Design director PJ Esteves believes Ryse will be the “hot one at the launch prom”.
Crytek design director PJ Esteves is plenty upbeat following the launch of the Xbox One and Ryse: Son of Rome a week ago. Speaking to Develop, Esteves stated that the power of the console helped in achieving the studio’s vision for the game.
“One of the most important things about the Xbox One is pure processing power. The amount of RAM we had available to us helped a great deal. The NPCs in the game all have cloth, facial expressions, and the same fidelity as a character in the cinematics. We were able to give the AI characters the same detail as the player characters, and they express a lot more emotion than is seen in other games.
“The Xbox One gave us AI that really feels just human enough. You can see pain as you slice at a guy, or you see surprise. It’s always hard work, but the Xbox One let us give the game more emotion as we took Ryse forward.”
Despite originally being developed for the Xbox 360, it didn’t take much to transition to the Xbox One. “I think it was about a week to get up and running on Xbox One from the time we got the first kits. Having a great partnership with Microsoft helped, to prepare us as the platform developed alongside our game. Any launch game lands hot; it doesn’t matter who you are.
“But having a mature engine really helped, and getting to harness things like physically based rendering was incredible. Improvements in facial animation pipelines are great too. It’s a terrible way to say it, but CryEngine and the Xbox One have let our game be the hot one at the launch prom.”
Considering the criticism the game has received for its poor gameplay mechanics and the praise showered for its visuals, we’d say that’s about accurate. But will it prove to be the most popular launch title among the new generation? We’ll find out in the coming weeks.