Ryse: Son of Rome wasn’t the massive hit Microsoft were hoping with critics been mostly luke-warm to the title. It feels like a launch game, something you will show your friends and family to show the power of these new systems. Eventually, you’ll finish the game and move on. Microsoft and Crytek are hoping that won’t be the case with the release of a season pass and now its second DLC pack. While it won’t convert that don’t like the title already, it definitely has enough within the pack to keep those that are even still vaguely interested in the game to keep you coming back.
I fall into that “slightly interested” tier. I rather liked Ryse: Son of Rome when it came out, moreso than a lot of people. I played through the story fairly quickly, jumped online and ranked up a bit, started the game on the hardest difficulty and then . . . . just stopped. Other games started to come out and Ryse started to fall back in my mind. The first DLC released and I played a couple of rounds and then it went back to that place where I didn’t know if I’d ever return to that title again.
Now Mars Chosen brings with it six new maps, a new skin, but ,most importantly, a survival mode. This may sound like little or nothing to the base multiplayer game but it’s more than you may think. Sure it still looks mostly the same and the core gameplay remains virtually the same, but the flow of gameplay is different and that’s the component that may keep you invested this time around.
In survival mode, you face a never-ending barrage of enemies, all while you are bleeding out. The only way to regain health is to execute your enemies. This creates a frantic aspect that wants you to take on as many enemies as possible in quick succession. Rush in though and you will be overwhelmed. You’ve got to see the type of enemies you are about to face and dynamically change your strategy before charging in. Don’t get me wrong, this game is still rather shallow gameplay-wise but survival mode at least gives it some depth.
The biggest plus this game has going for it though is how much survival mode speeds your progression. In a normal game, it may last for about 5-8 minutes, and you will only take on a couple dozen enemies in that time. In survival mode, it doesn’t end until you and your partner and both taken down. This means matches can easily last 15 minutes or more with a much larger payout in terms of experience and coins to buy more equipment.
The progression in the base online multiplayer had its progression nearly crippled with taking much longer periods of time in order to rank up. A really good survival match could see you level up more than once and the increase in progression will keep you playing another round so you can rank up and unlock more equipment.
The Mars Chosen packs feels as though Crytek and Microsoft know the fans won’t be for too much longer now that bigger games are launching so they are speeding up the progression meaning playing will play for longer and then move on before simply leaving it behind. It’s an admission of the short life ahead but at least they’ve put in on a rollercoaster instead of in a retirement home.