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POSTED 14/1/14


RYSE: SON OF ROME

Microsoft Studios
Xbox One

“There’s nothing like sitting back and talking to your cows.”

Hang on, wrong Rusty Crowe quote.

“What we do in life, echoes in eternity!” Yep, that’s better. Why are we quoting one of New Zealand’s gruffest thespian exports? Aww come on, you can’t see the connection?!

Ryse: Son of Rome is, more or less, Gladiator the videogame. Hey, sounds cool to us! Upon jamming it Xbone-wards – and eventually following an interminable multi-gigabyte fucking update download - we finally got in touch with our inner centurion. Hey, this is fun, and it looks real purty!

Yes, that eye candy requirement for a new console launch title’s well and truly catered for in Ryse – and hey, the gameplay’s pretty bloody fun, too. Erm, at first. But then, as you plunder through plentiful bouts of gwuesome swordicuffs with webelling wascally wuffian barbarians, interspersed with a kind of Roman equivalent of Days of Our Lives (historical accuracy be damned!), something dawns. It’s the same thing over and over and over and over again.

OK, so that may apply to several games, but Ryse’s battle mechanic is shallow – slash, dash, counter or disarm, with a quicktime final stabby-wabby once you’ve rendered a foe sufficiently doolally. It really is super-fun initially, but after hours where nothing really changes – save for the odd arrow attack (incoming or outgoing) - it’s difficult keeping enthusiasm bubbling.

By this time you’ve also realised how completely on rails you are. If you don’t wish to slam your prominent proboscis against invisible walls, you need to find the wee bit of scenery that allows progression. Jump button? Nahhhhhhhhhh...

Basically, Ryse: Son of Rome is the 21st century equivalent of Dragon’s Lair. It looks pretty, but you’ve very little say in what’s going on.

Romani ite domum!

take me back to the start...

 



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ALL WRITTEN CONTENT COPYRIGHT © AMY FLOWER 2008-2014. GAME IMAGES COURTESY OF RESPECTIVE GAMES COMPANIES.