[tabs] [tab title=”Game Details:“]Ryse: Son of Rome was released on November 22nd, 2013 as a Xbox One launch title. It was developed by Crytek and was published by Microsoft Studios. This Lag Factor analysis was performed on the Xbox One version of the game.[/tab] [/tabs]
About Ryse: Son of Rome
Ryse: Son of Rome has had an interesting legacy. Originally announced as Codename: Kingdoms back in E3 2010, little was known about the game other than the fact that it was a Crytek title being developed for the Xbox 360. Its title was changed the following year to Ryse and was to be released as a Kinect-only title for the Xbox 360. In 2013, Ryse had underwent a complete transformation into a more traditional hack-and-slash title for the newly announced Xbox One hardware. Sporting a lush graphical presentation and interesting combat mechanics, many gamers were excited to see how the title would fare as one of the marquee titles for the Xbox One. The game has since accumulated an average Metacritic score of 60.
How it looks:
It’s almost an indisputable fact that Ryse: Son of Rome is one gorgeous looking game, rivaling some of the most visually impressive titles on any platform (PC included). The benefits of moving onto newer hardware is immediately apparent, with the highly detailed character models and the colorful assortment of environments. The game holds a frame rate largely between 25-30 FPS, only dipping below this range in very intensive scenarios. Hardcore gamers would ideally love to have their games run at 60 FPS (me included), but for a launch title that really flexes its graphical muscle, the frame rate isn’t too erratic to become a serious deterrent. While the game does not run at a native 1080p resolution, it runs noticeably higher than 720p, at a resolution of 1600×900. Personally, I dislike having a 720p game upscaled to 1080p on most modern HDTVs, as it results in unbearable blurring that is only combated by increasing sharpness (which imposes its own problems). However, upscaling 900p to 1080p wasn’t as bad, and I was able to comfortably enjoy the game without noticing too many issues. The increased resolution also helps with masking the aliasing, along with the anti-aliasing solutions that Crytek chose to employ. It is very difficult to notice much aliasing at all. Everything considered, it’s definitely a graphical showpiece for the Xbox One, and demonstrates what the hardware is capable of. I’m personally excited to see what the future brings with more development time.
How it feels:
The premise of Ryse: Son of Rome is simple: kill everything that moves. It’s an action game that heavily borrows from the Batman: Arkham series in terms of combat usage. X handles your sword strikes, Y handles your shield bashes, A serves as a parry against enemy attacks, and B serves as your evading roll. Holding X or Y activates a slower, heavier version of the attack/shield bash, useful for gaining more advantage when conducting combat. The main purpose of the shield bash is to break an enemy’s guard once you encounter enemies with their own shields, but it can also be used as its own attack. When an enemy is in a danger state, a skull appears above their head, signaling the use of RT to activate an execution. The key to maximizing your reward for executions is to react to the blue or yellow glow as fast as possible, which is where your display plays a big role. Part of this reward is building your focus meter, which allows you to stun all enemies at the time of activation using RB, and go into a multi-hitting combo uncontested (similar to the “beat down” in Batman: Arkham games). All of the attack animations have a slow, heavy feel to them, which would normally detract from the overall gameplay experience. However, the developers were generous enough to allow the canceling of attack animations with parries and/or rolls during any animation frame. This allows you to tackle multiple enemies at once, without having to worry about being vulnerable from multiple angles due to the slow animations, and helps keep the movement somewhat dynamic, even with last-minute reactions. For comparison sake, I alternated between my Samsung HDTV and my BenQ RL2455HM to see if I noticed any improvement in my gameplay.
Due to the forgiving nature of the input buffers, my gameplay experience wasn’t unforgiving using the Samsung HDTV, however the real difference was nailing better rewards when reacting to executions using the BenQ monitor. With the added input lag of the Samsung HDTV, it was difficult to consistently score Legendary hits, frequently missing the window by mere milliseconds, which would result in Centurion level hits. This would reduce the multiplier that gives you better rewards. It makes a difference if you’re playing on the Legendary difficulty setting, where you have to really make your strikes count in order to replenish the attribute you chose using the D-pad (health, focus, XP, or damage). The BenQ monitor allowed for a larger window of opportunity to nail Legendary hits consistently on reaction, maximizing your potential gains. It was also easier when battling 4+ enemies, as it allows you to react better if you’re not particularly speedy with your reactions. Ryse: Son of Rome is honestly serviceable overall on a wide variety of displays, but if you really want to maximize the enjoyment from the combat, then I highly recommend playing on a display rated at least “Great” in our input lag database.
Pros:[list type=”plus”] [li]Jaw-dropping visuals[/li] [li]Responsive controls[/li] [li]Frame rate is playable without too many problems[/li] [/list][/column] [column size=”one-half” last=”true”]
Cons:[list type=”minus”] [li]900p resolution (1080p preferrable)[/li] [li]Only one weapon, resulting in limited combat variety[/li] [li]Extremely linear gameplay, only for action fans[/li] [/list][/column]
Recommended Display for Ryse: Son of Rome:
Not for you? Don’t forget to check out our input lag database, with over 250 displays tested and graded for input lag!