Ryse hasn't exactly been perceived as the Xbox One's darling as Microsoft had hoped, and Crytek seems aware of the criticisms. After the game's less than warm reception at E3, the developers took steps to alter the most common source of complaints -- the quicktime events. Well, sort of.
Speaking to Eurogamer at gamescom, chief designer PJ Esteves explained how Crytek made changes to Ryse's combat system. "The QTE thing, yeah, we totally get it. We put all this damn time into the facial animation and what do you see? An X button," Esteves lamented. "We knew the mechanic worked within our combat system, so we're keeping the mechanic, but internally and with gamers' reaction we were like, yeah, it feels too QTE," he continued.
Crytek took a multipronged approach to rectifying this. The first step was to increase the AI difficulty. "When you're doing something for E3 trying to get our message straight, maybe we dumbed down the AI a little too much, but when people play it now, they'll say 'holy crap, these guys are surrounding me.' When they surround you, there are behaviors and attack patterns where they're trying to work together, which is a new dynamic in this sort of crowd control combat game. You're not fighting one individual at a time. These guys are actually trying to work together to take you down, and you use it to survive," Esteves said.
The other significant change that the developers made was the omission of button prompts to cue executions. Now, a colored outline corresponding to an Xbox One face button will appear around the enemies.
"When you play it now it feels fresh. We still give you the hints: the blue outline or the yellow outline, but once we removed the buttons and went with the outline, aesthetically it felt better. You start seeing the facial animation. You still have this loop, okay, what button is it? And hit the timing. So it just made it a bit dynamic," Esteves explained.
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destructoid's previous coverage: Ryse: Son of Rome