Look, I’ve talked a lot of trash about this game. I’m sorry. I take it back. Partially. Maybe. I played Ryse: Son of Rome’s multiplayer for a bit and walked away hopeful and optimistic. Maybe even a little in love. It’s that the controls are so smooth that performing something as awesome as “attack a guy in front of you and defend from the one behind you,” is as intuitive and seamless as simply pressing forward and X to then press back and A. What comes is a badass motion where you shield bash the guy behind you for even attempting to attack you. The QTEs that plagued the initial presentation we saw for Ryse: Son of Rome are now gone and replaced with something that disrupts the experience a little less. If you attack an enemy enough, they’ll have a skull above their heads signifying you can finish them off with a QTE sequence. They’re not every five minutes and as annoying as that presentation had made them seem.
The multiplayer was interesting as well, it had me paired up with someone and working with them to complete arena missions. We were in a stereotypical gladiator arena and had to impress the crowd (complete with a meter showing off how well we’re entertaining them) by doing things like “defeat x amount of enemies” and “burn down these bunkers.” After playing Ryse: Son of Rome at TGS, I can honestly say I’m impressed. While it won’t be a system seller for me and, given my disinterest in an Xbox One, I likely won’t play it for a long time, it’s not the bad game I thought it would be. Expect it November 22nd for the Xbox One and get your gladiator on.