I must say, we were blown away by the unveiling of Microsoft and Crytek's next-gen Xbox One exclusive: Ryse. I mean, who wouldn't be impressed by a five minute video full of headache-inducing camera cuts, horribly clunky animation, and all of the quick time events you could ever want?
It turns out, as per Kotaku AU's preview, that you can't actually fail. This isn't a bug, apparently; it's an embodiment of Crytek's "non-punitive" combat system.
Based on QTEs.
That seemingly hold no purpose.
The combat system in ‘Ryse: Son of Rome’ is designed to be accessible to a wide variety of players and skill levels, but also extremely rewarding to gamers who take the time to learn and truly master it. While new players will be able to enjoy the game and pull off amazing-looking executions by pressing a basic combination of buttons, the full depth of the combat system can only be achieved by timing the execution prompts correctly, rewarding players with the choice to replenish health, collect gold or earn experience points, and unlocking more spectacular executions that aren’t otherwise accessible. Our E3 demo included eight unique executions – in the final game, there will be around 100.
On the hardest difficulty mode, button prompts will not appear during execution sequences, so players will have to memorize and carefully read Marius’s body movements to determine which buttons to press and when, adding additional layers of skill and strategy.
‘Ryse: Son of Rome’ was designed to be a visually breathtaking action-adventure experience, with a non-punitive combat system that’s approachable to more casual players and extremely rewarding to more skilled players. We look forward to showing more of the depth and breadth of the game in the months leading up to launch.
Apparently, this has all been done because Crytek "don’t want the player to feel frustrated." At a time when we're seeing more and more games empowering players with choice and consequence, it looks like Ryse might be running several steps backwards.