Microsoft has done a fine job of introducing new franchises and brands this generation. New IPs like Sunset OverdriveReCore and others have debuted over the past three years. When the Xbox One launched, there was a trio of big time exclusive titles that released alongside the platform and one of them was Ryse: Son of Rome.

Developed by Crytek in partnership with Microsoft, Ryse: Son of Rome is easily still one of the best looking games to hit the Xbox One. The game told the story of Marius Titus, who is a Roman solider, whose family was killed by barbarians. He makes his way to Britannia, along with the Roman army, to capture his revenge. Marius becomes a leader for the Roman Empire and his destiny is ultimately revealed.

The plot of the story is an interesting revenge tale, but was not anything groundbreaking. Ryse: Son of Rome is a game that’s a visual showcase for Xbox One, but there’s a lot more that can be tapped into, should a sequel to the Xbox One launch title come up.

Let’s start with the game’s combat. Being able to chain kills together and come up with kill streaks was one of the most rewarding part of the combat. A few less quicktime events and more skill-based combat, and Crytek could have an excellent system on their hands.

Marius from Ryse: Son of Rome (Courtesy of Microsoft).
Marius from Ryse: Son of Rome (Courtesy of Microsoft).

Kills felt very satisfying and that was one of the elements that kept me playing through Ryse: Son of Rome. When getting a series of enemies’ health down to the point of an execution, the result was quite entertaining. There absolutely is something to the game’s combat system that is worth embellishing. Should the right adjustments be made, combat could be one of the series’ strengths.

The time period Rome was depicted during left so much to be desired. I mean this in the sense that it was so intriguing that it would be wonderful to have more player agency within it. The art direction was fantastic. Rome was stunning to look at, and the parts we saw were stunning.

However, giving gamers greater freedom to have an impact on the world would be great in a sequel. Making the experience less linear and opening up the structure a bit more would help gamers personalize the experience. Having your choices impact the game world is a powerful thing when done right.

In a sequel, perhaps players could build up their own Roman Empire and set out to conquer nations that surround them. Trying to become the ultimate ruler could have some intriguing experiences, particularly if the path to becoming the ultimate ruler was largely based on player choice.

The Roman Coliseum in all its glory (Courtesy of Microsoft).
The Roman Coliseum in all its glory (Courtesy of Microsoft).

Linear games can be great for telling a condensed, straightforward story, though they can leave folks feeling like a game is thin. Ryse: Son of Rome is a linear game and a sequel could benefit from having more stories told about its characters.

Give us a story that tells us more about this incredibly fascinating world. Allow the player to learn more about characters like Commander Vitallion, the goddess Summer and Aquilo, the god of the north wind, and others. A sequel obviously wouldn’t or doesn’t have to include Marius. In fact, placing gamers as the main protagonist in an RPG manner could be effective.

As we have seen in other games that have had Rome as the main setting, the time of the Roman Empire is fascinating. Creating a more open experience, greater player agency and embellishing combat could help make a Ryse: Son of Rome sequel great.

It remains to be seen if there will be a sequel to Ryse: Son of Rome. Should Microsoft and Crytek figure out a way to create a second iteration, it could potentially Ryse to become one of Xbox One’s top IPs. Stick around here at We Write Things for more on Xbox.

About Steve Ruygrok

Gaming, Spirits, and Craft Beer enthusiast. If you say you don't like beer, then you just haven't had the right type yet. Great spirits keep away the bad ones. Video games are kind of amazing, just do it...or something like that.
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