Ryse: Son of Rome Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Ryse: Son of Rome RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network PlayStation vs. Xbox: PlayStation Is Doing Exclusives Better https://www.gameskinny.com/6ffwq/playstation-vs-xbox-playstation-is-doing-exclusives-better https://www.gameskinny.com/6ffwq/playstation-vs-xbox-playstation-is-doing-exclusives-better Thu, 19 Nov 2015 21:13:20 -0500 Curtis Dillon

"PlayStation 4 has no exclusives!"

That's the claim I've heard and read all year long.

"This is the greatest gaming line-up in Xbox history."

That's what Microsoft has touted all year long. Truth be told, though, the playing field is a lot more level than you might think.

PlayStation has always had more and better exclusives than Xbox.

Sure Xbox will always have Halo, Gears of War and Forza, but before the Xbox One, that was pretty much it. Microsoft tried its hand with the Fable series, Viva Pinata, and Too Human, none of which were massive successes. PlayStation, on the other hand has a history of hosting many fantastic exclusives and giving its first-party developers room to breathe and create freely.

Last generation, the PS3 played catch-up to the 360 for many years. Sony's third machine ended up outselling the 360, with a year less on the market. And it did so by having the best games. While Xbox 360 owners twiddled their thumbs between Halo and Gears of War experiences, PS3 gamers were having thrilling adventures with Nathan Drake, killing gods with Kratos, becoming a superhero with Cole McGrath, fighting the endless war against the Helghan, and creating worlds with Sackboy. Year in, year out, the PS3 had exclusives every other month.

A Promising Start for Xbox

This time around, Microsoft aimed to rival PlayStation in that department by having more exclusives - and more than just shooters. They came out of the gate with Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Forza Motorsport 5, and some Kinect titles, as well as showing trailers for Halo 5 and Quantum Break. The first two were easily the most exciting of the launch games, because Ryse had a ton of potential and Dead Rising is a great series to have exclusively.

PlayStation on the other hand, launched with Knack, Killzone: Shadowfall, and Resogun. Games that were initially intended to be launch titles, like Infamous and DriveClub, didn't make the cut-off. Therefore it's undeniable that the Xbox One had the better launch titles.

Microsoft continued its promising start by unveiling Titanfall and Sunset Overdrive - an awesome-looking game by Sony's buddies Insomniac. That was a real blow to Sony. Meanwhile, Titanfall was dubbed the "Call of Duty killer". Then came Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Killer Instinct and more Forza. The Xbox One was really looking like a fantastic platforms for exclusives....so what happened?

Cracks Begin To Show

Titanfall released and was...good. The game was a critical success, but not so much a commercial one, and it didn't bring about the death of Call of Duty like many had predicted. In spite of a year's worth of hype and anticipation, Titanfall faded quicker than a fart in the wind.

Sunset Overdrive was next. The difference with Sunset is that it was actually an amazing game. Sunset Overdrive was a fantastic game from Insomniac that oozed charisma and charm, and yet it sold poorly. Poorly enough that Microsoft never announced any numbers for it, and has referred to it when discussing the challenges of new IP.

A fantastic game that no one played

Forza and Halo did well, as expected. However, neither seemed to shift console sales - plus Halo was a muddled mess with big online issues. Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks, Sony had big success with Infamous: Second Son, The Last of Us: Remastered, MLB: The Show, and DriveClub, despite The Order: 1886 being pushed to 2015. Microsoft was trying, and even producing some great games, but it wasn't getting the desired results.

And so 2015 rolled around...

Do The Math

2015 was supposed to be the year for Microsoft. Sony had "nothing", particularly after Uncharted 4 was delayed. Xbox fans emerged from the crevices of the Internet to poke fun at PS4 owners. I've even heard industry insiders discuss the brevity of Sony's line-up. However, was it really as one-sided as everyone claimed? Nope. In fact, PlayStation 4 had more exclusives in 2015 than Xbox One.

Let's just start with AAA games. Microsoft's "greatest line-up ever" consists of Halo 5: Guardians, Rise of the Tomb Raider, Forza Motorsport 6, Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, and Rare Replay. That's a great line-up, and probably the best Microsoft has ever had (as per the claims).

2015 hasn't been the best year for Sony; no one will argue that. But it hasn't been anywhere near as barren as you may be led to believe. The year started with The Order: 1886, a ridiculously pretty game that was unfortunately more fun to look at than it was to play. Then came Bloodborne -- the spiritual successor to Demon Souls was a surprisingly big hit for Sony and was all the talk when it came out. Bloodborne is a surefire game of the year contender.

The next big title to hit Sony's platforms, a game I wouldn't count if I didn't already count Gears of War, was God of War III Remastered. Then came the biggest surprise hit of the year, Until Dawn. A fantastic horror game in the vein of Heavy Rain, Until Dawn shocked many by how well it was written, how beautiful it was, and how much dumb fun it was. Then to round out the year we got Tearaway: Unfolded and Uncharted: The Nathan Drake Collection.

So, Xbox One had five exclusive AAA games in 2015, while PS4 had six. Now all in all, quantity is not always as important as quality, and the fact that three of Sony's six were remasters is definitely a factor.

For Xbox, Rare Replay and Gears of War: Ultimate Edition outperformed expectations, Halo 5: Guardians has been a hit, Forza always performs, and Rise of the Tomb Raider has been met with critical acclaim, but sold poorly in the wake of Fallout 4. The sales disappointment of Rise of the Tomb Raider is surely a problem, but it's been a great year for Xbox regardless. It outsold the PS4 in the month of October - marking only the second time this year it has done so, and the fourth overall.

If you want to get really nitpicky...

If we look at smaller titles, PlayStation has had a far better year. Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, The Vanishing of Ethan Carter, SOMA, Axiom Verge, Journey (Remastered), Volume, Hotline Miami 2, and Grow Home are just some of the games that came to PSN this year. However, one title in particular really captured the hearts of millions in 2015 -- Rocket League. The second vehicular soccer game from Psyonix has been an unprecedented hit, selling over 6 million copies. The game is likely to come to Xbox One in 2016, but it was a Cinderella story on PS4 this year. The only Xbox digital games you heard talked about this year were Ori and the Blind Forest and State of Decay: Year One.

Party Partnerships

Now I've talked at (great) length about what games came to which platform, yadda yadda yadda, but what's really important and interesting to look at, it the logistics of the exclusives.

Ryse: Son of Rome, Dead Rising 3, Sunset Overdrive, Titanfall, and Rise of the Tomb Raider are all third party exclusives, the latter being only a timed exclusive. The only first-party games Microsoft have published are HaloForza, Rare Replay, and Gears of War: Remastered.

Another amazing game no one is playing. Thanks, Fallout 4.

The failure of the third-party games to be commercial hits has probably hurt Microsoft's relationship with third party developers. Take Titanfall for example. EA and Respawn has both admitted it would have benefited the game being on PS4 - and the sequel will be. Phil Spencer has even said that third party games will be less of a focus going forward, though it's not because Microsoft don't want them.

Looking ahead at 2016, Xbox One exclusives Recore, Crackdown 3, Quantum Break and Scalebound are all second and third-party developed games once again. This isn't necessarily a problem, but like I said, should the games continue to underwhelm commercially, developers will be less inclined to work with Microsoft (and Microsoft will be less inclined to work with them). 

On the other side, every game released by Sony this year, minus Tearaway, was a second-party exclusive. Even the Uncharted Collection was done by independent port house Bluepoint Games (although still published by Sony). This is a less risky business than third-party development because Sony still owns the IP, which is also true for Microsoft with Recore, Scalebound, Quantum Break, and so on.

The point is: Microsoft's third-party exclusives are a very short-term solution.

The company has not built any new series, though it's not for lack of trying. There won't be a Ryse 2, and a Sunset Overdrive 2 or Dead Rising 4 is unlikely. Titanfall 2 will be multiplatform. Whereas there will probably be a Knack 2 for the PS4, there will certainly be sequels to Infamous: Second Son, Bloodborne, Until Dawn, and even The Order: 1886. Already this generation, Sony has created 3, maybe 4, new exclusive series.

First-Party Poopers

Part of the problem is Microsoft's first-party studios. Microsoft owns 343 Industries, The Coalition, Lionhead Studios, and Turn 10 -- all of whom are confined to making Halo, Gears of War, Fable, and Forza for eternity. That's four main studios, all tied to making the same four games over and over; it's creatively stifling and redundant. Imagine if Sony had gone to Naughty Dog and demanded it work on Crash Bandicoot forever - without that creative freedom, we wouldn't have gotten get Jak & Daxter, Uncharted, or The Last of Us.

Then Microsoft also has Rare, BigPark Studios, Mojang, and a litany of small studios that work on tablet and Kinect stuff. Rare is working on Sea of Thieves, a fun-looking game with tons of potential. BigPark is completely in the dark, and Mojang is doing its Minecraft thing.

There's plenty more where these came from

So we kind of know what every single Microsoft first-party developer is working on, and it's exactly what you'd expect. This is why Microsoft has gone to third-parties like Armature, Respawn, Insomniac and Crystal Dynamics to get exclusive games. The Xbox needs more variety.

Sony has no such problem.

Of Sony's first-party developers, we know we are getting Uncharted 4 from Naughty Dog, Dreams from Media Molecule, Gran Turismo Sport from Polyphony Digital, Horizon Zero Dawn from Guerilla Games and Rigs from Guerilla Cambridge, Gravity Rush Remastered, Gravity Rush 2, and The Last Guardian from Japan Studio, and Evolution is still working on DriveClub. Four of those are new IPs.

The rest of the first-party studios are shrouded in mystery -- Sony Bend, Sucker Punch, Sony San Diego, Sony Santa Monica, North West Studio and Sony London. Sony Santa Monica is almost certainly working on a new God of War, but it also helps with development on a ton of smaller games, from The Unfinished Swan to Everybody's Gone to the Rapture. Sony London is working on Virtual Reality. Sucker Punch is well along in the development of something, according to Shuhei Yoshida -- maybe it's another Infamous. Sony San Diego is inevitably making the next instalment in the MLB: The Show series, but it is also helping produce Drawn to Death, Guns Up, and Kill Strain - three other PlayStation exclusives.

I broke down Microsoft and Sony's first-party studios to paint a picture of the future. Sony gives its studios a lot of rope to hang themselves with and, as such, we get extremely exciting new IP like Horizon Zero Dawn, surprising sequels like Gravity Rush 2, and a few artistic experiments like Dreams. Simply put, Sony's first-party titles are much more exciting.

The product of creative freedom

However, Sony also works with second and third-parties, as mentioned earlier with all of this year's exclusives. Also coming exclusively to the PS4 is Detroit: Become Human from Quantic Dream, Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky, Persona 5, Hellblade, and a lot of third-party VR support. This is different from Microsoft, because those games are all almost guaranteed to sell well - Street Fighter V, No Man's Sky and Persona 5 are no-brainers, and Hellblade and Detroit could definitely do well if marketed properly.


I don't want to be a Debbie Downer and spell doom and gloom for the Xbox One, because that most certainly isn't the case. The exclusives games on the Xbox One so far have ranged from good to great, and it's a shame that some of them didn't sell better. If you are a true gamer, you do not wish ill on Microsoft, Sony, or Nintendo, because competition is good for everyone.

The failure of Rise of the Tomb Raider is bad news for Microsoft; if a known property like Lara Croft cannot sell, then what can be expected to? However it has baffled me since E3 that Square Enix and Microsoft agreed to send it out to die beside Fallout 4, sandwiched between Call of Duty and Star Wars. Hopefully the game will find some success when it releases on PS4 next year.

Microsoft will always have its staples of Gears of War, Forza and Halo, which may not be the most exciting prospects, but they're a very safe bet. It would be nice to see those developers get more leeway and maybe even develop some new IPs; however, renaming two of them to reflect their respective games kind of suggests they won't get such freedom.

This fall has been a big season for Xbox One, and the winning sales of October are a great sign, but the goal should not be to outsell the PS4. If Microsoft provides excellent games that can only be played on Xbox One, then gamers will come. 2016 is looking exciting for the green brand, with Gears 4, Crackdown 3, Sea of Thieves, Recore, Quantum Break, and Scalebound, not to mention a myriad of fantastic digital games like Below, Cuphead and Inside. Microsoft could benefit from re-organizing a few internal teams, most of which were working on Kinect, and setting them off to work on new IP. They should follow Sony's example and allow established studios (like Naughty Dog and Guerilla) to stretch their wings and try new things.

The Xbox One cannot afford another Ryse, Sunset Overdrive, or Titanfall, it needs new first-party IPs that can be established into series. Right now, Microsoft is sitting pretty with exclusives but the past two years were not great for Xbox One, and going forward it could serve the company well to take a page out of the competition's playbook. 

Rumor: Rise of the Tomb Raider PS4 release set for $40, Holiday 2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/wnjge/rumor-rise-of-the-tomb-raider-ps4-release-set-for-40-holiday-2016 https://www.gameskinny.com/wnjge/rumor-rise-of-the-tomb-raider-ps4-release-set-for-40-holiday-2016 Wed, 01 Jul 2015 07:16:14 -0400 Curtis Dillon

A holiday 2016 release date for Rise of the Tomb Raider on PlayStation has been supposedly discovered by YouTube channel The Know.

The Know - which is an offset of Rooster Teeth - released a video just a few days ago claiming to know the game will release in Q4 2016. The hosts claim that the release date was revealed via a "confidential document" from an "anonymous source." You can check out everything said in the video below!

Perhaps most interesting about the rumor is the price point.

The video says that Square Enix are aware of the anger amongst PlayStation fans - some felt betrayed by the company given that Tomb Raider has always been synonymous with the platform - and will therefore be selling the game at a discounted price. The supposed new price point will be $40, which seems possible, considering its price on Xbox One will have fallen by then anyway.

If this Q4 2016 release date is correct, then it stands to reason that the PS4 version of the game could be a special edition, containing DLC of some sort. If this is the case then a $40 price point seems unlikely. Furthermore, Microsoft has continually referred to the game as a "Holiday 2015" exclusive, which leads one to believe the deal may not even last a year.

It's also worth noting that previous Xbox One timed exclusives, Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome, found their way onto PC around a year after launch. 

Rise of the Tomb Raider on Xbox One has been a major discussion point since it was announced at E3 2014.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Microsoft head Phil Spencer explained why they went after Lara Croft; "I'm a big fan of Uncharted and I wish we had an action adventure game of that ilk. We've started some, and we've looked at them. But we don't have one today of that quality. This is an opportunity."

The game is set to release on 11/10/15, the same day as Fallout 4. Should Rise of the Tomb Raider release this fall, it's likely to be destroyed by Bethesda's monumental return to the wasteland, leaving one to wonder why Square would release it in the fall next year as well.

The Know has a hit-and-miss track record when it comes to predictions; they correctly predicted Dark Souls III but incorrectly corroborated the rumour of Microsoft purchasing the Silent Hills IP.

Don't expect to hear anything about the PlayStation release of Rise of the Tomb Raider until well after its release on November 10th. Until then, stay tuned to GameSkinny.

5 Must Play Games on Xbox One https://www.gameskinny.com/f4ojw/5-must-play-games-on-xbox-one https://www.gameskinny.com/f4ojw/5-must-play-games-on-xbox-one Mon, 23 Feb 2015 18:59:17 -0500 Eric Nicolai

With just under two years under the new generation there is a litany of games that are released. There are games that you may have looked at, but aren't quite sure if you may like them Here is a small list of games that you may enjoy on the Xbox One. Although most of these are exclusives there will be some multi platform games that are throughly enjoyable on any console.

Ryse: Son of Rome

Although Ryse had not gotten the best reviews it was one of the first games I had played through on the Xbox One. Ryse easily boasts one of the games with the best graphics to date on the X1. This game features a simplistic control scheme, a meaty gameplay factor, and for those that want it a multiplayer feature to enjoy with your online friends.

Sunset Overdrive

Sunset Overdrive was hyped since the original announcement. This game is by far one of the most fun games out there if you are looking for an open world style. Sunset Overdrive also allows players to play online with friends and offers much more on the single player level than the above stated title.

Lords of The Fallen

Lords of The Fallen is a current gen launch. This game had Dark Souls fans captivated since the initial trailer. This game seems like an easier transition into the Dark Souls gameplay style. Lords of The Fallen is a more forgiving and enjoyable for the casual gamer and should be given a try. This action RPG is amazing in every aspect and is great to sink single player hours into.

Dead Rising 3

Dead Rising 3 was a launch title for the X1 and also one of the most enjoyable to date. This free roam zombie slaughterfest is more beautiful than its predecessors. Dead Rising 3 has more to offer in the way of graphics, gamesplay, and open world mechanics. As an added bonus if you have a smartphone or compatible tablet with the Xbox One Smartglass app you are able to access bonus parts of the game.

Need For Speed Rivals

Need For Speed Rivals is one of the most impressive racing games I have seen on X1. Although the car selection is not as bulked up as Forza the gameplay is not comparable. The amazing multiplayer functionality of Need For Speed is hard to describe. The open world ability to interfere with other player's racing is amazing. This game also allows players to take roles as a police officer chasing down other players as they compete against one another.

As most of these are older games there is a good amount of us that have played these games. However, with recent price drops or promotions there are plenty of players joining the current generation of consoles and the above list may make choosing certain games slightly easier.

Weekly Weekend Round-Up: Dec 19th-21st https://www.gameskinny.com/3qxox/weekly-weekend-round-up-dec-19th-21st https://www.gameskinny.com/3qxox/weekly-weekend-round-up-dec-19th-21st Sun, 21 Dec 2014 06:15:59 -0500 Eric Nicolai

Another week has gone by and now we are approaching the end of the year. It seems strange to think that this year has gone by so fast, but even while we look back at the year, there is still a weekend ahead of us, and we will need to pass some time. As has been the case for the past couple weeks, new releases have been a bit light. There are old games and one new one on this list to take your weekend away.

Ryse:  Son of Rome

Although Ryse: Son of Rome was an Xbox One lauch title, this game was amazing. It was actually the first game I played through on my X1, despite having many others. Due to the old nature of the game, it has seen some dramatic price drops and can be bought for a decent price. This is one of many old games to take a look into if you are looking to kill a weekend for a cheap buck.

Super Meat Boy

Super Meat Boy seemed to be a hit out of nowhere. This game is one of my favorite indie games from last gen. Super Meat Boy went on sale earlier this week for Steam users, which is why it has made mention on this list. Even if you are not a Steam user, this game is something special. If you find yourself playing this game over the weekend, remember to keep your cool, as it is sure to test your patience.

Guilty Gear Xrd

This  newest installment of Guilty Gear is now here. This is available for PS4 and PS3 and is a full retail launch priced at the normal price. Guilty Gear Xrd is a fighting game, so it is a very niche game. Unless you are a fan of fighting games, this could only keep you entertained for a couple of hours. But looking at a fighting game for what it is, this game could have you entertained for hours (or months), depending on your preference.

I may end up booting up Super Meat Boy, as I do every now and again, but other than that I will not be joining in on the others. I will be putting some more time into Mordor and Destiny. What games will you be playing this weekend? Comment below.

Ryse: Son of Rome is Very Pretty, but Lacks Polished Combat https://www.gameskinny.com/h7dzo/ryse-son-of-rome-is-very-pretty-but-lacks-polished-combat https://www.gameskinny.com/h7dzo/ryse-son-of-rome-is-very-pretty-but-lacks-polished-combat Fri, 24 Oct 2014 17:15:16 -0400 billd75

This was originally a first impressions review, but after playing it a bit more. I can give a more thorough and fair review. Ryse: Son of Rome is a visual spectacle if I ever saw one. It has an amazing amount of action and the graphics are a feast for the eyes. The combat is very unique and fun, but the camera is so fast (even with camera/mouse sensitivity on minimum) it's "kind of" wonky which "kind of" ruins the great combat mechanics. The CryEngine shines in the PC version, but the control feels like there is something missing. 

I slowed the mouse sensitivity down very low to try and deal with the issue, which did improve it considerably, but it is still screwy. Apparently the console version is much worse. That's a real disappointment because this game had all the makings of a really different, fun game. I was hooked from the moment I started, but soon got frustrated with the buggy and wonky camera issues. Polish! Polish! Polish! This is a perfect example of why games need final polishing because it has a ton of promise, but it misses the mark. 

Note to developers: Stop making PC console ports that have less than stellar PC controls! There is nothing I hate quite like great games that have screwy console mechanics. It gets worse when your console versions control sucked too (apparently), then you port it to PC. It's a shame. Had they tried a little harder to polish the gameplay, it could have been a hit game. In some people's eyes it is a great game, but a true gamer will find this game lacking that certain something. That something is better control mechanics and it gets tedious and very repetative after a short time. 

I love the concept and what they "tried" to do here. It's kind of like Total War mixed with a 3rd person shooter and it could work very well. It is fun for 20-30 min. of gameplay at a time and then it gets frustrating and it is soley due to the controls. This game bombed on console for that reason. Maybe next time Ryse. There are much worse games out there control wise, much worse, but this one is not stellar by any means. The controls are "tolerable" but they do take away from the "fun factor" and overall enjoyment of the game.

The "executions" are the only redeeming factor in the combat mechanic and it is what many people rave about. They are slow mo, fantastic and fun. Truly stellar combat mechanic and I really liked that part of the game. No game has done it quite this well. Not even Shadow of Mordor which has epic executions, although this game does suffer the same extremely repetative and limited gameplay problems that Mordor has. Is this some kind of new trend in gaming? I hope not! I want adventure! Interesting adventure.  

It is too bad the controls were not just a bit better in the rest of the game. I took a guy's arm of in such realistic fashion I thought I was watching a movie! The pics in this review all all from in game (not cutscenes) and as you can see not only is the game quite beautiful, there is at least "something" pretty cool about this combat mechanic. It just needs polish.

The executions, story (which is pretty decent by the way and very, well acted/voiced.) and graphics in this game make it a somewhat worthy buy. If you can get it on sale for super cheap (between say $5-$15), which should not be long, as this game is destined for the Bargain Bin at your local game store. I would say go for it! It is kind of fun on PC, I have to admit. I used the words "Kind of" a lot in this review because that is how I feel about the game. It was o.k. but that is about all. I would bother finishing it if there was NOTHING else good to play, but for now, I have better games to finish, so this one has been uninstalled.

Why Ryse Will Be Released on PS4 https://www.gameskinny.com/3rfav/why-ryse-will-be-released-on-ps4 https://www.gameskinny.com/3rfav/why-ryse-will-be-released-on-ps4 Tue, 14 Oct 2014 16:09:49 -0400 Brian Spaen

For the last couple of months, gamers have wondered why Crytek has chosen to port Ryse: Son of Rome to the PC and not the PS4 -- which leads the console race. Despite not having any official plans at the moment, there's plenty of reasons to believe that Ryse will be on Sony's console.

Crytek senior producer Brian Chambers has said in multiple articles that putting the former Xbox One exclusive on the PS4 was not a priority. In an interview with Gaming Bolt back on September 19th, Chambers said that they're focused on the PS4 title, Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age.

The PS4 has gained a large user base in a short time and CRYTEK will develop titles for it the near future, such as HUNT: Horrors of the Gilded Age. Currently there is no announcement regarding RYSE coming to PS4.

That slightly changed in an interview on Tuesday with Worlds Factory. There was still no announcement, but they were "open to the new opportunities."

We’re always open to new opportunities for our franchises, although for the moment we have our focus firmly on bringing Ryse to PC players, as well as the ongoing development of our other IP’s: Warface, Arena of Fate and Hunt: Horrors of the Gilded Age.

One thing to note is that Chambers never denies a port on the PS4.

Crytek dilemma

It's been a rough summer for Crytek. The UK studios closed shipping multiple projects to other areas. The USA studio in Texas downsized, but sources close to the situation said that many quit and moved on to other work after not getting paid in late June.

Crytek is clearly in financial trouble, and CEO Cevat Yerli has been public about his disappointment in Ryse sales on Xbox One. That likely forced their hand to port the game on PC, and you can bet that they'll be looking to bring the game elsewhere. Yerli is not only saying that a potential sequel is still coming, but it will be on multiple platforms when the install base is right.

Why hasn't it happened yet?

Here's why it's not so easy to put Ryse on PS4. We already know that it's easy to port games between PC and Xbox One because they both use DirectX. Due to financial struggles, Crytek probably doesn't have the resources necessary to port the game over. There was obviously a deal with Microsoft to make it exclusive, but that likely has expired by now since the game released back on Friday on PC.

Perhaps when some of Crytek's other projects release they'll be able to have enough money to port over Ryse to PS4. Obviously it won't be a direct port, but expect some sort of "Director's Cut" or package that has all the DLC. Throwing it on the PS4 shortly before the release of a sequel would be a good idea.

Once Crytek has the resources, there's simply too much money on the table not to put Ryse on PS4 in some form.

Image credit: Edge Online

Ryse: Son of Rome Coming to PC, Removing Microtransactions https://www.gameskinny.com/bjbh5/ryse-son-of-rome-coming-to-pc-removing-microtransactions https://www.gameskinny.com/bjbh5/ryse-son-of-rome-coming-to-pc-removing-microtransactions Sun, 28 Sep 2014 20:30:12 -0400 Brian Crimmins

Early Xbox One action game Ryse: Son of Rome is set to release on PC October 10th. It will come with several new features, such as all the DLC released for the Xbox One version (free to all players), a soundtrack (available through pre-order), etc.

But what's more interesting is what this version omits: microtransactions.

Crytek, through its company blog, announced that they will remove microtransactions from the PC version of Ryse. They have not said how this will apply to the Xbox One version. Nor have they explained why they chose to omit microtransactions. The blog post instead advertises what players can expect to get from this version. It mostly focuses on improved graphical performance.

But there must be reasons.

Despite Crytek not offering any official statement behind their reasoning, we can infer well enough. They might have recognized that a free-to-play model does not fit certain genres well, and have adjusted Ryse accordingly.

Yet the implications might be more severe. Microtransactions held an important place in the Ryse experience, and Ryse was the launch game for the Xbox One. It was one of the most heavily advertised titles for the system early in its life. For a big change like this to come to the PC version does not bode well for the game's success. Nor can it bode well for the Xbox One's success, either, as recent events have already illuminated.

Ryse: Son of Rome Comes to PC in October https://www.gameskinny.com/6npie/ryse-son-of-rome-comes-to-pc-in-october https://www.gameskinny.com/6npie/ryse-son-of-rome-comes-to-pc-in-october Thu, 04 Sep 2014 19:53:26 -0400 Amanda Wallace

Ryse: Son of Rome comes to PC on October 10th. Players who pre order Ryse will recieve an exclusive copy of the game's soundtrack. The track features 25 tracks and over 50 minutse of original music. 

Game Industry Misbehaving Series: 1080p 60FPS Native for Consoles https://www.gameskinny.com/2oz01/game-industry-misbehaving-series-1080p-60fps-native-for-consoles https://www.gameskinny.com/2oz01/game-industry-misbehaving-series-1080p-60fps-native-for-consoles Fri, 29 Aug 2014 07:42:43 -0400 Pierre Fouquet

1080p 60FPS on Consoles Should be Standard (NOT Because Better Graphics)

All the games on the current generation of consoles (PS4, Xbox One WiiU) need to be running at 1080p native and at 60FPS. The N64 had more games running at 60FPS than all of last generation of consoles (Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii) did. And for those consoles I can only name one game off the top of my head. Vanquish, which was a great game! It did not run at 1080p, which was the trade-off to get it running at a pretty solid 60FPS, with anti-aliasing (2xMSAA). This is on both the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of the game.

 Vanqiush is pretty, and plays great! 

I’m Sure You’re Wondering, If You Say It’s Not Because Graphics, Why Are You Complaining About Graphics?

I love games, and will play them at 720p 30FPS, I don't mind that much. It's the game, not the resolution or frame rate which interest me (as long as it runs at a minimum of 30FPS otherwise it hurts my eyes). However as this is now a new generation, and a much older system could run at 60FPS, then the new gen needs to beat that right? Stepping from the N64/PS2 to Xbox 360/PS3 to drop the frame rate was acceptable, as we got HD which is the jump for that gen. But what jump are we getting from last generation to this generation? Sure the first few months of games for that generation will be running a bit behind, that’s fine. Developers need to get used to the hardware, and learn coding for optimisation. But a year down the line... something is fundamentally wrong with the hardware if all games cannot run at 1080p 60FPS native. I mean it’s only now we are getting games which can run like that.

Mario 64 ran at 60FPS 

This Is Not About Something Versus Something, This Is About a Generation Technological Jump

Just to put something out there, and to emphasise a point. I don't care what I game on, for the most part, except handhelds (they don’t interest me, but that’s preference). I don't care what resolution a game runs at, or how it looks. Pretty graphics are great to have, but not necessary for the core game to be good. I care about you, I care that you are not being ripped off with lies, and deceit. I care that consumers/customers (that’s you) are going to get what you pay for. And honestly, with the current generation of consoles, you simply are not getting that. You are being lied to, and looked down upon on. Deceived over and over again. That is why I am angry at the consoles not running at 1080p 60FPS as standard, not because graphics. But because that is the next jump for the generations step. A step across generations needs to bring some sort of jump, no matter what it is. Be it in the animations, or AI (doesn’t need to be graphics). This generation’s jump is believed to be, and marketed as, running at 1080p 60FPS native. However is this the case? No. If you look at the standout exclusives for the consoles (which we know how they are running), on the PS4 side we have The Order: 1886.

I'm sure it will be a fun game, but all the bull surrounding it puts me off.

Showcase Games

The Order: 1886 is a showcase game, to show off what they PS4 can do in terms of gameplay, graphics, frame rates etc. So what exactly is it showing? That the PS4 can render 4xMSAA in sub 1080p resolution (at 1920x800)? Chief Technology Officer Andrea Pessino quoted the reason for this, “…we do run 4xMSAA which looks spectacular! x800 with AA looks MUCH better than x1080 without : )” and later “To be clear, x800 with 4xMSAA needs more bandwidth than x1080 would, so 1080 no MS would be cheaper.” By cheaper I assume he means less resource intensive, so less taxing on the system. This means they have openly admitted that the PS4 cannot run this game with the extra 280 pixels with 4xMSAA. Why not just use FXAA? That is much less taxing, and still looks great. The Order is also only running at 30FPS, ReadyAtDawn have said the reason is something to this effect. “Running the game at 60FPS makes it looks to sci-fi/fantasy, so running the game at 30FPS hit the movie look we want”. I have a massive issue with these statements, the first is that it just sounds like an excuse for poor hardware, the second is that they are openly admitting that the very expensive hardware is not very graphically powerful. Now looking at the showcase for the Xbox One, Ryse: Son of Rome, exactly the same issue can be found here. The game runs at 1920x900 and at 30FPS. So what does that showcase? Exactly the same as the PS4. Lack of graphical hardware to be able to run the games. So no one console is better than the other.

All the effort went into making it look nice, and they failed at making it play well.

I have nothing wrong with a showcase of something, they just simply show the item in question in the best light. But when that best light is only a small amount (resolution wise) more than the last generation, for me it begs the questions. Where the consoles poorly designed? Where they released too early? Are they too hard to develop for? Or do they simply have weak hardware?

 In The End It Is Just About The Games

I do just love games, and want to play them. So when there are games, I deem (for me) worthy for the purchase of a console, then I will get that console. Even if I am playing at 720p 30FPS. If the game is amazing, or at the very least amazing fun, it doesn't matter how it runs. I have enjoyed it and that, for me, is exactly what I want.

I have enjoyed plenty of games running lower frame rates, or resolutions. The Last of Us, running at 720p 30FPS, did that take away from the gameplay? Or the story? No, not at all. It is one of the best games ever made. Halo 3, Reach and 4, running at 720p/1080p and 30FPS, did it detract from the immense fun, and amount of hours I have put into those games? Not in the slightest.


Such an amazing game, does not need 1080p but 60FPS will not hurt (will look smoother)

Generation Steps Need a Technology Jump To Go With It

That is the root of the issue I have, from the 4th generation to the 5th brought disks (PS1).

PS1 disks were black... for some reason.

The jump from the 5th to the 6th brought a lot more power (Dreamcast), games running from DVDs (PS2, Dreamcast, Xbox Original, Gamecube) and built in hard drives (Xbox Original).

Probally the best generation, in terms of singleplayer games of course.

Then the biggest jump in gaming, the 6th generation to the 7th generation (Xbox 360, PS3) brought high definition gaming to our homes, but not only that stable and fully fledged online systems (Xbox Live, PSN), which just grew as the generation went along.

The most impressive (so far) console generation graphically.

So what has the jump from the 7th generation to the 8th given us? Very expensive hardware, which can’t run game much better than the previous generation? We are starting to see where other little jumps are happening, with the cloud services, game streaming. But is this enough for a generations step? I don’t think it is, we need a small graphical, and frame rate jump as well.

The general gaming community is also looking at it from a graphical perspective, “OH LOOK IT’S NOT MUCH MORE SHINY.” I hear them cry. Where I am looking at it from a technological perspective.

Have I succeeded? Let me know in the comment bellow. And of course, thank you for reading.

Microsoft Announces Launch of Xbox One in Japan https://www.gameskinny.com/yecd5/microsoft-announces-launch-of-xbox-one-in-japan https://www.gameskinny.com/yecd5/microsoft-announces-launch-of-xbox-one-in-japan Thu, 29 May 2014 08:59:05 -0400 Rocky Linderman

Microsoft has decided it's time to reveal the Xbox One's launch and game lineup for Japan. Almost seven months after Sony's PS4, Microsoft will be shipping their new console out to the land of the rising sun on September 4th. 

Two different SKU's will be available for the Xbox One. There will be a Kinectless version and a version with the Kinect included. The Xbox One that comes with Kinect will understandably come in at a higher price, costing consumers ¥49,980/£291/$490. The Kinectless version will cost its Japanese audience ¥39,980/£233/$392.

Microsoft has confirmed the following titles will be available at launch for the Xbox One's Japanese release: Forza Motorsport 5, Kinect Sports Rivals, Dead Rising 3 and Ryse: Son of Rome. Square Enix also chimed in stating that they will have Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, Murdered: Soul Suspect, Thief and Call of Duty: Ghosts ready for the Japanese launch date. 

Originally the Xbox One was released in 13 countries when it launched in November; come this September it will have launched in 26 additional territories, bringing its total number of countries and territories it is available for purchase in to 39. 

Is It Time To Start Renting New Gen Games? https://www.gameskinny.com/8ri5n/is-it-time-to-start-renting-new-gen-games https://www.gameskinny.com/8ri5n/is-it-time-to-start-renting-new-gen-games Mon, 14 Apr 2014 20:03:42 -0400 Xavier's

 With some truly incredible blockbuster titles hitting us throughout the year, its obvious that the new generation of titles is an thriving ecosystem in which will no doubt consume many of our gameplay hours over dastardly long periods of time. But what about the smaller lengthed adventures on our new machines?

Ryse: Son Of Rome comes to mind in this demographic, showcasing a gory and explosive but shallow and painfully short experience. 

Did that Microsoft adventure really amount to a full 60 dollars? The subject of overall quality and quantity in these Triple A titles is highly debatable but one thing is certain, people have limited amounts of funds to spend on their gaming pastime, and purchasing these titles fresh off the shelf really puts a dent in their pockets. 

Although it's pretty early in the 8th generation of gaming systems, with circumstances the way they are, it would be immensely beneficial to have a rental system in place for the new.

If a game is not going to entertain you for a long time, then why have to suffer financially when it comes to the lack of substance? The controversal Ground Zeroes has communities pondering these questions.

Reduced price tag or not, the span of a game needs to be fulfilling and satisfying to the customer, something which has been seemingly forgotten within the depths of these less-than-4-hour games.

What's currently available

Almost everyone knows of the fairly decent array of solutions we have for combating a game that doesn't show its 60 dollar price tag. Rental businesses currently exist, one in the form of Gamefly, a successful borrowing service in which caters to most of your gaming desires through the use of mail delivery and a paid subscription. An ingenious practice for sure, albeit limited in general market appeal and unattractive attempts to sell the games to you after you've tried them out.

The other game borrowing business everyone else is fond of manifests itself as redbox. This nifty, gigantic vending machine located in your 7-Eleven contains many of the 7th generations greatest hits, but faulters in anything more recent. This is to be corrected and expanded upon for sure as time progresses; however the public could sure rejoice if rentals from the new generation were to be implemented right now, as we are money tight and not in the mood to give up basic living conditions in order to pay for day one releases in stores.

 Don't worry, the consumer will inevitably benefit from all this.

We live in an age were the consumers 'opinions about products is extremely powerful. Maybe apart from rentals to save us from financial misery, corporations will recognize our want of change in the run time of games, leading to a complete overhaul of what is the norm in titles released today.

Who knows, maybe with a combined effort of style and substance, gamers won't need to rent anymore, as these new and improved titles will give us a complete package well worth the asking price.

Do The Events of E3 2013 Still Matter Today? https://www.gameskinny.com/uzjt7/do-the-events-of-e3-2013-still-matter-today https://www.gameskinny.com/uzjt7/do-the-events-of-e3-2013-still-matter-today Sat, 15 Feb 2014 20:22:11 -0500 Connor Van Ligten

With 2014 settling in and the Console Wars heating up, E3 2013 already seems so far away. Compared to the mostly boring E3 2012, this most recent E3 was one to remember for the ages, for so many reasons. At this E3 a large number of shocking, unexpected, and titanically idiotic events occurred. However, three stand out, and in this article, take a short trip in the TARDIS to last June, watch these events, and then think for a moment about their importance today.

1. Microsoft Takes a Major Stumble with the Xbox One and gives Sony an Advantage in the Console Wars.

Then: Not only was the Xbox One's May reveal abysmal, its display at E3 was no better.

With restrictions on used games, daily online-check ins, launch availability in about 13 regions, mandatory Kinect, and a steep $500 dollar price tag, there seemed to be absolutely no redeeming qualities to the new console. Even the games weren't warmly received, with Titanfall the only game universally acclaimed and highly anticipated.

To make matters worse, Sony jumped for the opportunity to gain a leg up and revealed that the PlayStation 4 had no restrictions on used games, no mandatory internet, and would launch in 30 or so regions with a $400 dollar price tag. Microsoft seemed doomed as a company, and only Nintendo had it worse (we'll get to that later).

Now: Microsoft shocked the gaming industry with its unexpected "180" and initiated one of the most incredible company turnarounds in gaming history.

Nearly a week after E3, Microsoft reversed many of their unpopular policies. The Xbox One required no internet connection besides a day-one patch and could play used games. Later on, Microsoft revealed that the Xbox One did not require Kinect to function and would ship with a headset. Two of the console's critically mixed important launch games, Dead Rising 3 and Ryse, were shown at later trade-shows in a much more appealing format.

As of this writing, Titanfall is currently in beta, and has been critically acclaimed by gamers and the industry alike. Good news for Microsoft, because Titanfall will likely result in a significant console sales boost. While it's true that the PlayStation 4 is selling more units in more countries, it can't be denied how incredible it was for Microsoft to listen to feedback, regain equal ground with Sony, and have a very successful launch for the Xbox One.

We All Cried With Joy During This Moment

2. Dead Franchises Make Unexpected Returns and Games are Brought Out of Development Hell.

Then: Gamers were shocked multiple times at E3 by returns of games and franchises thought to be long gone.

Sony was met with thunderous applause during their press conference as trailers of Final Fantasy Versus XIII, now Final Fantasy XV, and Kingdom Hearts III were shown, ending years of rumors and doubt, proving these games were actually in development. EA also pulled two major shockers, by revealing that Mirror's Edge was getting a sequel and a new Stars Wars Battlefront was in the works, to be developed by DICE. These reveals were met with extremely positive reactions, especially Battlefront.

Now: We've haven't had much information Post-E3 about these games.

What we now and have seen are a short gameplay demo for Kingdom Hearts a much-needed reassurance from Square Enix that yes, development on FFXV is going along nicely, Mirror's Edge 1's writer isn't returning for the sequel, and that no Star Wars games from EA will be released before 2015. It's great news that our prayers for these games have been answered, but many gamers are still left with empty hearts. There are still a major number of games that are in development hell or are waiting to be made, such as Rainbow Six: Patriots, Half-Life 3, Shenmue 3, a 2D Metroid, Doom 4, a new Sam and Max, and many others.

While it's nice for dead games to be resurrected, some should be left unfinished. For example, the XCOM FPS which turned into a somewhat tactical 3rd person shooter was only decent, Overstrike looked promising but became Fuse which ended up being mediocre, and then there's Duke Nukem Forever and Aliens: Colonial Marines - which will not be discussed. Just remember, don't set the bar too high and keep your expectations realistic.

3: Nintendo Continues To Dig Its Corporate Grave.

Then: If Microsoft's E3 was a disaster, then Nintendo's E3 was an apocalyptic level event of terrible.

Nintendo did not open their press conference to the public, which made many uneasy. During their "private screening," they once again failed to make a case for the Wii-U, which was selling horribly and already losing faint third-party support. But Nintendo knows how to make games well, and Super Mario 3D World, Mario Kart 8, The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds, a new Donkey Kong Country, and the highly anticipated next Smash Bros were acknowledged as great titles. However, despite the high-quality material Nintendo continues to pour out, they have not succeeded in convincing non-hardcores to buy a Wii U.

Nintendo also promised a big surprise at the end of the show. It could've been a new 2D Metroid, Star Fox, or F-Zero, it was a screen of Nintendo characters playing (read: failing) Wii Fit, which at first was a major disappointment on the level of Wii Music's embarrassing reveal years ago. Until the clip regressed into the realization that Smash Bros. is back, and the heated playground arguments of "no, Mario is better than Link" are going to resume. This was one of the only bright spots in an E3 for Nintendo that only seemed to worsen their status.

Now: 2013 was a year for Nintendo that replicates the "is the glass half full or half empty" test.

One way of looking at it is that Nintendo made some of their best games in company history, with Fire Emblem, Pokemon X and Y, Super Mario 3D World, and The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds all being high-quality titles. The other way of looking at it is that Nintendo's financial standing took a major hit, with the Wii U quickly losing what minimal steam it had sales-wise. Although the 3DS did receive a minor sales boost and certified handheld survival for a couple more years, it pales in comparison to the iPhone's popularity.

Simply put, Nintendo keeps releasing amazing titles, but the Wii U has failed to hit the gold mine in terms of consumer appeal that the Wii hit with the casual crowd (which is ironic considering the Wii U is already putting out better games than the Wii did). If Nintendo wants to stay competitive, they need to play their best cards and devise a better marketing strategy in order to state their case for the Wii U and the 3DS among these new consoles that are more powerful and are selling more units. If Nintendo can't accomplish this, then the company that single-handedly saved the gaming industry and initiated its renaissance may end up collapsing under the boot of Sony, Microsoft, and the revived PC.

It's February as I am writing this, and next-gen is only becoming more exciting.

So much happened at E3, and while you could spend an entire plane flight analyzing major events (as I did), remember that these events are the past. Much has changed since those days in June, and it's anyone's guess what could happen next. It doesn't matter whether you own an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Wii U, or don't own a next-gen console at all, the future of the gaming is mysterious, and maybe a bit scary, but that's a good thing, and we should look towards the horizon with eager eyes and high hopes. Until we realize that we're playing DayZ and we get killed by a bandit.

Thanks for reading my article. If you have any feedback, or would like to share a then-and-now story from E3 that I didn't mention, please let me know in the comments.

The Professional Fanboy https://www.gameskinny.com/af70b/the-professional-fanboy https://www.gameskinny.com/af70b/the-professional-fanboy Thu, 23 Jan 2014 08:56:44 -0500 Brandon Morgan

When the announcements of the next-gen consoles from Sony and Microsoft came about, I was writing and eagerly watching the announcements to report on them. Before I had even known all the details, I had already made my choice. I would pre-order the PlayStation 4 and not look back.

This is exactly what I did; I saved up some money and made sure I could afford a few games along with it. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Battlefield 4 were all ready to go, along with my Killzone: Shadow Fall-bundled PS4.

I’ve been a Sony fanboy for so long I couldn’t even tell you the first day I knew it to be true.

I’ve owned a PlayStation 1, PlayStation 2, PSP, PSP Go, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita, and now the PlayStation 4. I love Sony and their consoles, I love the games they receive on said consoles.

I fondly remember the days of playing Socom II with my older brothers for hours on end. I would sit on their futon and shout into the headset for these older gamers to play the game instead of talking.

I clearly remember being told I could never buy Grand Theft Auto for my PlayStation 2, even after having played it at my father’s house. I ended up with it and it continues to be one of my favorite series. I never buy GTA on the PC or Xbox, always a Sony console when available. I purchased GTA V on the PS3 on launch day, when Rockstar finally gets around to a release on PS4; I will buy it again on launch day.

I never owned an Xbox, the original one, but I did buy the Xbox 360 shortly after its release.

Halo is one of my favorite first-person shooters; not because of the gameplay, but because of the world and the fiction. I intend to buy an Xbox One as well, that may have to wait a bit, however, due to funds being scarce. I won’t leave it behind though. The games, especially the exclusives, on the Xbox One look brilliant.

Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome, Zoo Tycoon, all are games I would play for hours upon hours on end. I’m even willing to pay for the Gold membership alongside my PS Plus one. I won’t forget about Microsoft, no matter how much my Sony consoles and DualShock 4 calls to me.

There is one gaming platform that tends to come out on top just as much as my PlayStation 4 does these days, however.

I built my gaming PC to handle just about whatever the industry threw at me.

That was a few years ago and it may need an upgrade quite soon, but it will be well worth it. There are just some games created solely for the PC and they shine through with those graphical boosts.

The addition of Steam Early Access and Kickstarter allows me to get ahead of development are all pluses that attributed to the “PC Master Race.” Both are brilliant ideas, each one filled with numerous games that are both incredible and unique.

We definitely need more things like this in the gaming world. But the feel of the new DualShock 4 controller and the lightbar bring me back to my PS4 every day. The ease of use a console offers is perfect for a working gamer, and Sony will continue to be my go to for consoles.

I may be a fanboy in some regards, I will almost always choose Sony to play on, but I am a professional as well. I put my work ahead of my fanboyism for the most part. Sometimes that isn’t always possible, but that’s what make each of our writing unique and our own. Readers want unique, not just more rehashed console news. Flaws bring personality into the written word.

Does it Ryse Above the Hype? RYSE: Son of Rome Review https://www.gameskinny.com/vvluh/does-it-ryse-above-the-hype-ryse-son-of-rome-review https://www.gameskinny.com/vvluh/does-it-ryse-above-the-hype-ryse-son-of-rome-review Wed, 22 Jan 2014 23:57:11 -0500 DreNav

We’ve hit a new generation, along with the slough of new games for our itchy gaming nubs to play--and now we finally have come to the point where we can play these beautiful works of art. Whether you are a fan of Microsoft’s Xbox, Sony’s Playstation or  Nintendo with the Wii U (but again I’m talking about NEXT generation... harsh, but I had to), they all have games that stick to us and have us lost in their beautiful worlds or captivating stories.

Over the holiday, I have been able to get my hands on my very own Xbox One and have picked up Dead Rising 3 (which I will have a review on later) and Battlefield 4. There has been one game that very much caught my eye last year at E3. That game was  Ryse: Son of Rome.

A friend of mine happened to have it, so I borrowed it from him (insert DRM joke here). I have played it fully through and even played the multiplayer for a good amount of time. Yes, I have seen and read reviews of this game written by other gaming journalism outlets, and I have definitely seen them bash this game for its lackluster combat and very short story.

Those two things are something I will mention in this review, but let me say this right now: Ryse: Son of Rome isn’t totally bad. Here is my review of Microsoft’s attempt at launching possibly what could be the next exclusive franchise for their gaming/entertainment console.

(This review is 100% Spoiler free)

Surprisingly Great (But So Short) Story with Superb Voice Acting

When I was told about Ryse when I was watching E3, all I got from it was “this game is going to look amazing.” So that’s how I went into this. I wasn’t expecting to be captivated by the story of this launch title.

Honestly, I was glad I didn’t go in expecting a good story because when the story came, it hit me hard. You take the role as Marius Titus, a young Roman soldier who, when we first meet him, is defending against a barbarian onslaught along with his troops. Marius then takes the emperor of Rome and is guided to a secret chamber, where they will be isolated from battle and fully protected. While in this chamber, Marius begins to discuss his past with Emperor Nero, and thus begins the events that happened prior to the barbarian invasion.

Now, for the sake of keeping this review spoiler-free, I won’t go into detail of what events happen and who is killed, blah, blah, blah. I will say that this story was, next to its visuals, Ryse’s strongest suit. I loved how the story was told, in which it's told in stone carvings in some points of the game. These stone carvings actually mean something as the game progresses--just letting you know if you plan to get it. Also, the story is told with some of the best voice acting I’ve heard in a videogame in recent years. Every major cutscene left me literally saying, “Wow that was amazing.”

Ryse’s story is no where near a long one, though. One could actually beat it in one gaming session. I completed the game in about 4 hours… Yeah, that short. I would have loved to see the game go on a lot longer, and I really do feel that if Crytek wanted to make this an amazing launch title, they could’ve at least had a few more hours in.

The length of the campaign was one of the big disappointments this game brought, which, in all honestly, doesn’t make it worth the full $60 price. With its length, the story and voice acting leave you wanting more; the problem is that with all this hype we expected… well, you know… more.

Rome is Burning and Damn, It Looks Good.

I’m going to be honest; I was dying to see what this game was going to look like on my TV. I even bought a new HDTV when I got my One so I was super excited to see how any game would look. Microsoft told us to expect to be blown away by what the Xbox One can do graphically, and holy s**t was I blown away when I saw this game play.

The beginning cutscene plays, and then you’re right into the game. I thought I was still in the cutscene when the game started to let me control Marius, until I realized I could move. I was constantly stopping to look at my surroundings and just marvel at how far video games have come. We came from 8-bit to this: 

Ryse: Son of Rome is the perfect game for Microsoft to brag about how good the Xbox One can make games look. Visuals, I would give 11/10.

X, X, Y, X, X, RT (B, Sometimes)

The title of this section is the only spoiler this review will have, because I’ve just shown you the buttons, in the exact order, you will need to press to beat every enemy in this game.

I’m exaggerating a bit, but seriously, I’ve pressed those same buttons in the order so many times that I knew I had to write it in this review.

The combat is another HUGE, and I mean HUGE, disappointment in this game. Ryse was getting a bad wrap when it was demoed at E3, and showed us a good amount of button sequences that left us like “…QTEs? You sure this is next-gen?” Crytek announced that the quick-time events would be cut down in the released game, but I honestly didn’t feel a difference from what I saw being tested. RT to execute, and about 3-5 times you either had to press X or Y, which is indicated by the enemy being highlighted in the color of the buttons needed to be pressed.

Along with the very lackluster combat came a lack of different enemies. There were about 4 different types of enemies: Regular soldiers, shielded soldiers, dual wielders, and Tall strong enemies. The combo still applied for all of these enemies. If you have to take out each kind of enemy in a videogame the SAME EXACT WAY with no variation whatsoever, there’s a big problem.


Ryse did use the Kinect 2.0 for its gameplay, with the player being able to shout commands when prompted to aid him in battle. Due to Kinect’s voice recognition, I barely had trouble getting my voice heard. I would say 8 times out of 10, it heard me and activated the command.

If for some reason you were gaming during the night and don’t want to wake others in the house (or not wanting to sound crazy), the player has the option to just press the left bumper (LB) on the controller, which is pretty convenient also.

Multiplayer: A Nice Treat

Not much to say about multiplayer other than with a partner, it is very fun. There are maps or playlists you can work together in to get certain objectives done, whether it be done separately or done cooperatively whilst battling hordes of enemies of different types. You gain XP and money to level up and buy upgrades and clothing to further protect your soldier. If you want to upgrade your soldier faster, there’s always the ability to purchase in-game gold with the in-game microtransaction’s available from the Xbox One marketplace along with in-game costumes. I personally bought the Damocles outfit because it looks so damn awesome.


RYSE: Son of Rome is a greatly written and amazingly designed game that had so much potential, but was dragged down due to its laughably short campaign and very uninvolving combat system. I want there to be a sequel of this game because if Crytek can fix everything wrong (and when it comes to involving gameplay there is a lot wrong), Ryse could be a truly amazing title for Microsoft to have under their belts.

Dre's Recommended Price Point For (RYSE: Son of Rome) : $30-$35.

Wait for a price drop if you're in no rush to get either this game or an Xbox One entirely. The story, acting, and visuals hold it up, but the gameplay weighs it down hard. Defintiely not worth the 60 bones for it now.  

Thanks guys for reading my first review of Ryse: Son of Rome! Feedback is definitely deeply appreciated! 

Top 10 Console Games of 2013 (Xbox/PlayStation) https://www.gameskinny.com/fwr0w/top-10-console-games-of-2013-xboxplaystation https://www.gameskinny.com/fwr0w/top-10-console-games-of-2013-xboxplaystation Mon, 30 Dec 2013 15:16:55 -0500 Escrudo


 Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag


Well there it is. Assassin's Creed IV is number 1 in my Top 10 Console Games of 2013.


It is here for near enough the same reason that Dead Space 3 is at number 2. It surprised me. I was put off buying it because I strongly disliked Assassin's Creed 3, but I bought it during Christmas sales. I didn't play it for a few weeks after but when I did start playing it, I couldn't put the controller down. Aesthetically pleasing, fantastic gameplay mechanics, good storyline and plot. I regret not buying this game at launch, never mind not playing it for two weeks after buying it.


Think I'm missing a few games of this list. Look at the below list at games I considered for this list, the reason why I dismissed them and what spot they would be in.

  • Ryse: Son of Rome - Short game. Feels more like a tech demo to show off the Xbox One. - Spot 8
  • \n
  • Bioshock Infinite - Very good game. Only missed out on the list due to my lack of interest post game. - Spot 6
  • \n
  • Pokemon XY - It's a Pokemon game. Yes it is good, it's just the same thing with added features (Seems familiar?). - Spot 7
  • \n
  • Beyond: Two Souls - I've never played the game so it wouldn't be fair on where it would be placed. - Spot 6
  • \n
  • Saints Row IV - Again, I've never played it. I've only ever saw videos of it. - Spot 5
  • \n

Have any comments on my list? Let me know. It would be interesting to see other people's opinion and their choices for the list.


 Dead Space 3


Coming in 2nd position on the podium is Dead Space 3. Why is this here you ask? Due to it's co-op play. I was very pessimistic about it all when it was announced but the truth of it is that it's one of the best co-op games I have played for a long time, along with Borderlands. The whole game can be played in co-op mode with none of the story being taken away from you. That is why it is in my number 2 spot. For surprising me and giving me a good co-op game.


 Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon


And at number 3, we have Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon. It was going to be Far Cry 3 in this spot, but then Google Auto Complete reminded of this gem. What was the developers smoking?. Whatever it was, they made one heck of a game. This game is where it is in my list because of its humour and gameplay. It's not everyday you get to shoot Blood Dragons with a bow and arrow whilst in a '80s view of the future.


Diablo III


Having never played a Diablo game, I didn't even think of picking this up until my birthday (3rd September), when I got handed a pre-order slip and a gift card for my local GAME shop for Diablo III. Yeah it's a shortish game, but allows for multiple playthroughs, which for me, didn't get boring like it usually would. I enjoyed the game very much, despite how short it was, hence its place as my 4th spot.


Tomb Raider


2013 saw the reboot of Tomb Raider with her origin story, and I see it into my number 5 spot for my Top 10 games of 2013. OK sure, the game felt repetitive from time to time, and I felt lost half of the time, but it is still one of the best games I have played this year. It was nice to see and origin story for Lara, and Square Enix did it well. I look forward to its next-gen version in the coming months.


Dead Rising 3


Come join us at the 6th spot Dead Rising 3. I'm very surprised by this game and I will tell you why. Normally when a game dev says "No loading screens," that means no loading screens, we will just be loading everything in the background and let it affect your gameplay. So I thought the same would happen again. Boy was I wrong. The game is great when it comes to flowing through different areas with all the different assets on screen. 


Zoo Tycoon


This had to go on the list, and so it is. Zoo Tycoon at number 7. It's weird. I don't actually have a bad thing to say about this game, yet it is only 7th in my list. The game itself is very aesthetically pleasing, the gameplay flows really nicely, controls are lovely.... Nope, not a bad word against this game. 




The Last Of Us


 Joining us at the 8th spot is The Last Of Us. It's a brilliant game. I had a lot of fun playing through it, well the majority of the game anyway. The level design, plot and graphical aspects of the game was absolutely fantastic, I was just put off by the gameplay. For some reason, it didn't stick with me.


Grand Theft Auto V


That's right. In at number 9 is Grand Theft Auto V. Surprised it's not higher up in the list? Don't get me wrong, the game is fantastic. The online play is fantastic. I just put it down after 3 weeks of playing out of boredom. I can't even play it now for longer than an hour at a time. I looked forward to online with the heists and everything Rockstar had promised, yet it wasn't in there.


Minecraft (Retail Release)


I'm not going to say a lot about Minecraft, but it does start off my list at number 10. This game has given me endless hours of fun of just messing around and building stuff. It's just a shame that the console versions are behind on the PC versions.

Xbox One Indie Games Are Go! Microsoft Announce Extensive Developer Line-Up https://www.gameskinny.com/0815j/xbox-one-indie-games-are-go-microsoft-announce-extensive-developer-line-up https://www.gameskinny.com/0815j/xbox-one-indie-games-are-go-microsoft-announce-extensive-developer-line-up Wed, 04 Dec 2013 18:02:51 -0500 Destrolyn.Bechgeddig

A while ago, we pondered the sincerity of Xbox One's dedication to indie games and if they'd be able to claim a significant share of the market given Sony's head-start, as there was a grand total of 0 indie games at launch. 

However, Microsoft now look like they're putting their money where their mouth is by announcing a long and non-exhaustive list of developers that they already have on board to work with them.

On The List

The list so far includes no less than 32 developers who are confirmed as on-board Microsoft's indie initiative, ID@Xbox. Some of these include some well know indie developers, such as; Double Fine, the studio behind the cult titles Psychonauts and Brütal Legend; Drinkbox, makers of smashing Guacamelee; Halfbrick, the studio behind slash-tastic mobile game Fruit Ninja; and Definition 6, who have been causing excitement with their title Spy Party.

But it does looks like Microsoft are being a tad liberal with their definition of "indie" by including Crytek, makers of Far Cry, Crysis, and Xbox One launch-day title Ryse: Son of Rome. Their presence, however, is because they're going to be "self-publishing". But it's not like they're as strapped for resources as other developers, so can they really be classed as "indie"?

There's also some talk about Crytek picking up some smaller developers and getting them on board with them. But as ID@Xbox has always been pushed as a scheme to get indie games directly onto Xbox One without a publisher's help, such a position seems that of a needless third party. Not that we're chiding Crytek, it just does seem a bit odd that their stance within this indie scheme is one that's being touted at this stage.

Double Fine, too, is a studio that, depending on your point of view, is less indie than most and will forever be a moot point on what defines an independent studio.

But for the most part, the majority of the list is definitely indie, and it's really great that Microsoft are finally putting the wheels in motion for what was a big part of their pre-launch rhetoric.

Smoke, But No Fire

The list of 32 studios is part of a larger 50 developers that Microsoft have already approved to give dev kits to: two Xbox One kits, and a free Unity Pro licence. But despite the length of this list, there's very few titles that have been actually been announced. Although all studios say they're "working" on something, there's few firm confirmation of actual games.

Indeed, some of the developers themselves are being very couched about what they're working on and their future with Xbox One. On Eurogamer, Chris McQuinn of Drinkbox is quoted as saying,

"Can't quite say a whole lot at the moment, mainly because we're not too sure ourselves. But, I can confirm that we are working on a Xbox One title. As for working with Microsoft, well, it's still really really early, so get back to me in a few months on that question."

This is very different tone compared of the quote the studio is attached to in the official Xbox One press release, where Graham Smith is quoted as saying,

"Our experience with the ID@Xbox program has been great so far. As an independent developer, we're very excited to have an opportunity to self-publish on the Xbox One!" 

Zen Studios have also been unable to announce any title, even though they've recently pushed out news about their upcoming Zen Pinball 2 on the PlayStation 4. It looks like developing for the Xbox One isn't exactly their first priority, raining a little on Microsoft's parade.


Microsoft have also announced today that they're withdrawing exclusivity clauses for indie developers getting on board. This is a great for indie devs as it mean they no longer have to worry about dedicating themselves to one console for any period of time. This could also make more indie devs come forward to apply for the developer kits. Yet this does smack a little of desperation in trying to get more studios on Microsoft's side.

Watch This Space

Taking into account all of the above, we're still not convinced about Microsoft's potential to eventually compete at the same level as Sony. But at least they now appear to actually be doing something which could still turn the tide yet.

Good Guy Microsoft Gives Free Game To Those With Broken Xbox Ones https://www.gameskinny.com/nvvhi/good-guy-microsoft-gives-free-game-to-those-with-broken-xbox-ones https://www.gameskinny.com/nvvhi/good-guy-microsoft-gives-free-game-to-those-with-broken-xbox-ones Wed, 27 Nov 2013 19:39:02 -0500 MyNameIsProjekt

Microsoft has recently announced that they will be offering a free first-party video game to Xbox One owners affected by hardware issues.  This announcement was released shortly after reports were released about some Xbox One's suffering from faulty disc drives.

The faulty disc drives would make a sickening, grinding sound when a disc was inserted into the Xbox One and the game would not play.  This problem had left several gamers with no way to play their hard copies of any game, but any downloaded games would work just fine.

Luckily for Microsoft, they are well-trained in how to deal with console issues after the infamous "Red Ring of Death" plagued many of the early versions of the Xbox 360.  Microsoft took care of many of the issues without charging their customers but it was still frustrating to not have your console while it was being repaired.

This go-round, Microsoft has established their "advance exchange program" so that gamers will be sent their replacement console first, and then they send in their faulty console.  This makes it more convenient for the customer and is a savvy move on Microsoft's part.

"While a replacement console is on its way, we want to ensure that our advance exchange customers can stay in the game.  We will provide each of them with a free digital download of one of the launch titles published by Microsoft Studios."

To make this arrangement all the better, Microsoft will be giving out a downloadable versions of either Forza Motorsport 5, Dead Rising 3, Ryse: Son of Rome or Zoo Tycoon.  This is awesome because faulty disc drives are not a problem for downloadable games, so gamers can play their free game until their replacement console arrives.

Of course, this now presents Xbox One gamers with the decision of which game to get for free and that is a tough choice.  I reviewed Ryse: Son of Rome yesterday and wrote about how the game is a bit disappointing, so my decision would be narrowed down to three games.  From there, I would probably avoid Zoo Tycoon because those games are not really my style; which leaves two really fun games left with Forza Motorsport 5 and Dead Rising 3 to choose from.

While it is unfortunate for those who received Xbox Ones with faulty disc drives, it is awesome to see Microsoft come through like they have.  I have had two Xbox 360s go down with problems and Microsoft was nice enough to send a free month trial of Xbox Live Gold, but this new deal is much more appealing.

Ryse: Son of Rome, It's Next-Gen But... https://www.gameskinny.com/vr2pv/ryse-son-of-rome-its-next-gen-but https://www.gameskinny.com/vr2pv/ryse-son-of-rome-its-next-gen-but Tue, 26 Nov 2013 20:09:41 -0500 MyNameIsProjekt

Ryse: Son of Rome is one of the handful of Xbox One exclusive titles that was released when the console made its debut on November 22nd.  Ryse was one of the games that got me excited for the next generation of gaming consoles, due to how crisp the game's graphics were.

So, when the Xbox One released this past Friday, I decided to give Ryse a try even though the game had not been well received by some critics.  I mean, Ryse: Son of Rome is part of next-gen, so how could it not be good?

The Story

The game has players take on the role of a Roman general named Marius Titus as he seeks revenge for the killing of his family.  Marius is a highly trained member of the Roman army and players are able to command his legionnaires through different Kinect commands.

Marius (left) will rise through the ranks of the Roman army as the story progresses.

The Combat

Marius is equipped with a sword and shield so players will be able to attack as well as defend, and being able to alternate between the two in combat is critical.  Marius's fighting style allows players to attack one opponent and quickly disengage to block another enemy's attack.  This means that players cannot afford to focus all their attention on one enemy as enemies will attack Marius from behind.

The X button controls Marius's sword attacks and the Y button focuses on his shield attacks, and both of these can help players string together different attack combos.  The shield is an important element of combat because it can break an opponent's defense which allows Marius to land successful sword attacks.

Each hit that lands successfully on an opponent adds to Marius's attack streak that allows players to earn more points during combat.  These points count towards the overall experience that players will earn as they progress in the Campaign.  The more experience you earn, the better you can upgrade Marius to make him a better fighter.

Another part of combat is that once Marius deals enough damage to an enemy a symbol will appear above their head meaning that they are vulnerable to an execution-style move performed by Marius.  During these finishing moves, the enemy will glow with either blue or yellow which corresponds to either a X or Y button command. 

The yellow glow means that Marius is going to inflict damage with his shield.

These moves make it so that enemies cannot target Marius and it is really meant to show off the visual ability of the Xbox One.  The executions are oftentimes brutal and the game focuses heavily on this feature of the game.  Unfortunately, every enemy is susceptible to these attacks and soon you will be performing the same attacks over and over again...which feels stale after a while.

In fact, the combat in Ryse feels fresh and exciting for the first hour of gameplay but it soon starts to feel repetitive.  The game begins to feel like a button-masher until the time comes to perform an execution where the combat relies on quick-time events. 

Overall, the combat in Ryse: Son of Rome is entertaining but soon begins to suffer from repetition.  The mechanics of combat feel good

Graphics and Sound

One of the strengths of Ryse: Son of Rome is the quality of the graphics and the in-game audio.  The game showcases what the Xbox One can do visually at the time of the console's release, and the attention to detail is impeccable.  Marius armor shows great detail and some of the larger areas showcase impressive lighting ability.

Long story short, the game looks stunning in many instances.

The in-game sounds and audio are also quite good as the sounds of combat will ring out.  Whether it is the sound of sword on shield or the sound of a ship being destroyed, Ryse features an impressive array of sounds.

The voice acting of the in-game characters is another one of the strong points as each actor really gets into character. 

The Cons

Ryse: Son of Rome has some strong points that are appealing, but there are also some serious negatives that hurt the game.

The game is based around combat and the combat starts to get repetitive way too early.  The same moves will be repeated countless times and even the unique execution moves will lose their initial appeal.

Another big issue that I have with Ryse is that the Story behind the game does not last very long.  The average player will complete the Story mode in around six to eight hours.  Even with a cooperative Multiplayer mode, I cannot help but wonder where my $60 went.

The game is over?  Already?

Overall, Ryse: Son of Rome is a good teaser to what the Xbox One can do performance-wise and it makes me hopeful for what the future holds.  However, the short Campaign and repetitive combat let the game down.  For that reason, I have to give Ryse: Son of Rome a six out of ten.

My recommendation is get Ryse: Son of Rome for a price cheaper than the full $60 cost.  Wait and see if the holiday season influences some retailers to lower the price of the game and maybe make a decision from there.

Microsoft's Phil Spencer Responds to Microtransaction Outcry https://www.gameskinny.com/d4msl/microsofts-phil-spencer-responds-to-microtransaction-outcry https://www.gameskinny.com/d4msl/microsofts-phil-spencer-responds-to-microtransaction-outcry Tue, 26 Nov 2013 12:49:00 -0500 Ryan Kerns

So when he's not playing Killer Instinct with Jimmy Fallon on late night television, Phil Spencer has been fielding some complaints about the Xbox One launch. While he did address things like not having a Halo game at launch, the hot topic right now is the presence of micro-transactions in Forza 5 and Ryse.

Both of those games basically have a "pay to win" system built into them, where gamers can purchase content that they could have otherwise just unlocked through playing. There's also been quite a fuss about the top cars in Forza 5 being cherry-picked and only available in a $20 car pack DLC, or $50 for a "Car Pass" that includes all 60 post-launch vehicles. Here is what Spencer has to say about that:

Maybe it's not the end of the world if there are microtransactions in a single-player game, just as long as it's easy enough to progress in the game without paying extra. Microstansactions in multiplayer games can tip game balance, if you can buy things that make one player more capable than another.

"...and if fans don't like a micropayment? Don't buy it."

Then he goes on to say that they wouldn't impliment something as stupid as "...pay five bucks and get 1000 achievements." The statement that stood out to me the most is, "...and if fans don't like a micropayment? Don't buy it." That is a very clear message to gamers. EA has been doing this micro-transaction scheme for quite a while now, and it's profitable. As long as people are willing to hand over their money, the rest of us will continue to be gouged.

Other bits of interesting news from the interview included a hint of a new Gears of War title, and it's possible a new Phantom Dust game could be made. There's been some murmurs about Gears of War going multi-platform... so things could get quite interesting. 

So what's the takeaway from this interview? There's a sucker born every second that will shell out money to advance in a game they've already paid full price for. Microsoft says if you don't like it... you can just go suck it. 

PS4 Over Xbox: Why I Bought Playstation https://www.gameskinny.com/28blc/ps4-over-xbox-why-i-bought-playstation https://www.gameskinny.com/28blc/ps4-over-xbox-why-i-bought-playstation Thu, 21 Nov 2013 16:55:47 -0500 Amanda Wallace

This is the first console generation where my opinion matters. During the rise of previous generations, my parents still held the spending power -- especially for such large purchases. I could've begged for an Xbox 360 or a PS2 or anything else, but I knew in my house we were going Nintendo. 

But now it's my disposable income, so I put in my research.

Pretty much immediately, Playstation stood head and shoulders above Microsoft. 

This was a complicated decision. I've only recently gotten back into console gaming, and I've been using my boyfriends Xbox 360. I'm most familiar and comfortable with that platform. I love the Media Center, all the apps, and the game library is amazing. But there were a few things about the PS4 that really stood out.

First and foremost, and this really can't be ignored, is the price.

Playstation is offering a competitively similar console for $100 less than Microsoft. There is the argument that the Kinect is vital to the way the system functions and pretty fantastic, but either way, for me it's just an unnecessary accessory. And yes, if you buy the Playstation Eye, it does even out. But I'm not buying a Playstation Eye. 

Secondly is indie support.

From very early on, Playstation set itself apart from the Xbox One by showing immediate support for independent developers. In the current gen, and this is a matter of opinion, the indie library on PSN is better than Xbox Live. With frankly unimpressive launch line-ups from both consoles, it became in my mind, a battle of the indies. But while Xbox talked a good late game about including indies, Xbox One is comparatively empty of solid indie titles. And there was only one independent that was Microsoft exclusive that I am bummed about missing -- Below by Capy Games

All I saw when I looked at Microsoft's line-up was a group of rehashed AAA titles that I was never going to play. I wasn't going to play another zombie game (Dead Rising 3) and Ryse looked plagued with quick time events and then deeply boiled in the hyper-masculine power fantasies that seem to dominate the industry.

Xbox One made a really excellent case for creating an at home media center in one box, and if that's what I was looking for, I would've been sold. But I don't even have cable, and if I want a media center, I'll just use the 360. 

Someday I will probably own an "Xbone," but I can't see that happening for at least a year. 

What do you think? Are you going PS4 or Xbox One this generation?