Ryse: Son of Rome, like many other games by Crytek, is still one of the best-looking video games of the 2010s. It was released in 2013 and its visuals rival that of current-gen games.
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In this article, we’ll talk mainly about how the game’s visuals hold up in 2023. We’ll also talk about its gameplay and why many gamers and reviewers criticized it.
The power of CryEngine
One of the main reasons why Ryse: Son of Rome is still one of the best-looking games of the 2010s is because of the power of the game engine it uses. Games made with CryEngine are known for their extreme visual quality that always looks way ahead of their time. On many occasions, this impressive quality also comes with a hefty performance cost.
The best example of this engine’s power is perhaps Crysis from 2007. It’s probably the greatest-looking game of 2007, and it’s one of the best-looking ones in the 2000s in general.
Crysis 3, which was also released in 2013, had similarly impressive visuals. Both Ryse and Crysis 3 look insanely good and no other games in 2013, not even GTA V, looked that good. The best way to see what I mean is to observe the below screenshots.
Audio and Sound Design
I believe this aspect of Ryse is also very well-executed. With a good pair of headphones, you’ll be able to experience the game’s excellent music and sound effects to the fullest.
This game features large-scale battles in huge areas and the environmental destruction, voices of angered Centurions and war cries of the Barbarians are all clear and immersive. With layers upon layers of audio effects, I believe this is a game from 2013 that had a pretty amazing sound design.
The audio effects themselves are crisp and satisfying, whether it be hacking off a barbarian’s arm or dodging a heavy blow.
Now let’s briefly talk about the gameplay of Ryse: Son of Rome. This is an aspect that many gamers criticized, not because the gameplay elements are bad, per se, but because of its simplicity. The gameplay loop consists of combat, traversal, and some instances of group management and strategic battles, including certain decisions that slightly change battles.
Let’s first talk about the combat. Getting into the game at first, you’ll clearly notice how smooth, realistic, and satisfying the swordplay is in Ryse. There are no other video game depictions of the Roman Empire that executes combat this well.
However, the combat system gets pretty monotonous as the game progresses. The narrative is quite short and you probably won’t find the combat too repetitive in the story mode. But when you get into the multiplayer which features long battles, the simplicity and repetitive nature of the combat becomes apparent.
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And every other aspect of gameplay has a level of mediocrity and lack of depth. Like many other Crytek games, Ryse: Son of Rome often feels like a tech demo.
You can find Ryse on PC and Xbox One. It is backward compatible on Xbox Series X. It’s also available on Steam.