Ease of introduction is the name of the game, but that’s not always indicative of a title’s integrity. After all, it’s still about having fun.
Ryse: Son of Rome, one of Xbox One’s exclusive entries, dazzled many with it’s strong visual prowess and cinematic combat, however, developer Crytek reveals that the iteration featured at E3 won’t be what players see in the final product.
“What’s going to change in there is the amount of the damage that enemies is going to do to you and how accurate that you are going to do on blocking. And then of course what ties into that is execution state when you put them into that. Some of the higher archetype guys, I mean they are going to take a lot of hits to put it,” producer Mike Read told Siliconera.
Also detailed were the various modes of challenge: “What you’re going to see in the final game, you’re going to see various levels of difficulty from easy mode I think up to nightmare,” Read states, though could not confirm indefinitely. “I don’t know if they have decided on that.”
Naturally, early builds of games, especially titles looking to release within the launch window of a brand new console, often have special development periods for unveilings like those seen around the time of E3. What consumers view at a convention like E3 is never the final product, same goes for what you may experience on the show floor. Put simply, the bread is still baking in the oven while you’re playing the demo.
“A lot of the design elements and balancing weren’t even in there yet. So, to throw those in and here to play the game, I mean, it makes for an awful experience. But I think at the same time, we simplified things a little bit too much but we didn’t do a good job in explaining the combat,” Read says.
A fair statement to say the least, but what would you prefer? A more tested demo with complex controls, subtle prompts and more punishing enemies or a smooth, somewhat straight forward experience, introducing you to the potential of the gameplay environment? No matter what your preference is, it’s standard business practice to showcase titles with easier difficulties, simplified controls and powered up characters. The idea here is to have a fun introduction. In return, if the demo entices enough, you’ll pay for the title in full for a purer experience.
Is Ryse Son of Rome a tainted experience knowing the demo was dumbed down? Absolutely not. Truth be told, most people within the game industry, including media, see this type of practice on a regular basis. Standard is the word.
That said, we can look forward to a more refined game as RSoR’s nears release. “When you enter into an execution state, we are going to remove the button prompts that you saw in this version. And they are going to be replaced with visual and audio prompts that people are going to have to learn over time. We have like a hundred executions in the game.”
The QTEs seen at E3 or even at San Deigo Comic Con appeared ordinary, design-wise. However, the removal of button prompts in favor of audio and in-game visual cues makes for a richer, more immersive experience, which is, from a design perspective, a better decision.
Ryse Son of Rome, while visually impressive, still has a lot to prove, and knowing the team at Crytek is hard at work refining gameplay, despite showcasing an easy build at E3, is reassuring of the potential a launch title like this can have. Time will always tell.