Seriously, it's super not terrible
I know, you really think that Ryse: Son of Rome is going to suck. Like, you know it is. You posted on a forum about cancelling your pre-order (even though you didn't have one) and ranted about it being some watered-down Kinect game. And, let's be fair, you had every reason to think that. When it was shown off at E3 it was a glorified tech demo with an uninteresting muscle-bound gladiator quicktime-eventing his way through even less interesting enemies, and when it was shown at PAX the focus was on lackluster multiplayer that froze and glitched whenever we tried to do anything. But now, finally, we've gone hands-on with a near-final version of the game and hot damn, it isn't awful!
I'm not ready to say that it's "good," but the version we've all seen in the past is as good as dead in my mind. Combat is quick and satisfying, with the hero slicing and dicing (in real-time) before tapping a block button to deflect blows, Batman-style. When you've weakened an enemy you're able to execute them, gaining bonus health or experience for perfectly-timed attacks. Body parts are hacked off in a glorious display of next-gen realism, and characters flop around on the ground in disgusting heaps. It's horrendous and awful and alluring and engaging--it's exactly what I wanted from Ryse, but what I was worried I wasn't going to get.
Is it the launch title? Nah--that's likely Dead Rising 3 or Killer Instinct, but it's definitely launched itself past our expectations and revealed itself as something totally, maybe worth your time.
Check out the following slides for additional images and more information.
Close-up finishing moves are very detailed.
Fire and particle effects looked great--especially when I knocked a guy into the flames.
If two enemies are dazed you can do a duo execution.
Shield bashing is a huge, important part of Ryse's combat.
This guy is apparently a "Minotaur" (but, actually, he's just a guy with a hat).
The gore is downright disturbing.