Microsoft’s shallow but pretty Ryse: Son of Rome has changed a bit since it was officially revealed earlier this summer at E3: the game now features a co-op “Gladiator” mode and a revised combat system designed to address criticisms that the game was made entirely of QTE’s.
“People don’t like the idea of a QTE-based combat system. Thank God we’re not a QTE-based combat system,” Ryse design director Patrick Esteves told Joystiq. “Ultimately this was an internal call. We’re looking at it and we’re like, ‘Do you see the button [prompt], or do you see the cool face?”
Instead of button prompts appearing on screen as they did in the E3 build of the game, in the final version of Ryse enemies will flash a certain color before they attack: they turn yellow for instant if you’re required to block their attack (using the Y button,) or blue if you need to parry the blow with your sword (B button.) The combat system is still based around hitting specific buttons at very specific times (i.e. basic QTE style gameplay,) but at least now you’re watching your enemies instead of simply scanning the screen for button prompts.
In addition to the revised combat mechanics, Ryse’s developers also announced today that addition of “Gladiator” mode, which is a co-op multiplayer game similar to Gears of War’s Horde mode: you’ll be able to team up with other players online to fight your way through multiple waves of increasingly difficult enemies, and perfectly timed kills will earn you the adoration of the Roman colosseum’s bloodthirsty crowds.
I played Ryse at this year’s E3, and while I thought that the game’s graphics were very, very impressive (it was one of the few next-gen titles that didn’t look like an upscaled 360 game,) I found the gameplay to be extremely shallow and bland. Hopefully the new additions and changes that were announced today will be enough to add some depth to go along with Ryse’s pretty facade.
Ryse: Son of Rome will be a launch title for the Xbox One, which is scheduled to be released sometime this Fall.