At a San Diego Comic Con panel, Crytek and Microsoft provided new story details on the Xbox One exclusive Ryse. They also announced a graphic novel that can give you an edge in the game.

Ryse stars Marius, a young soldier eager to defend Rome. The game begins with him being deployed to Britannia to battle the rebellion there. The Briton rebels are led by King Oswald as well as his daughter Boudica. Glott, leader of the Northern barbarians, wages war on Oswald's tribe as well as the Romans.

Though Marius begins the story with unfailing faith in the Roman Empire, in time he realizes that Rome's enemies are not all foreign. The leaders of Rome are just as dangerous. Emperor Nero is a paranoid control freak who is quick to eliminate any opposition. His sons Commodus and Basilius are no prizes, either. Commodus is the tyrannical governor of Brittania, while Basilius is a depraved slavemaster who spends his days watching bloody gladiator fights in the Colosseum. Marius will presumably have to kill all of them.

In Marius' journey to eliminate the true enemies of Rome, he'll be guided by his mentor Vitallion. Vitallion is described as a charismatic and wise general with decades of experience. I'm going to assume that, like most good mentors, he gets killed to spur the hero to revenge. Maybe Ryse will surprise me, though.

Ryse's story has a touch of the supernatural as well. An immortal spirit who watches over mankind will take mortal form and provide Marius with advice in his quest. A different spirit, who goes by the name Aquilo, will assist Rome's enemies in their quest to destroy the city.

You can find out more about Ryse's story by reading a digital, interactive graphic novel called Ryse: Sword of Damocles. The graphic novel is currently available through By reading the novel, you'll earn early unlocks for Ryse's arena-based multiplayer so you can fight at an advantage at launch.

Ryse is a hack-and-slash game that utilizes Kinect. It was initially intended as a Kinect-only title but now that controller-free technology plays a lesser role in the game. The E3 demo showed the player guiding other soldiers with voice commands and gestures. Marius's actions, meanwhile, are controlled with a gamepad.

Crytek will release Ryse this fall. The game will be one of the launch titles for the Xbox One. The console's release date hasn't been revealed yet, though retailers are estimating a late November launch.

Screenshots of the game's cast are below, along with the box art for Sword of Damocles.

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