Xbox One’s Ryse: Roman conquest of emotion

Tuesday, 11th June 2013 19:56 GMT By Patrick Garratt

Patrick Garratt played an Xbox One game. Crytek talks about the challenges of Ryse: Son of Rome’s development and letting you act as a “Roman badass”.

“We pushed the actors and stunt performers to the limits. We had stuntmen that have worked on a lot of famous stunts, and they were like, ‘This is cool shit. We haven’t done cool shit like this in a long time.’”

If you want to get an idea of the obstacles developers are going to face going into the next generation, take a look at Ryse. Crytek’s Ryse: Son of Rome is a system exclusive and a November launch title. Microsoft flagged it heavily in its press conference yesterday in a “Roman Medal of Honor” demo in which you, Marius Titus, storm a beach with your blood-thirsty Roman buddies. Whatever else it may be, it’s exceptionally pretty, but while the level of visual detail in both character and environment effects presents the player with hitherto unseen console experiences, creating them presents the developer with the necessity of acquiring next-level skillsets.

“It was very challenging, but it gives the fights emotional context,” Microsoft combat expert James Goddard told me last night after I’d played through the sequence seen in the press conference.

“When you stab a sword into someone they look as though they’re in pain, and sometimes they look surprised, like their life is over and they’re like, ‘What just happened?’ Then they’re in pain. That kind of facial performance capture and performance capture for the moves, it’s wide open now. We can do so much more than we could before.”

He added: “There was a lot of mo-cap. We pushed the actors and stunt performers to the limits. We had stuntmen that have worked on a lot of famous stunts, and they were like, ‘This is cool shit. We haven’t done cool shit like this in a long time.’”

Goddard repeatedly compared the process to creating movies. Don’t be fooled, though. While plenty of wiz-bang is probably a given for early next-gen titles, there is a game in there.

“The big thing we’re going for is ‘brutally intense,” said Goddard. “Six inches to six feet. Very close quarters. Make it feel as though you’re a Roman badass. Very visceral and deadly. Less boom-bastic and more in your face.”

Ryse was certainly in my face. Burning men flung themselves from the decks of galleys and torn sails flapped in air full of particle effects as I murdered my way through ancient Omaha, but as the fireworks distracted me I was repeatedly dying. If you don’t take Ryse seriously as a combo-based fighting game, you’re going to find it arduous.

Crytek wants you to see the whole thing, however.

“A big thing surrounding combat was ‘mashing to mastery’,” said Goddard. “We don’t want to punish you for being casual. As you get better you get cooler stuff, until you’re really shredding through people.

“If you mash the buttons then your moves come out and you look fluent. If you’re timing all your hits as you’re landing then you’re shredding through people, and it gets faster and faster, getting to executions quicker. If you time your deflect perfectly, for example, your opponent will spin around and be completely open to a counter-attack.”

There are a lot of QTEs going on. You hit B to enter an execution sequence after you successfully land a few strikes. Again, though, if you screw them up you won’t be stopped.

“There’s no win or fail: you get the execution,” said Goddard. “But if you get the timing right you get perks. Someone might give you health back, for example. Some might give you more score or experience.

“If you do the Legendary timing, which is in the first few frames of each button appearing – you have to know your executions; you can tell which one it is based on the animation – then you might come out with a way higher score bonus plus 150% of your perk.”

Ryse is going to include a great deal of blood, and it’s going to include it at a visual fidelity console gamers have never experienced before. Graphics aside, though, Ryse is about killing people with “hundreds” of executions and full-powered combo combat. The shield, for example, isn’t for blocking.

“It’s to smash people in the face,” said Goddard.

Ryse ships for Xbox One as a launch title this autumn.



  1. Pytox

    in the demo they showed at ms presser it was too many qte way too fast sadly :x

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Bomba Luigi

    Why not make a normal Combat System, could be similiar to the Souls Games Fighting. But QTE all over the Place?

    Well, its too early to judge. But its sounds strange.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. superjay779

    Day one purchase for me. Can’t wait.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. pha1r

    It looks good, except the combat. I think it might have been cool if your character was a centurion charged with directing his cohort, but the game doesn’t seem to have a huge emphasis on formation.

    And did the landing at the beach remind anyone of the Siege of Carthage demo from Rome 2?

    #4 2 years ago
  5. OlderGamer

    I am not interested One bit.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. polygem

    @2…absolutely! that´s what i was hoping for as well. immersive sword action like in the souls games – sure, more action heavy but more on the defensive side…fearing the opponent to hit you because the next missed block could easily be your death. oh well…

    #6 2 years ago
  7. gdogg979

    @5 but interested enough to come into a ryse post and comment on it??


    i think although the combat looks fairly simple, it could be a great day one purchase to ‘show off’ my new (expensive) toy.

    interested to see what the multiplayer might be?

    edit – a lot of interested in there.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. MadFlavour

    @3 wow you must really like quick time events.

    Crytek should change their name to craptek.

    visually stunning, devoid of gameplay, and completely lacking in character and personality. That’s what Crytek games are.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. OlderGamer

    Yep, just about that interested indeed. Interested enough to drop in and read what Pat had to say about the game after playing it. But I really don’t like QTEs, at all.

    Don’t mistake me for a troll. I am not.

    #9 2 years ago

    Visuals on this were amazing. A proper next gen looking game.

    Not sure about the gameplay, but it looked like some high end PC stuff I was watching.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. superjay779

    @Madflavor I like God of War also. That also has QTE. The only way I’m not getting it is if the reviews are bad.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. fearmonkey

    I would get this game if I was getting an Xbone, as its beautiful and I love history. It’s a game I shall sadly miss playing, maybe one day…

    #12 2 years ago
  13. Irani

    this Game can Fu…ck The Sony And PS4 , I Hate Japan , Long Live USA and this country console

    #13 2 years ago
  14. SplatteredHouse

    The most impressive part of this for me, was when a large galleon, with billowing sails raised, rigging ropes loose and flailing tore through the mid-ground as the Romans advanced. It was just an impressive sight and captured a part of the power of the battle…Which the gameplay itself struggled to reflect, sadly. I DID NOT care for all the extraneous UI elements one bit

    Game: Do this, that, this and now that!
    Me: Really? I thought I was a legionnaire or something – what’s with all these button prompts and clunky flow of play, here.

    The outcome is a bit like that one episode of Spartacus, where the editor’s gotten a little punch-drunk on the slow-mo…and not only does it begin to lose effect, but I found myself questioning, at times, whether the occasion matched the means conveying it. I didn’t like this game much at all.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. mistermogul

    Is this coming to PC as well or just Xbone?

    #15 2 years ago
  16. zinc

    So a visually appealing, but shallow & linear button masher, chock full of QTE’s?

    Shouldn’t this be a Sony exclusive?


    #16 2 years ago
  17. polygem

    @16: touche‘ !


    #17 2 years ago
  18. gdogg979

    Fair enough oldgamer mate…you know what these trolls are like these days.

    I find it quite funny though, how the internet is screaming left , right and centre how Sony destroyed MS.

    but for someone who isnt bothered by DRM ,used games or even the slightly higher price.

    What am i suppose to be so excited about?

    Whereas Xbox announced a lot of games that im excited to see more of.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. monkeygourmet

    It looked like it had less gameplay than ‘infinity blade’ on ipad…

    #19 2 years ago
  20. MadFingerz

    On gamespot’s stage demo the dev said the QTE is associated with execution moves which are unlocked throughout the game and that you don’t have to use them if you don’t want to. Still, gameplay looks really shallow so far. Pretty game but it will need more than that to do well.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. harr0w

    Does look crazy fun

    #21 2 years ago
  22. manamana

    Yeah James Goddard, take your cool shit and flush it down the toilet.

    #22 2 years ago
  23. redwood

    Quickiest-timisius-eventius.. but it looked very very pretty.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. xino

    it’s not QTE you weak gamers, go back and play COD man wtf?

    just because you see ANY button on a gaming screen doesn’t mean it’s a QTE

    #24 2 years ago
  25. TheBlackHole

    LOVED the look of Ryse.

    Can’t wait to try it.

    #25 2 years ago

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