Ryse Son of Rome: Opinions and Assumptions
Ever since the early gameplay trailers launched for Ryse: Son of Rome on Xbox One, people have been pretty split on whether or not the quick-time heavy gameplay would be enjoyable to be play. Well, I say people – really I mean the countless trolls arguing one way or another on the internet, not so patiently waiting for the game (and the console) to be released in order to validate their opinions.
Well the wait is over now and so far what we have seen is a veritable blood bath of poor reviews and worse press by word-of-mouth about what some people are calling “Gladiators aborted lovechild”. Ok maybe nobody called it that, but it was certainly implied in many a conversation I have had (and read) over the last couple of months.
Now I should probably make clear that I haven’t actually played Ryse as of yet. Despite my journalistic integrity being keen to throw caution to the winds and embrace a new generation of console gaming, my wallet is keenly trying to remind me of the reasons (that I myself have written on more than one occasion) not to early adopt. Nevertheless I feel that I should step forward and say at this point that, in my completely uneducated opinion, this game seems like it has gotten a poor wrap.
Why would it be unjustly reviewed (either professionally or peer to peer)? Well personally I think it’s a brutal mix of console flaming, rabid Gladiator fandom (and related hate of things which seem to rip Gladiator off) and good old fashioned hatred of QTEs (or quick time events).
Theres nothing I can really do about the first two, one is a valid point and the other an inevitability I’ve resigned myself to, but as for the QTEs – I feel like we could all calm down just a bit.
I mean sure, I understand the hatred for QTEs. They require fairly little skill on the players part (or so it would seem) and they can be quite repetitive, it’s basically the designers way of taking the controller off you and playing for a few seconds because they don’t trust you to be able to come up with interesting things to do yourself.
But equally, they have been a great component of plenty of games – including high reviewed titles like Heavy Rain or Halo 4. The fact is that any gameplay mechanic, even quick time events, can be challenging when played at the appropriate difficulty (assuming it is designed with said difficulty existing) and as long as the visuals can keep the entertainment value up – there is no reason they won’t keep you engaged.
So before you judge Ryse before you play it, remember that in a sea of educated opinions of games journalists and close friends who have actually played this game – one man stood up and said “I think this game I’ve never played might be getting judged a little unfairly”.
I was that man.