In Real Life

Microsoft Responds To Our Criticisms Of Ryse

Last week I wrote about Crytek’s new Xbox One exclusive Ryse. I had some real issues with the game’s combat, particularly with the game’s ‘executions’ which take the style of God of War’s QTEs, but actually follow through regardless of whether the player presses the correct button or not. In response we were sent a “clarifying statement” regarding the combat in Ryse. It doesn’t necessarily contradict anything I wrote in the article but in the interests of fairness I thought it best to post the comments in full.

The statement reads…

The combat system in ‘Ryse: Son of Rome’ is designed to be accessible to a wide variety of players and skill levels, but also extremely rewarding to gamers who take the time to learn and truly master it. While new players will be able to enjoy the game and pull off amazing-looking executions by pressing a basic combination of buttons, the full depth of the combat system can only be achieved by timing the execution prompts correctly, rewarding players with the choice to replenish health, collect gold or earn experience points, and unlocking more spectacular executions that aren’t otherwise accessible. Our E3 demo included eight unique executions – in the final game, there will be around 100.

On the hardest difficulty mode, button prompts will not appear during execution sequences, so players will have to memorize and carefully read Marius’s body movements to determine which buttons to press and when, adding additional layers of skill and strategy.

‘Ryse: Son of Rome’ was designed to be a visually breathtaking action-adventure experience, with a non-punitive combat system that’s approachable to more casual players and extremely rewarding to more skilled players. We look forward to showing more of the depth and breadth of the game in the months leading up to launch.

I don’t want to say too much in response — I’m more than happy for people to make their own mind up with regards to Ryse — but my issue was that the instantaneous, visual reward of getting something right is completely lost when players cannot fail. I was aware that gamers are provided some sort of (non visual) reward for getting the button prompt ‘right’ but is that enough? Does that make the game feel rewarding in that precise moment? That is my question and I still think it’s a valuable one.