8 Minutes of Gameplay that Sold Ryse Better than 5 Months of Marketing

Posted November 11, 2013 by Mark-Anthony in Video Games

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Microsoft Studios showed off part of the multiplayer from Ryse: Son of Rome during an hour-long Twitch livestream a few days ago. In it we see a Roman centurion walk into the Coliseum where he surveys his surroundings as the crowd cheers; it’s a stunning visual and something that probably looks spectacular in person. The short setup is important because it conveys a sense of scale and awe that we love to see in action-adventure games. The spectacle of it all felt more like a single-player event than a multiplayer match.

Before moving into the actual gameplay, there was the player setup. We’re presented with four gods to choose from before going into battle – Jupiter, Apollo, Mars, and Diana. Each god has a corresponding power, or boost, that they give your character in battle. Apollo, for instance, provides a health boost. It’s basically a class-based system couched under the banner of Roman mythology, and the potential for the [limited] use of godly powers adds an extra dimension to a game that was feeling a bit vanilla before hand. One can only hope that these powers are available in some capacity during the campaign. While it looks like Crytek is going for a more realistic take on the ancient action-adventure genre than God of War – the comparisons are inevitable – these god-powers may be a way of keeping things interesting.

From the Twitch footage that was shown, there were no QTEs in sight, and the combat looked fluid and substantial. The word that kept coming to mind to while watching was satisfying. Of course it’s impossible to know how the combat will actually feel without trying it, but it doesn’t look like there is anything to worry about. Even the defensive shield can look quite amazing when a player uses it as an offensive weapon in addition to the sword. Who knows what other combinations are available to players – dual swording possibly?

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The Coliseum is also packed with environmental hazards; things that can be used to kill opponents. These hazards continuously change, new ones pop up from under the Coliseum creating a fluid environment. A wall of hay that can be set ablaze, spikes popping up from the ground, a three-armed spinning contraption with horizontal spikes, fire pits, bear traps – there may even be more. All of this seems to create a mini-challenge for the player; attempting not only to kill enemies, but kill them spectacularly using the environmental dangers. Executions, after-all are the name of the game for Crytek, that’s what has been hammered home continuously by the developer.

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Eight minutes of viewing is all it takes to get excited for this game, and you should definitely continue watching to gain more insight into how the gameplay actually works and looks. After E3 Ryse looked in trouble; but after the debut of new trailers and gameplay footage like this, it appears Crytek took the criticism to heart and made changes where changes needed to be made. The result is a game that looks polished, fun, and capable of launching a franchise.

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