Some of the reviews I have read lead me to belive that Ryse was just a hack and slash game. After putting some time in the game I found that you can absolutely button mash if you just want to get through the combat. That's not too sophisticated. HOWEVER, if you take the time to learn the combat mechanics, it has depth to it. And the reward system alows you to choose how your character will look, level up and carry out attacks. Not to mention this game is very stylistic and beautifully rendered.
Overall, I liked this game. The combat had a nice fluidity once you understood it, and there was enough variation (through the "squad command" sequences) to help it last a while before it got too repetitious. The game itself is something great to look at, with wonderfully designed environments, character models, etc. I wasn't too interested in the multiplayer, so I didn't try that out - depending on how into multiplayer you are, that might improve or hurt your opinion of this game. My biggest gripe was the final boss fight (not the QTEs at the end of the game, but that final actual fight), which essentially requires you to use a move that you never really learn or use prior. You can beat it without that move, but it is exceedingly difficult and tedious to do so, so I wish this (apparently) essential move have a bit more exposure earlier. Other than that bit of frustration I enjoyed it, and I would definitely say it is worth renting!