Ryse Son of Rome review
- Ancient Rome
- Wonderful visuals
- Nos morituri te salutamu
- Dumb, dumb DUMB story
- Shonky mechanics
- Bad game design
Ryse: Son Of Rome stands as some sort of litmus test on exactly how far a video game can go on its looks alone. To say that Ryse is a great-looking game is something of an understatement; it looks positively swoon-worthy. But it’s also undercooked in the mechanics department and some of its level design is frustrating to say the least.
Ryse Son Of Rome: Plot
Ryse tells the story of a Roman soldier named Marius who recounts his life to the Emperor Nero Roshamon-style as barbarians hammer against the gates of the eternal city. Recent events weren’t kind to Marius; after his family was slaughtered by Britons who invaded Rome, he went to Britannia with the legion seeking some payback.
There, he found that the ruling nobles – Nero’s two sons – were corrupt, despicable degenerates, while the locals were put-upon noble warriors. He decided then and there that Rome needed new leaders and he set about putting the world to rights as a gladiator. Seriously.
Yes, Ryse’s plot is about as dumb as a video game can be without veering into self-parody. It’s less historically accurate than the movie 300 and the logic behind the events in its story would test the patience of even the most ardent Michael Bay fan.
There’s some worth to the theme of a commonality that exists amongst the downtrodden, but for the most part, players shouldn’t bother trying to apply logic. Just be grateful there’s at least some continuity in tone in there.
Ryse Son Of Rome: Characters
Lord knows the actors give far more than the material deserves. The voice acting is absolutely top notch; John Hopkins’s baritone conveys resolute authority as the voice of Marius, but the actor also manages to tap into the internal conflict the character comes to feel later in the game.
The actors who play the Basillius and Commodus – Nero’s two sons - are delightfully hateful. The mo-cap performances are every inch the equal to the voice work, but then everything in Ryse is presented beautifully.
Ryse Son Of Rome: Presentation
It’s been mentioned before in this review, but it’s worth mentioning again that Ryse looks stunning. It’s clear that Crytek want Ryse to feel like a sword and sandals epic, and it’s to their credit that, visually at least, it is.
As the action takes the player from the marble-struck streets of Rome, to the lush wilds of the countryside of Britannia, to the terrifying Highlands shrouded in mist, Ryse never fails to impress. Perhaps the highlight is the gladiatorial ring the palace of Rome; low-lit with burning candles and filled with cackling deviant Patricians and half- naked slaves, it give off a palpable aura of decadent sleaze.