Should you buy? Ryse: Son of Rome

Ryse has to prop up its console upon release. Are you not entertained?

If you like graphics, you have to buy this game. I’m not sure why you (or the game developers) would want to make the graphics your top priority, but if that’s what you want, then Ryse: Son of Rome is definitely for you. This game is strikingly gorgeous and wrings out every last ounce of beauty it can get from the weak Xbox One.

Ryse: Son of Rome is one of the Xbox One’s exclusive launch titles, meaning you have to have the console to play it. If you've already bought the One, there’s no reason not to buy Ryse. The question is whether the game itself makes the One worth buying. They marketed it heavily before the launch.

Ryse was made by Crytek, the company that made the first Far Cry and the important but somewhat inconsistent Crysis series. Ryse was originally supposed to be a 360/Kinect-based release, and was teased as far back as 2011. The final product no longer uses the Kinect except for a few little things, and most of the money seems to have gone into making the graphics the best the new console can support.

In a nutshell, if you don’t by Ryse, you won’t really be missing anything. While it is beautiful and has good vocal performances, it’s not very different from a hack-and-slash game. The enemy types are repetitive, and your attacks rarely, if ever vary. Your arsenal of tools never gets much bigger, and even the patient gamer could get tired of it.

So, is it enough to make you buy the Xbox One? No. If you buy the Xbox One, don’t do so for the exclusives, because there aren't very many of them. There are eight that I know of out right now, and I think publishers realize what a stupid thing it would be to sell their expensive game for the console that has generated the most controversy.

Let’s keep this simple: If you already have the Xbox One, then get Ryse, because it’s by far the most interesting of the One’s launch exclusives. If you don’t have the One, then don’t get it for Ryse. You’ll just be disappointed.

I'm the daughter of a veteran who spent my childhood in Killeen. As of 2013, I have a degree in English from the University of Texas at Austin. I'm a critic of books, films, television, and video games. Find me on Twitter: @rachel_knows

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