E3 2013: We go hands-on with Xbox One's 'Ryse'

It was a game that was first announced back in 2009 with the title "Codename Kingdoms" and later renamed to "Ryse" in 2010. Now developer Crytek and publisher Microsoft are finally bringing "Ryse" to the gaming fans in late 2013, but this time as an Xbox One launch title.

We got to play a tiny part of "Ryse" at Microsoft's E3 2013 booth on Tuesday. The character you will be controlling is named, Marius Titus, a soldier in the service of the Roman Empire. As our demo began, he was rallying his troops to go after the barbarian horde that was staging an invasion of a Roman city.

The game demo actually began with our hero plunging into the horde of barbarians. You stage attacks by using the "A" button on the Xbox One controller, while the "X" button blocks attacks with your handy shield. Sometimes you can start some "God of War"-like combo moves, with the game telling you which button to press ahead of time.

There was one sequence which saw Titus led his soldiers to storm the fortress while enemies fired flaming arrows at them. In this sequence, Hitting the "X" button puts the soldiers in defensive poses with their shields while the "A" button launched the solders' own set of arrows at the barbarians.

While the demo was pretty short and sweet, it's clear that Crytek has been working hard to get the CryEngine 3 graphics platform up to speed on the Xbox One. There are a ton of incredible lighting and art effects in the game, and there is so much detail that you could miss everything that is going on around you the first time you play it. You can see other characters in the distance fighting and dying on their own and the flame and particle effects are so realistic you can almost smell the cinders.

In terms of gameplay, the folks who have played "God of War" will be happy with this game, with its combo system and its general sense of hacking and slashing your foes. This appears to be a realistic take on the genre; there are no Roman or Greek gods to take out. There's no word yet on what multiplayer features "Ryse" will have, and Microsoft is not talking about its Kinect features.

"Ryse," based on our quick demo, is certainly a great looking game and the brief gameplay in our playtime was a lot of bloody fun. It remains to be seen if Crytek can launch yet another huge game franchise as they did with the Far Cry and Crysis series.

Image via Crytek

Images via Sony, Microsoft and Paramount

Neowin's E3 2013 coverage is sponsored by Alienware

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13 Comments

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Very disappointed that they dropped the Kinect aspect of this game .. after all this was supposed to be "the" Kinect game.

Wow really, thought the voice command aspect was sort of cool. Truthfully this is the only game I've seen that made me think about buying an Xbone, but the daily DRM and other stuff outweighed that interest. Too bad, looks like a good game I'll end up missing out on.

I am still not sure. There is a lot of miss communication about all this DRM stuff.

The way it was presented distorted on how it will really work. Obviously MS screwed up but I think waiting for more info is a good option.

I don't understand much of the XB1 specs. I know that on PCs, for graphics we talk about 1GB, 2GB cards.
On XB1, how much GB is the graphics card?

GB's have nothing to do with how powerful something is. You can get lots of very poor useless cards for PC with a ton of RAM/GB's, because the manufacturers know theres many people like you who will just buy any junk because it has loads of RAM. "i want the one with the big Gee-Bee's".

But the XO has 8GB system RAM. It's unified meaning both the CPU and graphics have access to it.

1Pixel said,
GB's have nothing to do with how powerful something is. You can get lots of very poor useless cards for PC with a ton of RAM/GB's, because the manufacturers know theres many people like you who will just buy any junk because it has loads of RAM. "i want the one with the big Gee-Bee's".

But the XO has 8GB system RAM. It's unified meaning both the CPU and graphics have access to it.

lol, voted best answer

HighwayGlider said,
Well normally I buy VGA cards based on benchmarks (good FPS) and money available.

it works different in consoles anyway, as the architecture is custom (i.e. Its not a board that needs yo run std windows or other x86 based os's (yes i know a version of w8 runs but its custom).

also, things like shader and texture pipelines are more important than frame buffer ram.

last, with all the consoles being the same (opposed to multiple cards, cpu's and overall power available) for consoles, the game can be highly optimised for the specific hardware.

Does it has as many quick time events as the demo shown at the Xbox event at E3? Because theres WAY too many. No one likes constant QTE ****. Just want to actually PLAY the effing game. The game looks great apart from that.

i already pre-ordered this game, looks stellar.
also, i think the mp has to do with a Colosseum where the environment constantly changes and new threats are placed or something. sounds awesome to me.