1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars
Rome's never looked so beautiful, 3 Aug. 2014
Im not sure why Ryse: Son of Rome has received such negative criticism from IGN et al. The game isn't perfect, but it has many qualities of note.
Visually, the game is a master class. It really pushes the nextgen consoles and is truly beautiful. Id happily say that it is the best looking game on the One to date. The outstanding features are the characters themselves - their faces, armour and movements are superb. Clearly a lot of time was put into them and the results will leave you, for the first time, just occasionally asking yourself if the game is just a game. The cut cinematic scenes are a joy to behold. If its graphics you look for in a game, this is a must buy. The environment too looks fantastic. Whether it be the heart of Rome, on a ship storming a beach or in the woods of the North, the fidelity and quality of them are brilliant. Lighting is especially pleasing on the eye, especially when it bounces of armour.
Gameplay is where this game falls on its face ever so slightly. It is a little too simplistic and repetitive at times, as you can simply just use the same combos and then wait for the execution colour to be signalled. What I find particularly annoying are the executions themselves. You are prompted to select the yellow or blue buttons, but if you hit the wrong one, the execution still happens. There really is little reward for hitting the correct combo. The developers missed a trick here - they could have worked it so that incorrect input leads to a failed execution. Also, the unlock system for executions is totally pointless. Marius will just execute enemies at random and I (to this date) don't know how to do a specific set of moves.
With that said, there is a little variety on offer. The player can throw spears, deflect arrows with his shield and bash opponents. The most effective means of killing the enemy will involve the use of shield and sword, because there are a variety of enemies to kill - some fast and elusive, some slow and strong. A quality of the combat system is that is is very easy to use and it does reward timing, which leads to a chain of score bonuses or Eagle mode for Marius.
With that said, the linearity of each level on the campaign is frustrating. I honestly feel restricted when moving through the levels, as there is only one way to do it. I think the developers could have easily made this a RPG, allowing the player to rome Rome and wonder through the woods of Scotland. I also feel the campaign could be a bit longer, as the co-op and multiplayer don't really offer in depth features.
In conclusion, the game could have been great, but its unfortunately not. It is a very beautiful game and will put a smile on your face. The real issue is that once you have finished the campaign, you will probably want to sell the game on. You are left feeling like you want more from it - both in the gameplay and the length of the campaign. I really wish a sequel would be made, because there isnt another game like this on the One and it well worth buying.