By the time you've seen that ending, though, you'll have unlocked the majority of Marius' upgrades, and there's nothing like enough substance to the gameplay to tempt you to run the campaign on another difficulty setting or to lure you into long-term engagement with the two-player arena mode. There's no brains, no muscle, no fibre beneath Ryse's extravagantly engineered good looks - this game rings loud but hollow. Crytek likes to contrast Marius' moral strength with the vanity and cruelty of Nero and his made-up sons, but Ryse feels like a product of their dying empire. It's just empty decadence.
Ryse is an entertaining ride that often values spectacle over skill.
Ryse: Son of Rome's combat and incredible graphics are entertaining, but it's too narrow and repetitive, even for a short game.
A shallow and unambitious tech demo, of the sort that console launches specialise in. The action works perfectly well but it's instantly repetitive to the point of inanity.
Ryse will undoubtedly exceed your expectations with its interesting story and unbelievable visuals. Combat might get repetitive, but you'll enjoy your time as a Roman soldier.
In the five hours it took to complete Ryse, I experienced a whirlwind of excitement and disgust. I loved the sights, sounds, and basic combat, and loathed the finishers and gameplay deviations
Ryse is beautiful but hollow
Ryse: Son of Rome is a repetitive and tedious homage to the gruesome battles showcased in the film 300.
Probably the best graphical showcase exclusive to Xbox One and a fun game if you're willing to learn its combat system--and aren't squeamish.
Ryse leans too heavily on its merely decent combat, but at least it looks really, really nice doing so.
RYSE's stunning visuals, solid story and a nearly unmatched cinematic flair, are unfortunately offset by simple and repetitive combat, and gameplay that offers little challenge.
In fact, the promising arena mode is the only saving grace of Ryse. The campaign may as well not even be there, and having to fight the same handful of enemies over and over on top of a trite, stereotypical narrative is not an example of a good time. Ryse looks great and has a lot of great ideas, but it falls flat in nearly every respect in regards to its core story. If you're a hardcore action fan you may get some satisfaction on the highest difficulty setting, but even then I'd wait for an equally hardcore price drop.
Ryse is an absolutely beautiful game, but all the beauty in the world can't make up for repetitive gameplay that will most likely bore the average gamer, even those who like hack-and-slash.
Ryse is well-suited to make its entrance alongside a new console, as some of its faults can be overlooked for its commendable bravado and convincing demonstration of power. The bloody spectacle of war and gladiatorial combat are thrilling to behold, and Ryse demonstrates competence even if it falls short of mastery. If Rome were to Ryse again, one would imagine it would be greater.
Ryse: Son of Rome isn't terrible. It has its gorgeous visuals, forceful combat system and relatively tight storytelling to recommend it. It's also short, unvaried, hampered by an obsession with QTE events and far shy of a complete game experience. As a game, it won't hold its own next to some of the third-party stars of this holiday season. It has neither the addictive, consuming multiplayer of Call of Duty nor the imaginative scope of God of War, but still holds promise for its next iteration, if that comes.
Ryse is a decent game, given its length, but it's one that is certainly more fun to look at than it is to play. If you're looking for a game that will push your gaming hardware to the limit, then Ryse certainly fits, especially if you're itching to game on 4K hardware. Otherwise, there are better ways to pass the time.
Ryse: Son of Rome might be the best looking game released on either the PS4 or Xbox One. Unfortunately, it's lacking in the gameplay department. You can tell that there's potential here, but it has yet to be reached.
If you can disengage your brain and just plough through the endless array of same-faced enemies, you'll enjoy the glorious visuals and well designed audio – but this is a game destined to be forgotten fairly quickly, even if it does help prove the Xbox One has more power than we first thought.
The visual showpiece for your Xbox One.
When I finished playing this game, I felt like I wanted more. That's the mark of a good game. I also felt like I had played something fresh. If there were 20 games about Rome, this one might not stand out as the most outstanding. But it's good, and there aren't enough tales with a historical background that wind up being big budget video games. I'm glad that Crytek stayed the course on its seven-year journey and finally finished Ryse.