In a strange bit of scheduling, both of the final episodes of Ryse: Son of Rome‘s four-part webseries have appeared on Machinima.

In episode three, we meet Gannicus, a gladiator fighting in the arena as he regales us with stories of how death has been good to him. Yet now it appears he is up against the vengeful spirit of Damocles that we saw in episode 2. I have to admit, I really enjoyed this episode. It’s well paced, very atmospheric and a little bit brutal. I do wonder what significance it bears to the game’s narrative, but I guess I’ll have to play it to find out.

In episode four, we’re back with protagonist Marius as he sits with an older man, presumably his commander. In between images of the sacking of Rome, Marius’ commander speaks of the real heart of Rome, Palatine Hill. He tells the young legionnaire that the day will soon come when he must decide whether he fights for his own honour or for Rome.

It’s been a strange, disjointed webseries across these four episodes, and it hasn’t really told us anything about anyone. I’m mildly intrigued to see what importance it may have to the game, but in hindsight I think I would have enjoyed a series of separate, atmospheric vignettes like episode 3 rather than a disjointed semi-arc that doesn’t really go anywhere.

But then perhaps I’m unfairly comparing ‘The Fall’ to ‘Forward Unto Dawn’, which had a very definite story arc; maybe the sole purpose of this is to get people intrigued enough in the game to buy a copy. Given the setting, and the fact that, while short, the series has been very well produced, I’d liked to have seen where this could have gone had it been a bit longer. Perhaps we’ll have to wait for Microsoft’s TV productions to see the potential realised.

See parts 1 and 2 below:
‘The Fall’ episode 1
‘The Fall’ episode 2