Well, I can't help but feel like Microsoft has a game falling under the same hardships as Sony did with Knack. Ryse: Son of Rome has been one of those titles highly regarded and hyped up since the announcement of its existence several months ago, as it was clear that Microsoft would be leaning heavy on the gladiatorial combat game to carry their console-exclusive launch line-up. As the release got closer, however, the journalism community began to sour on the game, complaining about being repetitive, and ... well, not many other complaints really. That stigma that it was developing already was making reviewers nervous, and effectively keeping consumers wary of a Day 1 purchase.
Let's get this clear right off the bat. Yes, it is repetitious, especially in the beginning. But it's also pertinent to remember that this game is trying to showcase the Roman empire with some historical accuracy, which means it's trying to make the combat as realistic as possible. You don't use magic or crazy unrealistic weapons. You are equipped with weapons you would find in the time period, which for better or worse, didn't have a lot of diversity in their design.
The game is also very linear, as you battle your way through a pre-established path, not leaving you much chance for exploration. They never set out to make an open world gladiator game, but rather tell a flushed out story about a fierce warrior fighting for everything he believe in. With such a powerful story, especially one where the cut-scenes are absolutely gorgeous, I feel no need to wander off or do random side quests. The pacing of the game how it is laid out is perfect, and to knock the game for what it is and not trying to be more than that is a shame.
So yes, it is repetitive at the start. You only have a couple of moves at your disposal to use in order to dispatch enemies, but the more you fight and the more blood is spilled on the battlefield, the more you can upgrade your warrior to learn different attacks, executions and abilities. The game rewards you for continuing your journey, and I have no qualms with that. It really doesn't feel much different than other button-mashing brawler games, especially considering all the details the game is trying to showcase.
Oh, and this game is beautiful. Aside from the thousands of zombies on the screen at once in Dead Rising 3, or the individual beard hairs on basketball players in NBA 2K14, this game is quite the showcase for what "next-gen" technology is capable of, which is scary considering this is just the beginning for this generation of consoles.
Long story short, if Ryse: Son of Rome caught your interest at all, and you backed off because of the reviews, then you are missing out. If you can play it in any capacity, you need to do so. Don't let those always-negative game reviewers keep you from pursing your gut feelings. Allow this measly blogger to convince you to ignore them and play what you want, because you want to. That's what gaming is all about.