E3 2013: Ryse Impressions

Ryse is a flagship launch title for the Xbox One from Crytek. It was shown on stage during the Xbox Media Briefing, and it looked absolutely gorgeous. Hordes of barbarians fell to the sword of protagonist Marius Titus, a roman soldier out for revenge against these barbarians because they killed his family.


The demo I played of Ryse was identical to what was shown at the E3 demo. Marius and his army attempt to assault a tower that is attacking their troops, pushing through hordes of barbarians to get to it. I thought Ryse was so beautiful, that I had to spin my character around in circles a few times to make sure what I was playing was realtime. Everything stands out as gorgeous and detailed. Graphically, nothing stands out as flawed in any respect.

Ryse is a standard combat game like God of War. The X button attacks, Y kicks, A parries, and B executes weakened foes. This is how a normal encounter goes:

  • Press X until the B icon appears over their heads
  • Press B to execute them, then press the displayed buttons to finish the execution (QTE)
  • If they attack, press A to parry, then press X some more
  • If pressing X stops working (i.e. they’re blocking), press Y

That was the entire demo. It was so mechanical and boring after a few fights that I couldn’t believe that this was it for combat. I am sincerely worried that this is the complete depth of fighting in this game given that it is boring, dull, and easy. Keep in mind that this based on impressions off of a demo from E3 and often times these demos are usually tuned to be impossible to lose at. However, I can’t believe that someone designed a combat system so dull as to be completely pointless. It’s a very detailed and gorgeous tech demo, but one that is not ready just yet to be a playable game.

Ryse is scheduled to release as an Xbox One launch title.

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