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January 29, 2014

Ryse Son of Rome Content Rundown



...I got nothing. That box art is just too epic.

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg (Head Writer)

Verdict: (C) Caution Advised (For Brief Strong Suggestive Content and Frequent Bloody Violence)


Release Date: November 2013

Developer: Crytek

Publisher: Microsoft Studios

Platforms: Xbox One

Genre: Hack and Slash



Areas of Concern:


Violence:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive


(Due to the amount of violence in this game, and concerns about not wasting your valuable time, we have decided to only mention the most graphic scenes.)

--A man is thrown onto the giant sword of a statue; he is impaled through his stomach, splitting his entire torso open, with lots of blood spilling out over his body and the sword.

--During the game, many enemies are sliced and stabbed, which we see this in detail, sometimes in slow-motion; your character slashes, stabs and stomps on enemies, with a blood spurts and cracks being heard. People are impaled through the chest, neck, abdomen and back as they spasm and cry out in pain. Throat slittings are also depicted, with blood leaking out.

Arms and legs are sliced off, with the severed limbs dropping and a bloody stump being shown with a bit of arterial blood spray, and sometimes both an arm and a leg can be cut off, with the enemy crawling away before being impaled in the back.

-In an extended sequence, a man is stabbed much in the same way as described above, but with longer focus on the violence.

-A man is stabbed in the chest and sliced in the neck, shown in close-up with blood spraying. Afterwards, we see that he was decapitated when a man holds up his head.

--In a stylised video, a man is impaled with a huge burst of blood being shown in freeze frame and his head is chopped off, blood spraying and we see the head bounce and leave a smear of saucy goodness behind it.

--In one sequence, we see several dismembered bodies hanging from the walls, pools of gore all over the place.

Context of Violence: Shock Value (Limbs and necks are cut off for sensational purposes. Some of it takes place in wartime, but everything is pretty much there for the Shock Value.)

Sex/Nudity:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--We see statues of naked women kneeling and cupping their breasts.

-Some of the women in the game wear revealing clothing, exposing lots of cleavage.

--A brief, but detailed scene where we see several topless women dancing suggestively in a what appears to be a brothel; they only have golden coverings over their nipples. A lap dance is shown in close-up, with the camera panning down their bodies. One of the women kneels before a man, but it cuts away before anything happens. We briefly see one a woman groping herself. We also see two women kissing.

Context of Sex/Nudity: Fanservice (The game features an abrupt but brief scene of suggestive content, only for fanservice and not because of any plot necessity.)


Language:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Infrequent uses of F**k, S**t, C**k, A*s, and B**t**d.

Context of Language: Grittiness (I'm sure most of the swear words in this game didn't exist back then, with the possible exception of B**t**d, so the language is only used to make the dialogue more salty and, ahem, gritty.)


Spiritual Content: 

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--We see an illustrated video of a legend about a warrior who died and descended into the Underworld, and was sent back to the real world by the Goddess of revenge as a ghost.

--A mention of a place rumoured to be the gateway to Hades and we hear that human sacrifices take place there. We later see a huge "wicker" man being set on fire with a man inside in order to sacrifice him.

--Several mentions of Roman gods, with soldiers using the word "Gods" as a religious exclamation and a man saying "I pray to the Gods that..."

--A man is apparently killed, but he comes back as a mythological warrior, the spirit of vengeance, who speaks through him at several points.

Context of Spiritual Content: Mythology, Justified (Some parts have a definite historical context and others are put in for story reasons. Since mythology was an integral part of Roman culture, the references are Justified.)


Drugs/Alcohol/Smoking:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A man is shown drinking what appears to be wine, and mentions that wine will pour out of a big statue.

Context of Drugs/Alcohol/Tobacco Usage: Atmospheric (Drinking is only used to portray the partying life of one character.)


Morality:

Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

The game may show some examples of heroism, and ultimately ends with that moral, but the main character's biggest motivator is clearly shown to be revenge and several of his actions are based around it.

Morality Type: Black and White

Thoughts & Impressions:

Well, this was a missed opportunity. The story falls flat, failing to satisfy, even if it does have a compelling presentation. The story revolves around a Roman soldier named Marius Titus, who sets out on a quest of revenge on....everyone? All I know is that Roman politicians and Barbarians are killed for things called reasons.

Marius still sticks out in my head for some reason. He's actually likeable. The problem with games like these is that we so often tend to focus on the negatives  that we don't see or just flat-out ignore the positive aspects. The character of Marius is one of those positive points. And strangely enough, the ending as well.

*Spoilers* At first, I didn't think much of the hero dying at the end. I didn't dislike it, which was weird compared to the rest of the story which felt very mediocre. However, the more I thought about it, the more appropriate it felt. It was one of the few elements which actually felt right in the story. Maybe it's because of how, even if haphazardly, the story built up towards it?

It just felt right for the villain, Emperor Nero, to be impaled on the sword of a statue, a huge symbol of his own ego catching up with him. Marius dies shortly afterwards, his mission complete, being hailed as a hero after his death. It just felt right for some reason for this to be the ending. *End Spoilers*


Conclusion:

To be honest with you, other than the very infrequent language and abrupt scene of suggestive content, there's not much of a problem to be found here. I actually was able to overlook the scene in question and focus on the other aspects of the game.

Some may argue that it would be preferable not to have it. I agree, it would be, but what about all the brutal violent content? The slow-motion kills, the blood and the gore, the decapitation scenes? Those are all to elicit reactions. Now to be fair, Christians will point out that lust is explicitly forbidden in the Bible, which is true, so there is a different reason why a person like me would be harsher on a scene like that.

But okay, it's fully possible to overlook it, and I'd be more concerned about the high price tag to buy an Xbox One, then this game, and to be disappointed by the lack of features.

The Preacher: Agh please, that scene? Golden pasties? So you can show the surrounding terrain in full detail but the top peak is suddenly forbidden? Doesn't make sense to me. And why are people always so quick to slap a high rating on a game like this for sexual content, but they ignore the violent content?

Trent: I'm on the latter side, but I also question violence as well. Why are you always so quick to defend decapitations but sexuality is condemned? Shouldn't both be condemned? We need to keep our hearts pure, and such content only causes...um, influences us in the wrong direction.

Verdict: 16+


For Brief Strong Suggestive Content and Frequent Bloody Violence.


Outro:

Sigh, I had this one up too late. Sorry people. It wasn't my plan, work just got in the way as always. I'll have to do some kind of Review in Progress in the future so that you can read while I'm adding new stuff. Dunno, I'll see what works.

I'll be back next week with a Full Review. See you guys then!

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