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Ryse Son of Rome First Look

Developer: Microsoft Game Studios | Publisher: Microsoft Game Studios
Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Action

Release Date: November 2013

To usher in the next-generation of Xbox gaming, Microsoft is turning to a new IP to help draw the masses of players and create a new fanbase. This new game is called Ryse: Son of Rome. This is a game about revenge with a strong emphasis on what it feels like to use weapons like swords, shields, and spears. The Developers in house at Microsoft Game Studios wants to make the entire game feel like what James Cameron’s Avatar looks like on screen. To do this, it is imperative that the they capture the soul of being a roman warrior during the development cycle. 

As our demo starts, arrows rain down on a beachhead where your soldiers are coming in off boats to stop the barbarians. The visuals are very stunning and unlike anything seen on a current generation console. There are three things the Developer is focussing on: Intensity, Motion, and Flow. This is a flowing Action Game. If you attack, parry, or block at the right moment, you will get hear a chime and get a chance at a big attack on the enemies. Every move that you make is built on the flow of timing.

As you start to get used to the combat system, you begin to burn ego after chaining combos together and countering enemies with correct button presses. There will be four different powers our hero can obtain. The only one they are discussing, at this moment, is regenerating health. This is done by hitting the d-pad up after doing an “execution” move on an enemy.  Health is a critical element because if you get hit three times, you die. This skill will be crucial in survival.

There are three difficulty settings in Ryse Son of Rome: Easy, Normal, and Hard. On Easy and Normal, the game will show you what button presses to hit in quicktime events and combat. On Hard, however, you will have to listen for audio cues and on screen animations for what to do. This makes the Hard difficulty well... very hard! While in combat, players face off against an enemy and have to make sure to try and counter an enemy’s moves. If you counter correctly, you get an audio cue and be able to go in for the kill on an enemy. However, if you get a poor counter, you will leave yourself open to be killed, sustain heavy damage, or leave neither party with an opening for attack

Video of your gameplay is automatically pushed into the cloud and is sent to your friends screen. They can watch your scores go up based on what you send them automatically. If he is able to beat your score, you will get a video back, automatically, so you can watch to see how he did it. These videos can be long or short depending on how much you want to record and are available to edit. In the timeline of the game, you can see how far along your friends are versus where you are at. All of these features are handled on Microsoft’s SmartGlass Technology. SmartGlass will automatically display all of your achievements you have earned as well. If no SmartGlass is enabled, the achievements will then appear on the screen.

The topic of Kinect came up and yes, Ryse Son of Rome will use Kinect in some way. However, we were not told specifics. Either they have something really cool that they don’t want someone else copying or they aren’t sure what they are doing yet. I get the impression it is the latter rather than the former. 

I also cannot stress this enough. Though there is not a current rating, Ryse Son of Rome is an extremely lifelike and realistic game that contains buckets of blood being spilled. This is a very violent title. We have seen the hero stab an enemy, with his sword, pick them up, and slam them on the other side of you. You can also stab people through the neck and head to execute them.

With over 150,000 polygons per character with an intense shader system, this is the most epic Roman Soldier game I have ever seen. While it might not quite be at an Avatar level, the gaming industry may very well see that this generation. Ryse Son of Rome is set to be a launch title for Xbox One and utilizes the CryEngine.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 06/15/13

Screenshots for Ryse Son of Rome First Look

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