First Impressions: Ryse: Son of Rome (Xbox One)

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First Impressions is a close look at the crucial first hour spent with a game and its’ ability to draw you in or turn you away. Somewhere between a review and a preview.

Everything you’ve heard about Ryse: Son of Rome is true, at least so far, but one thing has been left out. Yes, the game looks fantastic, the story is a little cheesy (but lets be honest, we sometimes like extra cheese) and the combat is simple. The thing most people have left out? That it is rather fun to play.

Simple does not always mean bad; sometimes a straight cup of black coffee is what you want (not some elaborate fancy Starbucks creation).  Combat may be simple in Ryse but damn is it fun and full of many nuances (timing is everything in your attacks and blocking).  Might it be wearing thin by chapter VIII? Time will tell but so far I find myself wanting to keep playing and that’s what matters right?

Slightly less excruciating than waiting for the install to finish.

Slightly less excruciating than waiting for the install to finish.

As for story, so far I’m all in.  I could see the potential for this to wear thin eventually (and there is no denying some level of cliché factor) but who cares?  I’ve been wanting an epic scale game based on Rome for some time that isn’t an RTS and this is giving it to me so far. The whole thing draws up comparisons for HBO’s Rome or Starz’ Spartacus for me and I’m enjoying myself. Plus, I have a suspicion where the story will end and really want to know if I’m right.  Also, damn those visuals… the game looks fantastic.

Ultimately though, the real sign a game is working is that I didn’t want to stop long enough to write this up!  Back to Ryse I go!

One note though, “the first hour” is not including the painfully long install time (roughly 30 minutes) before I could start playing the campaign.

Read our full review here!

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About Tristan Rendo

I've made movies, written and performed music, and in January of 2011 got bored and started the awesome gaming site you see before you. My gaming roots began with the original NES, and endless hours spent spilling quarters into machines at the local arcade. I have a personal collection of over 200 Nintendo 64 games, and for many years it was the only system I owned. I re-entered the modern generation of gaming consoles when I decided to purchase a 360. I typically prefer the single player experience of games, so I’m usually playing through some single-player campaign, but can occasionally be found doing some damage in Halo Reach.