A new trailer for Ryse: Son of Rome establishes some of the legend and lore underlining Crytek’s historically anachronistic Xbox One exclusive.
The video (embedded below), stylistically tells the re-appropriated tale of Damocles, best known from the “Sword of Damocles” legend in which he is a courtier in the court of Dionysius II. The two switch places so that Damocles can taste the fortune of a position of power, but on the condition that he be seated beneath a huge sword suspended by a single horse hair tied to its pommel. This represented the relationship of peril and anxiety with fortune and power. Ultimately, Damocles begged Dionysius to be released, realizing that he no longer wished to be fortunate.
In Crytek’s reimagining, Damocles is a revered Roman military leader who is abandoned by his commanders and killed in battle. Nemesis, the goddess of revenge, sympathized with Damocles’ mistreatment and sent him back to the world of the living as a vengeful, black-armored centurion spirit. In Ryse‘s fiction, many Roman commanders wear the image of Damocles on their sword’s scabbard to remind them to look after their men.
Editorial aside, I would be so much more interested in Ryse: Son of Rome if the game looked like this stylistic trailer. It would stand out so much more than and feel so much more unique. Not that its current next-gen defining, crazy-realistic graphics aren’t impressive. It’s just old hat.
Ryse: Son of Rome launches exclusively for the Xbox One alongside the console on November 22 in North America and Europe.