually stunning for Crytek studios, which should have catapulted Crytek into the stratosphere of fame and fortune, but the game proves that a story and a game can be married with visuals without lengthy chapters that doesn’t seem to overstay its welcome, leaving a vast impression of Marinus and the life he leads as a soldier in the Roman Army, learning valuable lessons of mercy in the battlefield, such as when he spares a Saxons generals daughter, Boudica, but also realizing his time spent searching for vengeance was a ruse played by jealous Gods that would enrage Kratos, but Crytek balanced Marius with a relatively even temper, with subtle efforts from the voice actors.

            The gameplay is a little frosty, as such finishing moves require the player to touch certain buttons, and if you pressed X instead of Y, would repeat the same finishing move, and that was repetitious, and it could be fixed with a few patches, but after all this time, it doesn’t seem likely. But it is fun to commit such acts of violence in Ryse: Son of Rome.

            What also needs to be mentioned is that some scenes, where I wanted to hear what the characters were saying was drowned out by the music, which seemed odd at times, and it did pull me out of the story.

There was a cool feature of holding the L1 trigger, to command your army. Also, invading a bridge in a Spartan like effort, with shields to protect you from oncoming arrows, was fun and broke up the combat. 

            The impressive visuals, paired storytelling, but with a repetitious execution moves, make Ryse: Son of Rome, a very interesting yet mixed bag of a campaign. I did not play the online multiplayer, which Assassin’s Creed: Origins must have copied in there multiplayer arena mode. What is assured is that Crytek achieved a masterpiece that they can’t follow up, and will be remembered as long as Ryse: Son of Rome is available to play on the XBOX Game Pass or a cultish few remember it for years to come. Hopefully there could be a sequel, but the story works well on it’s own. As far as Ryse: Son of Rome, is a superb but relatively short visual masterpiece that most companies can not live up to.

Does the GamePass change my perspective on XBOX, yes, and the console war may help Sony in there future consoles as they want to win over new customers but also give XBOX players a reason to pick up a system as well, but as far as it goes, the two companies have a long way to go to win the console war.

Rating: 8/10   

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