|Publisher||Microsoft Game Studios|
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In Ryse, players are cast in the role of Roman commander Marius Titus, who leads his troops into battle. Using the Cry Engine 3 technology, the game looks absolutely stunning, showcasing the Xbox One hardware. Gameplay is a combination of melee combat and issuing commands to your troops to fight the war on a larger scale. The game gives you the option of yelling your commands out, using the new Kinect to relay the orders to your men. However, for those who feel silly yelling at their television, the game can be played completely with the gamepad.
The first thing I noticed about Ryse was the high quality of the graphics. The second thing was the flashing on-screen button prompts that lead to spectacularly gory finishing moves. I found this immediately off-putting. Though not quite quicktime events, these flashing buttons take me out of the action and remind me that what I am watching is just a video game.
However, the more I watched, the easier it became to tolerate them. Don’t get me wrong, I’d still like to see an opponent lower his shield, or drop to one knee, to signal that he’s ready for that finishing move, but the rest of the game is so beautiful that I will certainly let this go and give the game a try when it launches with the Xbox One in November.
Particularly impressive is the command system when working with your army. The example given shows the group advancing on a line of archers. In order to survive, you must command your men to raise their shields at the right time, advance when clear, and throw spears when close enough. Mistakes are deadly and proper execution during tense moments like these feels great.
If the whole game can match the demo’s set pieces, it might actually be the system’s killer launch app.