Remember Ryse? Crytek’s 2013 Xbox One launch title was a good-looking but brutally short third-person sword and shield combat game that was designed to show off what Microsoft’s new console could do. But it wasn’t always so.
Initially, Ryse was meant to be an Xbox 360 game. Then, before it was known as Ryse, it was known as Codename Kingdoms. And it was not third-person, but first-person.
A recently unearthed prototype of Codename Kingdoms shows us how Ryse looked in this early form. The video, below, published by YouTube channel
Prototype Preservation, was created from a prototype found on an Xbox 360 dev kit bought by a Twitter user called Cheese007.
Now, this is a prototype, so much of what we can see from this build of the game is unfinished, or even working properly. But we do get a decent idea of how Ryse would have worked as a first-person game – and what it might have looked like.
Ryse suffered from a development hell, and sources who worked on the project have told me over the years it was a complete disaster from beginning to end for a variety of reasons. Back in 2014, Unseen64 published a report into Ryse’s troubled development, detailing how it went from being an Xbox 360 game to being a Kinect game until finally ending up as an Xbox One launch title, bouncing around various developers along the way.
In 2014, Ryse 2 was canned because of a conflict between Crytek and Microsoft over who would own the rights to the franchise. Amid financial troubles at Crytek, we haven’t heard of the series since.