• Publisher: SCEA
  • Release Date: Feb 17, 2004

Mixed or average reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 50
  2. Negative: 1 out of 50
Buy On
  1. 58
    In the end, all of the cinematic flourishes can't help save a game that might've been good a few years ago, but is a lackluster experience today.
  2. May have the flashy action and storytelling that you'd expect from a martial arts flick, but unfortunately, the gameplay doesn't hold up its end of the bargain.
  3. As rewarding as the hand-to-hand combat is, Rise to Honor's thrills are short lived. It's an enjoyable play, but much like Jet Li's films, is nothing more than a lazy afternoon of fun. [Mar 2004, p.98]
  4. It's repetitive. Extremely repetitive. That's really all that needs to be said. I can praise the control scheme until I'm blue in the face, but that doesn't take away from the fact that the game repeats itself like a radio station with a small collection of songs.
  5. Cheat Code Central
    Both combat styles balance and carry each other making this game playable and even fun for the most part. Due to the relative ease of the gameplay and control system Rise to Honor will appeal mostly to beginners and casual gamers.
  6. It’s short length (only 5 to 8 hours) and it’s repetitive and sometimes lacking gamplay really hurt it. There’s definitely some good fun to have, but it would be better done through a rental.
  7. 60
    The cinematic cutscenes are completely uninvolving, with bored-sounding voice acting, the flimsiest of plots, and the most uninspired script imaginable. This would all be alright if the gameplay were strong.
  8. If only there were a few more moves to learn, and a bit more imagination than room after room of contrived fight sequences against hordes of identikit enemies.
  9. It is a well thought out cinematic experience, but it surely doesn’t hold a candle to the recently released "James Bond 007: Everything or Nothing."
  10. 60
    Scores several points for the innovative control scheme that's destined to replace button mashing as the fighting tool of choice. But it doesn't have the interactivity or variety to back up the chop-socky skills, making for play that's tasty, but about as filling as a trip to a Chinese joint at your local strip mall.
  11. Instead of finding innovative means to explore new narratives, they are content to rely only on its effective control scheme and Jet Li's face to drive the core experience. Everything else falls back on tired videogame conventions and that makes Rise to Honor an acceptable game, but a deeply flawed next generation model.
  12. An interactive Honk Kong action movie with too much movie and not enough interaction.
  13. If not for some serious balance issues (some bosses can easily kill you in two hits), stupidly out-of-place stealth levels, and finicky weapon controls (it's really hard, for some reason, to hit someone with a stick), Honor might have been more than just a solid rental. [March 2004, p.120]
  14. 70
    The game's short length and near nonexistent replay value means it's hard to justify recommending beyond a rental or picking up at a reduced price.
  15. The fisticuffs get tired pretty fast (as will your right thumb) trying to beat up the bad guys, particularly the later stages that feature god-like AI opponents and extremely trying boss battles.
  16. It’s simply too short and too frustrating to warrant a purchase, unless of course you’re a diehard Jet Li fan and want everything of his that you can get your hands on.
  17. Despite the decent controls, you still end up seeing the same four-hit combos repeatedly, and when digital Jet holds a stick or a bat in his hand, it becomes mysteriously harder to hit people with it. [Mar 2004, p.101]
  18. The cinematic presentation will certainly appeal to casual gamers; however the sheer repetition, poor AI, lack of depth and longevity issues should be a major concerns to anybody else.
  19. While it is by no means a bad game, there’s just not enough substance to it, and the controls, which were touted as being revolutionary, are below average.
  20. PSM Magazine
    Despite an innovative control scheme, this is pretty much your typical action game fare, albeit with better-than-average environmental interaction and storytelling. [Mar 2004, p.26]
  21. But the execution just totally destroyed all the good things this came could have been. Saying the game was almost devoid of gameplay might be a harsh statement, but when I turn off a game and say to myself “I have had enough”, and vow never to play it again, then harsh is a reality.
  22. This is one title that could have… should have… would have…. been better without its similarly irritating controls. Rent it if you’re a Jet Li fan, pass completely if you aren’t.
  23. It may be linear and occasionally repetitive, but the spectacular set pieces will surely rock your world as hard as any Hong Kong classic.
  24. It just really fails to excite you in the long run, despite the production team's efforts to keep you hooked.
  25. Besides the not-quite-fluid-enough controls, the main problem is that shooting is a bit of a pain (you tap the right analog toward your target and use the R2 to shoot). [Mar 2004, p.85]
  26. 60
    The fighting engine is certainly innovative, but lacks basic variety, the graphics border on garish and the soundtrack, in terms of voice acting, is only as good as the writing... which is to say, it’s not too good.
  27. While there's not a whole lot of variety to the game play, the slick look and novel control scheme help make up for Rise to Honor's other shortcomings. And no, that's not a crack about Jet Li's height.
  28. 72
    A good example how top quality motion capture can be used within a game. Unfortunately the "revolutionary" control system hurts an otherwise solid game.
  29. Controlling Yun is actually quite intuitive, even with the sophisticated multidirectional fighting scheme.
  30. Worst game ever? No, not really. That was an exaggeration fed largely by the flames of my initial frustration. But it’s not really a very good game, either; probably slightly below average, in the scheme of things.
  31. Using the right analog stick for attacks just doesn’t feel right, and as a player, you’re never really allowed to control your attacks properly. That, added to the frustratingly cheap bosses, adds up to a mediocre gaming experience, despite the crisp visuals and entertaining audio portions.
  32. An ideal example of the perfect rental video game. It’s neither hugely challenging nor is it easy to put down. It doesn’t last very long but that’s what keeps its simplistic nature appealing all the way through.
  33. While it's a visually stunning game for the PS2 platform with great production values, the game underneath it all is far too pedestrian to be worth purchasing.

Awards & Rankings

#92 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2004
#40 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2004
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 30 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 30
  2. Negative: 4 out of 30
  1. darkdevilHnTr
    May 22, 2008
    this game is THE best... it has it all, graphics, martial arts, easy controls etc... If they do a rise to honor 2, i'll be the first to buy it
  2. BY.
    May 17, 2004
    Nice graphics and superb martial arts. I hope have rise to honor 2.
  3. TuomasK.
    Apr 9, 2004
    Very good beat'em up. Haven't played it yet to the end, but it is really fun and innovative. Only downsides are camera when you are Very good beat'em up. Haven't played it yet to the end, but it is really fun and innovative. Only downsides are camera when you are sneaking, and no multiplayer. All critics who say this game is bad should check their heads. Game-Revolution review is bullsh.t! Full Review »