Ryse: Son of Rome is Very Pretty, but Lacks Polished Combat
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.