Saying Goodbye to <i>Ryse: Son of Rome</i>'s Challenge Editor

Alex Phillimore Alex Phillimore: (alex.phillimore-deleteme[at]-deleteme-direman [dot] com) 2014-02-23 05:34:27

Saying Goodbye to Ryse: Son of Rome's Challenge Editor

It's a sad day, gamers. The hotly anticipated - I think I saw a forum post with three comments about it on Gamefaqs once? - Ryse: Son of Rome Challenge Editor has been axed on the Xbox One. I can think of only three reasons for why this may have happened:

- It was challenging for the development team to put it into the game post-release

- The game has absolutely zero challenge so a 'Challenge Editor' is flawed in premise

- It was already too much of a challenge to get people to play Ryse: Son of Rome, so Microsoft couldn't be bothered to put any more time into making concessions for it

It's probably a combination of all three that has led to this unfortunate outcome. Suffice to say that Ryse isn't a good game - and anyone who can look beyond its graphical merits can see it for the glorified quick-time-event it is. And, in case any of you forgot, QTEs aren't a good thing, and don't push forward the medium any more than adding the Kinect as a mandatory side-dish to the Xbox One has made it a more enticing purchase option.

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The funny thing about Ryse's Challenge Editor being scrapped - even if finding humour in failure is distinctly dark and cynical - is that it illustrates a common concern I have right now with 'next-gen' gaming: that is, that it's not really all that impressive at this stage. Say what you want about the Wii U, but at least it has some decent games with solid gameplay. I challenge anyone to play Tropical Freeze or Wind Waker HD or Pikmin 3 and not find some genuine enjoyment based on how they play.

And while those games aren't exactly pushing forward the industry in any noticeable way, is Ryse really doing anything for the industry, either? At least those Wii U games are fun to play and offer a challenge. Ryse is a pretty little idiot that really offers nothing other than eye candy for thugs.

This cancellation suggests to me that people aren't quite sold on next-gen yet; and that the games that are being designed as representatives of the new systems aren't really finding their feet. Ryse's biggest challenge was always getting people to pay for a barely interactive movie with stiff acting and limp narration. The only use for a Challenge Editor would have been to redesign the entire game to make it more interesting. Now that would have been a real challenge.

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