GAMERS can take to the streets of ancient York, thanks to a blockbuster release.

Ryse: Son Of Rome allows players to take control of a General during the Roman occupation of Britain, along with his legion, and has received largely positive reviews since it was released at the end of last year.

The developers, Crytek, are based in Germany, and worked with Microsoft Studios to create the game. They told The Press the idea of using York as a major location in the game had been part of the plan from the very beginning of development, as a well-known outpost of the Roman Empire.

Patrick Esteves, design director on Ryse, said: "We picked York as a location for the game because of its historical significance. It was an important garrison city and the most northern part the Romans had control over in all of Britain at that time. The juxtaposition of the Britons attacking a Roman colony was something that made that mission interesting for us."

Patrick said it could be argued that the York levels make up the most important mission in the game, which starts when the hero, Marius Titus, goes to the city, and is sent on a rescue mission beyond the wall.

He said: "When he returns, the Britons lay siege to the city in order to reclaim what was theirs. York ties well into Ryse as it marks a pivotal point in the story. The player learns that the Romans are not always on the good side as they are invaders in another country. I can’t describe the complete mission without spoiling the whole game though."

Although the landmarks in the city may not match York exactly, Patrick said the digital city was inspired by the real city's appearance.

He said: "When designing York we wanted the city to look like it was built by Romans and show Roman architecture, but you can also see the 'dirtiness' you would expect in an occupied garrison city. We modeled the buildings after the walls and fortresses that you can find in York today to make the architecture and textures look authentic."