Ryse: Son of Rome

Xbox One Launch Title - Crytek


Ryse: Son of Rome tells the story of Marius Titus, a young Roman soldier who witnesses the murder of his family at the hands of barbarian bandits, then travels with the Roman army to Britannia to seek revenge. Quickly rising through the ranks, Marius must become a leader of men and defender of the Empire on his quest to exact vengeance – a destiny he soon discovers can only be fulfilled much closer to home.


This project was a launch title for the Xbox One, I worked on it from concept to gold master. It was completed in 18 months.

As a level designer on Ryse I had to design the 4th level "The King". This involved documentation, paper layouts, whitebox, initial art pass, scripting, scripted events, markup, optimization, balancing and bug fixing.


Extra Credits

Environment art: Liam Cullen, Patrick Gladys, Tom Deerberg Lighting: Chris Cambell

Progress shots


Layouts of early versions

Very first layout, player fought way through forest towards aqueduct, upon reaching the aqueduct the player fought his way along it to above a Roman camp. The player helps his troops breach the camp and that opens their path to Oswalds camp. The Romans advance through the dark and attack the camp. The force advances through the camp and enters the burial mound where they confront Oswald.

Oswalds camp was removed to focus on the henge battle and an expanded interior of the burial mound.

Aqueduct sequence has Roman work camp removed in favour of a fight on the aqueduct introducing Boudicca.

Release version

The player receives their mission from General Vitalion, they are to capture King Oswald, leader of the Celtic rebellion. The player takes control as they make their way down to the valley floor.

The level featured a huge aqueduct that acts as a landmark for the player during sections of the forest and a destination they were aiming for.

The forest section used subtle cues to lead the player forward, the player was always moving towards the glyphs on the rocks, bodies facing towards them and of course certain lighting elements.

The forest is littered with the bodies of the occupying 4th Legion whom the Celts have slaughtered and left as a warning.

The player is introduced to a new enemy type early on in the forest, the dual wielding barbarian.

The player is left open to deal with three patrols in a relatively large area. They can agro either patrol in melee combat or pick off a few at range before they are noticed, or they can charge in and fight everyone at once.

Continuing through the forest the player comes across a patrol camp, attacking them the players are confronted by reinforcements from the surrounding area.

Having navigated the forest and found a way across the river the player must work their way up and along the aqueduct.

Throughout the aqueduct the player has the opportunity to use their ranged weaponry extensively or they can engage the enemy in melee combat.

Upon reaching the end of the aqueduct overlooking a balista position, the player is confronted by Boudicca and her personal guards.