The story of Ryse focuses on the story of Marius Titus, as he tells the Emperor Nero of his life, beginning with the murder of his family by barbarian bandits, and his subsequent quest for revenge, whilst serving the Roman Army.
During gameplay, the player takes control of Marius in third person perspective, whilst fighting Barbarians and issuing orders to other Roman soldiers. In keeping with the setting, combat is sword based, focusing on reflex based quick time events (QTE's).
Ryse's multiplayer mode is called Gladiator: Blood-Brothers mode, and is co operative themed, pitting several people up against gladiatorial challenges in the Colosseum. The more progress and XP the players make, they will earn gold, which can be spent on elixirs, weapons and amour for their multiplayer characters. Custom challenges can also be created by players.