Ryse: Son of Rome E3 Preview: Et Tu, QTE?
Cry “Havoc” and let slip of the flashy executions of cinematic war
The execution mechanic is more than just a 300 moment of brutality and ego-stroking: It’s also a reward mechanic. If the movement is timed just right, a side benefit is granted, such as health replenishment. Though Yerli stated that executions are optional (you can kill the enemy without using an execution blow), they are also the only way to regain health in the game. There is no slow health regeneration over time, nor health packs or potions to keep you from falling in the field of battle — just flashy, health-restoring execution moves.
Some other journalists who viewed or played the Ryse demo noted that there’s no way to fail the game’s QTEs, because even if you put the controller down, the deathblow is still completed. But as a gameplay mechanic, the focus of the QTEs isn’t on whether you kill the enemy: he’s already done for. Instead, the QTEs are meant to nab the side benefits, and so the goal isn’t necessarily to hit the buttons, but to get the timing right.
The timing of the executions is what’s really important. Hit the correct button at just the right time and a larger benefit will be rewarded than if the button push was a little early or late. The ultimate test of skill is in Legendary Mode, where there will be no controller icon appearing on screen to indicate when to press the corresponding button. Players will have to rely on sound cues and familiarity with enemy animations to tap the right button at the right time (that Yerli estimates in fractions of a second). However, to the victor goes the spoils, and those who pull it off will receive a sky-high score to gloat about to their friends.
Yerli recommends using executions tactically. When facing multiple opponents, but at low health, targeting the weakest enemy first and using a health execution to finish him off will refill the player’s life bar to better take on the tougher opponents. He also suggested fighting a group until every member is at the point of execution, then killing them all at once in one move for a large score multiplier. It increases the risk, but also the reward. These kind of high-risk maneuvers will give the player a legendary achievement.
He also mentioned there were three other side benefits from executions in the game, but wouldn’t say what they were. However, he did state there were over 100 executions to unlock in the game.