Game review: Ryse: Son of Rome

By Paul Harper

1 comment


If you're squeamish, stay away from Ryse. Due to the astonishingly realistic graphics, the limb-severing gore on offer may be too much for some gamers, but others will relish it.

If you're the latter, Ryse: Son of Rome lets you spill as much blood as you can handle.

You play as Marius Titus, a Roman soldier climbing up the military ranks as you avenge the murder of your family at the hands of marauding barbarians. Your thirst for revenge takes you across Europe, from the streets of Rome to the untamed wild north of Britannia.

You face the most vicious fighters in the uncivilised world in close combat, while also commanding your soldiers to help tear down barbarian forts or defend the heart of Rome.

Ryse is rightfully one of the Xbox One's flagship launch releases, as it showcases the capabilities of the new console compared to its 8-year-old predecessor.

Facial animations are remarkably life-like, and the stunning scenery at times resembles a 2000-year-old Roman tourism video.

The fighting in Ryse is full-on. Wave after wave of unrelenting barbarians come at you, each requiring sword thrusts and whacks over the head with your shield to be dispatched.

After you've landed enough successful hits on your enemy a skull appears above their head, enabling you to finish them in a satisfyingly gory manner. It's brilliant.

My only criticism of Ryse it is that the combat can become repetitive, particularly in the middle stages of the game. Organising your troops into formations, throwing spears and manning ballistae fortunately provides a reprieve from the monotonous fighting, but these moments are few and far between.

Later in the game tougher adversaries require different combat tactics to be defeated, which presents a welcome challenge.

Action adventure games nowadays feature more complex and engrossing storylines, and Ryse is no exception.

With its impressive movie-like video scenes between battles and enthralling blockbuster-esque plot, it is easy to think you're in a movie theatre rather than playing a video game.

Platform: XBox One
Rating: R18

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- TimeOut

- NZ Herald

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