Death by Degrees PlayStation 2

  • Publisher: Namco
  • Release Date: Feb 8, 2005

Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 45
  2. Negative: 18 out of 45
Buy On
  1. Play Magazine
    Filled with enough espionage, illegal arms trade, intrigue and terrorist activity to make James Bond run for cover. [Feb 2005, p.63]
  2. PSM Magazine
    Why there's no training mode to practice the thumb-blistering combinations is baffling and only the truly dedicated will be able to pull off some of the harder moves in battle. [Feb 2005, p.83]
  3. Nina's solo outing fails to rise to the calibre of the Tekken series, though her fans will have fun.
  4. It's like a Tootsie Pop, only the sweet chewy center is covered by the bitterness of gameplay mechanics and camera troubles.
  5. For some absolutely unknown reason Namco decided it’s was a “good” idea to hide the save points, and make you look for them.
  6. 65
    Challenging and simple, Death by Degrees is loaded with quirks to keep it going despite the annoying camera and mediocre graphics. Nina is quite the addiction.
  7. And really once you've been in two or three fights, you begin to simply say "ho-hum, now what"? You quickly get bored of things and start losing your concentration. By that time you also start losing interest in the game itself.
  8. 60
    Various elements of the game are solid -- graphics, combat, mini-games -- but they're dragged down by the mediocre adventure elements, unsatisfactory controls, and borderline-obnoxious load times.
  9. 60
    The camera issues simply ruin the whole experience, though. No matter how solid the control scheme or how shiny the graphics, when you can't see who you're fighting or what's down the next corridor, it's all moot.
  10. AceGamez
    At the end of the day, a very basic beat em' up. It's just kick, punch, shoot, with the odd focus moves here and there to break up the action.
  11. With a camera that's less wieldy than a shaken pop bottle, Death by Degrees leaves the player with few reasons to return for more. The gameplay nearly redefines the word repetition.
  12. Namco's game seems content to be mediocre, and for a game that carries the Tekken legacy on its shoulders (and will probably sell a huge number of units as a result) that's just too disappointing to forgive.
  13. If you really need a Nina fix then go get "Tekken 5," a flawless game by all counts. Then again, if for some unfathomable reason you enjoyed the fighting style of "Rise to Honor" and can tolerate load times that exceed gameplay times then by all means, check out Death by Degrees. Just consider yourself warned.
  14. A half-baked attempt to combine a combo-based fighting system with some light stealth and puzzle-solving. Unfortunately, no one aspect of the game is done especially well.
  15. The included demo disk for "Tekken V" is far more enjoyable.
  16. Gamers will tire of each and every gameplay mechanic long before the game has reached its completion, and the rest of the presentation—i.e., the story and the characters—is not compelling in the least.
  17. Game Informer
    This game will please neither action fans nor followers of the "Tekken" franchise, and comes off as a marketing scheme gone horribly awry. [March 2005, p.132]
  18. All of Death by Degrees' good points - impressive graphics, entertaining sniper scenes, solid upgrade and combo systems, unorthodox analog fighting that actually works well - are offset by poor enemy A.I. and one of the most user-unfriendly camera systems I've encountered in a long time. [March 2005, p.121]
  19. 50
    A disappointment. It's a game that wrongs its user over and over again so that after only a few short hours, the novelty of analog combat wears extremely thin.
  20. Cheat Code Central
    Replay value is limited. It's doubtful that the average gamer would even care to finish this game. The story is predictable so there's little incentive to complete the game just to see the conclusion.
  21. Edge Magazine
    The game’s sluggishness is all-pervasive, from Williams’ lethargic climb to the pauses between moving from third- to firstperson when you duck underwater... Death By Degrees progresses at such a sedate pace it’s almost relaxing. [March 2005, p.89]
  22. GamePro
    In the end, fans of Tekken will simply ask, "Why?" [Apr 2005, p.80]
  23. Linear to the point of offering little challenge beyond heading in a straight route through the entire game at an extremely sluggish pace, occasionally demanding you to pick up objects to solve frustratingly cryptic puzzles.
  24. 50
    It would have worked better as a unlockable inclusion in "Tekken 5," rather than a standalone game.
  25. Shows some potential, but an unpolished execution and an overall sluggish feel means it's for die-hard "Tekken" fans only.
  26. 50
    Without that depth though, this is an average attempt at game design that occasionally sparkles. Only occasionally though. [JPN Import]
  27. 45
    There’s nothing done well here that wasn’t already done in the Force modes, which is quite sad.
  28. I can’t take any more, this game is awful.
  29. 45
    Simply a mediocre action adventure composed of recycled concepts and poor attempts at innovation that not even Tekken fans will enjoy.
  30. The depth of unlockable modes and challenges is a welcome surprise and allows for plenty of action without the mess of searching for keys without a decent map. Did I mention that the map is worthless? It is.
  31. A game that will appeal to easily-impressed foetuses, but alienate the rest of us by being incredibly simple and simply unfulfilling. [PSM2]
  32. A mindless brawler with shoddy control... An interesting experiment with the Tekken franchise. Too bad it plays like a train wreck.
  33. The control system is nothing but a pain, with the analog stick used mostly for combat, and no camera control of movement. Even making Nina run is a button-mashing effort.
  34. 40
    A tired, sluggish, and uninspired action adventure that would have barely cut the mustard six years ago on PS1.
  35. If the mindless action of mashing your analog stick to death won't bore you into using Death by Degrees as a coaster, the horrible soundtrack will at least guarantee you will make use of the mute feature on your TV.
  36. We're used to crappy stories. What we're not used to is disorienting camera angles and lousy controls that have the lithe, lean, fighting machine Nina plodding around like the bastard love child of Kirstie Alley and a three-legged Clydesdale.
  37. Poor controls, poor camera, poor combat... Poor us for having to suffer through this dreck.
  38. From generic level designs to Nina Williams’ busted right analog control, and from amateurish voice acting to an unbearable amount of never-ending loading pauses, this game is inexcusably poor and no fun to play whatsoever.
  39. Add some quite wonky camera controls, only slightly above-average graphics, voice acting that is little better than House of the Dead’s, and load times that are so slow and frequent that they would test the patience of the Dali Llama himself, and what you have is a game that is a chore to play.
  40. Pause menus that take at least five-ten seconds to load up are downright pathetic, a lack of intriguing gameplay definitely drew me away quicker and quicker, and mostly, the inappropriate use of a beloved-by-many-except-this-reviewer fighting franchise’s moniker is foul play indeed.
  41. netjak
    It is games like Death by Degrees that make the public shun games and dismiss them as the trifles of a child. Overt sexual overtones, but no actual nudity, and gameplay that consists of an insipid story combined with shallow, random acts of nigh-impossible, pseudo-heroic violence. Sounds like something aiming straight for the 12-15 year old demographic to me.
  42. Note to the videogame industry: Mapping attacks to the right analog stick isn't a good idea. Put all the crossover dribbles and jukes you want on the analog stick, but for brawling games like Death by Degrees, this method of control simply doesn't work.
  43. It's one of those games that reminds you how far we've come over the years, because it's just full of the old bad design habits that we all used to take for granted.
  44. games(TM)
    It’s an unparalleled mess of a game that manages top bore and anger in equal measure, exhibiting the occasional glimmer of a good idea only to snatch it away and laugh in your face. [Apr 2005, p.116]

Awards & Rankings

#65 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 17
  2. Negative: 7 out of 17
  1. Sep 20, 2013
    A decent game that was too harshly judged. Yes the controls are awkwardly placed, BUT the game is still very playable. This wasn't meant to beA decent game that was too harshly judged. Yes the controls are awkwardly placed, BUT the game is still very playable. This wasn't meant to be a serious beat-em-up. Its more like a Resident Evil 1-3 or a Silent Hill with exploration, item collecting, and some health management. The cruise ship location is massive and just fun to explore. There are plenty of saves to find. There are plenty of rooms and objects to examine without out them being too hidden or too hard. The special attacks are kind of fun. Its pretty obvious this wasn't meant to be too serious, but it is fun in its own way. This game really does have some of the best graphics the PS2 is capable of. If you think of this like an older adventure game with a bit of combat you will like it. Its not an FPS or button masher, and I think people thought it would be. There is some voice acting and story here, but its pretty silly. Right now I'd rate it 7. Decent game and you should probably buy it if you like cinematic games and cool places to explore. It will really take you away from reality. Full Review »
  2. Apr 5, 2017
    Nina est belle et elle est blonde ! il y a de jolies cinématiques avec Nina ! et... quoi ? un jeu ? non j'ai pas vu de jeu. C'était une sorteNina est belle et elle est blonde ! il y a de jolies cinématiques avec Nina ! et... quoi ? un jeu ? non j'ai pas vu de jeu. C'était une sorte de truc euh un machin dont la tentative d'interactivité est déficiente. Pauvre Nina. Les blondes ne devraient pas faire de jeux vidéo. Retourne repasser, bordel ! Full Review »
  3. Jun 24, 2014
    To be blunt - Death by Degrees is a badly designed piece of **** A third person brawler wanting to be Resident evil AND Metal Gear Solid atTo be blunt - Death by Degrees is a badly designed piece of **** A third person brawler wanting to be Resident evil AND Metal Gear Solid at the same time, except the camera and controls are so bad they do nothing but hinder the player and make certain actions difficult or impossible. There's a good game in here somewhere; likely the removal of the ridiculous thumbstick-controlled directional combat would improve matters no end, but then there's the obnoxious load-times that appear every. single. time. you open a door, select your menu, or do anything. Crap, crap, crap. Full Review »