Ryse: Son of Rome PC Review – Visually Impressive Action Blockbuster

This Ryse: Son of Rome PC review takes one old title that was originally an Xbox exclusive but soon after was ported to the PC. Crytek developed the game, so it’s visually stunning, but what else does the game offer? That’s what we’re going to answer together, but we have other questions to answer before that.

What is Ryse: Son of Rome about?

Ryse: Son of Rome is a third-person action-adventure set in an alternate version of Ancient Rome.

Who made Ryse: Son of Rome?

Ryse: Son of Rome was developed by Crytek and published by Microsoft Studios.

When did Ryse: Son of Rome come out?

Ryse: Son of Rome came out on 10 October 2014

How long is Ryse: Son of Rome?

Ryse: Son of Rome requires about 5-8 hours if you follow the main story. To complete all the game’s content, you must spend 18-20 hours.

What year does Ryse: Son of Rome take place?

Ryse: Son of Rome took place during Ancient Rome when Nero ruled.

How much does Ryse: Son of Rome cost?

You can buy Ryse: Son of Rome for 9,99€.

Where can I find a cheap Ryse: Son of Rome key?

You can find a cheap Ryse: Son of Rome on HRK Game.

Ryse: Son of Rome PC review
Image credit: Crytek

Brutal and gorgeous

Ryse: Son of Rome on PC doesn’t try to do anything special. It’s a brutal, visually striking, repetitive action game, a blockbuster. The game doesn’t have much-staying power, even though it has you play as a vicious gladiator, which is the coolest thing ever. But there are highlights in Crytek’s bloody gladiator game; I’m just sad there weren’t more of them. 

Ryse: Son of Rome was originally a game that showcased the Kinect on the Xbox 360. Yes, this was a while back. However, Microsoft changed its mind and made the game an Xbox One exclusive. This was an excellent decision, as Crytek got the opportunity to bring their A-game. In the end, Ryse: Son of Rome pushed Xbox One to its limits and showed just how beautiful Ancient Rome could look. It’s a shame that they didn’t put nearly much effort into much else, but oh well, it is what it is. 

Strange depiction of Ancient Rome

Ryse: Son of Rome and its story are rather strange. The game starts with Rome in flames. The barbarian hordes burned everything to the ground, and Emperor Nero ran for the hills. He soon meets the hero of this game, Marius Titus, a mighty and proud Roman warrior that begins to tell his unfortunate tale. Then the first of MANY cutscenes begins that explains how Marius saw his whole family die in a barbarian aid. Quite a shocking start, I know. And that’s how Marius started his quest for vengeance as he set off into Britannia’s wilds to conquer the vicious rebels.

Ryse: Son of Rome PC review
Image credit: Crytek

If you’re going to point out that barbarians did not start the Great Fire of Rome, you should realize that Ryse has no regard for history. It’s a haphazard historical fantasy in which the Celtic queen Boudica rides a war elephant, England resembles Middle-Earth, Scotland resembles Transylvania, the Colosseum resembles a mechanical Holodeck, and someone developed exploding barrels. The Roman Empire is led into a Caligulan nightmare of drunkenness and mass crucifixions by Nero’s two imaginary and humorously terrible sons. Marius’ fate is somehow tied to the mythology of Damocles, a wronged warrior who became an undead “spirit of vengeance” – which bears no similarity to Damocles’s true, highly well-known Greek fable.

At least it’s entertaining

This is all rubbish, but it’s passably entertaining garbage if a little is more humorless than I’m portraying. Crytek can get a lot of mileage out of the fun stuff: legionnaires moving in phalanx formation, savages wearing moose heads, sadistic nobles displaying some nipple, skyscraper-sized wicker men. The script is direct but unoffensive, and the ensemble of jobbing British TV actors does a good job of keeping their faces, or voices, straight. During the first couple of hours of my playthrough for this Ryse: Son of Rome PC review, I was thoroughly entertained.

Ryse: Son of Rome PC review
Image credit: Crytek

Ryse: Son of Rome would be a much more enjoyable game if it were less serious. Everything that goes on and happens in the game will make you laugh, but not on purpose. There are too many action game cliches that take away from the experience. Combine that with a grim and cynical story that doesn’t work at all at pulling the player into all the happenings, and you get a very shallow world and characters.

Visually striking

If anything, Ryse cares about its textures, surfaces, the water, and even the characters are all done wonderfully. As said before, Crytek knows how to visually craft an impressive experience that stands above the rest in the graphical department.

However, Ryse suffers from a lack of variation and a depressingly mechanistic approach to gore as a melee-combat action game. The fundamentals of its fighting system are solid, but that is all you get. There is no elaboration, no room for players to express themselves, and an utterly awful lack of enemy design. There are perhaps a half-dozen basic enemy varieties whose tactics aren’t all that different, to begin with. It’s mindless and tedious nonsense.

Ryse: Son of Rome PC review
Image credit: Crytek

You frequently encounter enemies in tiny groups that encircle you and approach you one by one. You use your shield to stop their strikes, hit, hit, push with your shield to keep them open, hit, hit. Keep an eye out for any soldier who may stop the flow with their own attack, then block, hit, hit, push, hit, hit… The pace is deliberate and plodding. Timing is crucial, especially when dealing with more brutal, heavier hits; you can throw in an evade if you wish to change positions, and varied enemy combinations mix things up mildly. However, this is an action game with only one combo.

Ryse: Son of Rome and its gameplay really lack variety

Ryse: Son of Rome and its gameplay are very simple. Bash an enemy repeatedly until you see a skull mark. That’s when you enter a chaotic QTE that lets you dismember your foe entirely, be it with your sword or shield. The sequences are quite bloody and spectacular, but after seeing it for the 40th time, they get a bit boring.

Once you get to time these QTE sequences better, the game rewards you with more damage, XP, damage, or focus. Yeah, Ryse isn’t very tactical when it comes to its action. It’s all very straightforward, so it can sometimes get somewhat repetitive. I think the game could have gotten more combos and brutalization types, which would help immensely.

Many games offer this kind of excessive violence, but with greater variety. After a while of playing for this Ryse: Son of Rome PC review, the game started feeling like a meat grinder simulator with the amount of blood and guts everywhere. Strangely, Crytek didn’t put multiple types of combo finishers and executions since that’s what we’re doing for 90% of the game.

Ryse: Son of Rome PC review
Image credit: Crytek

Bland as it is, it Ryse never overstays its welcome

Continue pushing Marius along what seems to be one long hallway to the next confrontation. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a portion where you form a phalanx with your fellow legionnaires, instructing them to shelter themselves from enemy archers and throw spear volleys. These bits are fantastic. If you’re unlucky, you’ll work in a ‘Scorpio’ turret for a shaky, poorly built shooting gallery. Then there are more barbarians to thrash. Blocking, hitting, hitting, pushing, hitting, hitting…

Ryse: Son of Rome PC review
Image credit: Crytek

As monotonous and shallow as it is, Ryse is always blandly playable; its attractive visuals and the absurd energy of the story will quickly get you to the finish of a game that doesn’t outstay its welcome. The final chapters even achieve a ludicrous grandeur. Marius returns to Rome and relives earlier events at the Colosseum, where imaginative contraptions change the setting like the set of a great Broadway musical. There’s a shout-out to Stanley Kubrick’s Spartacus (as opposed to the trashy TV series that Ryse much more closely resembles). The way Marius’ narrative concludes has a truly Roman feel to it.


But Ryse: Son of Rome and its gameplay aren’t made for repeated playthroughs. At the end, you will have everything unlocked. Should you run through the game again on a higher difficulty setting? There’s minimal incentive to do so, and I don’t think anyone replayed through Ryse’s campaign.

While this Ryse: Son of Rome PC review might make it sound like I didn’t enjoy the game, I did. But it was like one rollercoaster ride that’s quite alright. Nothing that I haven’t seen a million times, but it’s still a rollercoaster packed with adrenaline and outstanding visual fidelity. If that sounds like an experience you’d enjoy, give the game a shot.

You can buy your Ryse: Son of Rome Steam key on HRK Game.

1 Comment
  1. Euchre online says

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