Ryse: Son of Rome

Common Sense Media says

Incredibly violent action game filled with bloody vengeance.

Age(i)

NOT FOR KIDS

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The plot centers on a series of vengeance killings. The game's purpose is to entertain via graphic, intense, and brutal combat. 

Positive role models

The game's hero, although presented as an honorable man, spends much of his time on a quest for vengeance, his only purpose to kill those who betrayed him and his family in an effort to exact revenge. Even though he's a loyal soldier, his only actions of consequence involve violently killing his enemies. 

Ease of play

Demanding combat and quicky-time events that require players to press specific buttons on cue may take a while to get the hang of, but the game eases players into its tactical action fairly gently. 

Violence

The focus of this game is bloody, Roman-style melee combat. Players wield a sword and shield to kill hundreds of enemies in graphically depicted battles that involve impalement, beheadings, and frequent gushes of dark red blood. Slow-motion executions take place often, with the camera swinging around to provide more sensational angles of blades slicing through torsos, arms, and necks. Players can throw spears and wield a mounted crossbow.

Sex

An orgy is shown late in the game in which players can see women with nearly naked breasts (only pasties cover their nipples) gyrating and grinding up against men. Sex is implied. 

Language

Foul language appears only rarely, but there are a couple instances of the word "f--k."

Consumerism

Players can use real money to upgrade their hero rather earning upgrades via play.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Serious privacy and safety concerns. Players can engage in two-person, cooperative play with voice communication. Players may encounter inappropriate language and subjects of discussion and will have the opportunity to share personal information.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Ryse: Son of Rome is a grisly and decidedly mature action game in which players take on the role of a fierce Roman soldier who cuts his way through enemies with a sword, leaving a trail of blood and limbs behind him. Next-generation Xbox One graphics only intensify the violence, adding a level of visual realism to the gore and severed body parts that many players likely haven't seen before in a game. The hero, ostensibly a good and honorable man, spends much of the game on a quest for vengeance, vowing to be satisfied only by the deaths of those who wronged him and his family. Also, be aware that the game contains a Roman orgy sequence with topless women who grind against men.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • history

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • strategy

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • teamwork

What Kids Can Learn

Although elements of Ryse: Son of Rome focus on history and strategic reasoning, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Social Studies

  • history

Hobbies

  • collecting

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • logic
  • strategy

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • teamwork

Although elements of Ryse: Son of Rome focus on history and strategic reasoning, we don't recommend it for learning because of its graphic violence.

This Learning Rating review was written by Chad Sapieha

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

RYSE: SON OF ROME follows the story of Marius Titus, a Roman soldier, who loves his country but eventually finds himself betrayed by those in power. After witnessing the murder of his family, he swears vengeance on those who did the deed, barbarians from Britannia. He journeys with the Roman army to wage war on those who live on the island, but when he gets there he realizes that his real enemy may be closer to home. The game's action is centered squarely on brutal but strategic melee combat with swords and shields, with special attention paid to gruesome executions carried out via a quick-time event system that requires players to copy on-screen button cues. There are also moments in larger battles in which players can command their troops, ordering them to various sections of the battlefield or grouping them to form a phalanx. Beyond the campaign lies a multiplayer arena mode, where players take on the roles of gladiators in the ring and fend off wave after wave of attackers.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Ryse: Son of Rome may be brutal and bloody, but it's not just a series of simple button-mashing slaughters. It demands that players think about each button they push, choosing when to attack, dodge, block, or break an enemy's defense. Also, although the vicious executions may be intended first and foremost to thrill the game's adult players, they require a good deal of strategy as well since carrying out a successful execution results in a boost to Marius' health, damage, or experience collection rate. Players will need to choose which of these is most important just before striking the killing blow.

Still, although the combat is generally engaging for adult players, some parts of the experience leave room for improvement. The phalanx system is too simplistic to really satisfy, and sections in which players command an army are often just confusing. Plus, the co-op multiplayer mode lacks depth. But these aren't deal breakers. Ryse: Son of Rome is a well-crafted and thrilling historical action game that ought to prove satisfying for many of the grown-ups who play.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the impact of violence in media. How do you think games on next-generation systems such as Xbox One and PlayStation 4 will affect the way violence is presented in games? 

  • Families also can discuss sexuality in games. Are the few women in this game depicted fairly and honestly? What message might they send to any mature female gamers who play?

Game details

Platforms:Xbox One
Price:$59.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Microsoft Studios
Release date:November 22, 2013
Genre:Action/Adventure
ESRB rating:M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Partial Nudity, Sexual Content, Strong Language (Xbox One)

This review of Ryse: Son of Rome was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 16 years old Written bywillman72 November 28, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

brutal and gory ( like it should be)

this game has the most realistics kills in gaming history and why shouldnt it many movies like troy and gladiator have the same amount of gore but the only thing is the brutality as you can drown and dismember foes the game also features tactics used in real roman history like the testudo the game has life like graphics and is next gen so its more intense on the big screen themes can also be found in this game
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent Written bybob34 December 28, 2013
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

about the son of rome

This game has the violence of a lord of the rings movie but also has alot of roman history in it
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written by150quail November 24, 2013
AGE
15
QUALITY
 

The good game to play but watch for the gruesome bloodshed violence.

Pretty violent if you ask me, don't let you kids play this as the violence is pretty graphic and gruesome in this game. The language isn't so bad but the violence is all over the place.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing

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