• Publisher: Namco
  • Release Date: Sep 13, 2005

Mixed or average reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 44
  2. Negative: 10 out of 44
Buy On
  1. There isn't a plot to speak of, nor any gameplay elements beyond the fighting. But the fighting really is exceptionally fun for novices and experts, which makes this game extremely successful on its own terms.
  2. Urban Reign succeeds because it does what it set out to do: it is a fun, engaging brawler. The fighting system is deep and intriguing, the voice-acting is thankfully on-spot, and the game has a lot to offer, particularly for anyone looking for a quick, aggressive free-for-all.
  3. Pelit (Finland)
    A competent group beat 'em-up. The fast and violent fighting system works nicely. Too bad the arenas are flat and quite dull. [Mar 2006]
  4. Game Informer
    The developers have come up with an admirable gameplay engine for this brawler, one that provides the fluidity of a fighter, but with a streamlined control scheme that allows rookies to get in and have some fun beating down chumps. [Oct 2005, p.134]
  5. It looks good, the combat is easy on the thumbs and if you're after some brainless combat or endless winner-stays-on retro fighting action, Urban Reign is a great choice. [PSW]
  6. A solid beat-'em-up. It's unbalanced and frustrating at times but, when the combat is flowing freely, Urban Reign is hard to beat. [PSM2]
  7. If multiplayer is your game and you’ve got a multi-tap, Urban Reign is a great game to consider picking up and one I’m positive you’ll squeeze plenty of entertainment value out of it.
  8. This is simply an underground fighter that is more of a diversion and a guilty pleasure for those who like brutal street fighting with a bit of martial arts elegance.
  9. Official U.S. Playstation Magazine
    Better than "Beat Down." [Oct 2005, p.107]
  10. 70
    Even the slightest mistake can lead to an instant beat down from a swarm of CPU-controlled gang members. The aggressive A.I. is relentless in its attacks and, especially later in the game, will easily frustrate even the most hardcore fighting fans.
  11. Namco's brawler does thrill, but misses out on the crucial online play and a decent story.
  12. Edge Magazine
    For all those who gun Reign down for toying with its own rules and essentially cheating on the player at times it feels are appropriate, there'll hopefully be as many who recognise that such times are appropriate and and that even the dirtiest of its tricks can be bested. [Dec 2005, p.104]
  13. 70
    There are some problems with the game, but a great combat system, great multiplayer and great presentation all make up enough for the game’s shortcomings.
  14. Unfortunately the game grows stale rather quickly and is hampered by a ridiculous difficulty level and repetitive gameplay.
  15. 66
    There's no doubt that with its flexible fighting engine and various game modes that it has a lot of 'weekend rental' potential for those willing to overlook its short missions and bad balancing, but it could have been so much more than that.
  16. Play Magazine
    Despite some attempts at variety, the missions grow repetitive quickly thanks to a limited move set. [Oct 2005, p.67]
  17. 65
    But battling groups of bad guys gets dangerously dull after an hour or two, especially when the game's unfair A.I., just like our booze-addled fathers, has a tendency to make you pay dearly for even the slightest gaff.
  18. You have great graphics, huge move sets, lots of characters, lots of stages. But then it drops the ball on game difficulty, difficult controls, weak storyline, and no online game play.
  19. Yet another game to add to the list of brawlers we will inevitably forget.
  20. PSM Magazine
    The best urban brawler sine "Def Jam." [Nov 2005, p.86]
  21. 60
    Rather than melding together the best aspects of the games which obviously influenced it, Urban Reign instead only manages a watered down stew of fighting elements that taste more like an appetizer than a main course.
  22. It wants to innovate so badly in its arena but it has a few shortcomings that stop it from parading like a champion.
  23. Those looking for a no-nonsense beat-em-up could find some enjoyment with the fluid combat system and frantic nature of the game, however Urban Reign makes very little attempt to bring the genre back to life - everybody else should check out Rockstar Games superior adaptation of The Warriors.
  24. AceGamez
    Be it frustration at the difficulty level or just boredom at the lack of variety, your Urban Reign is pretty much guaranteed to be a short-lived one.
  25. If you’re after something to play with your mates after the pub, or are looking for a short burst of knuckle-cracking violence, Urban Reign might be worth looking at if found going cheap.
  26. Official Playstation 2 Magazine UK
    Apparently, monks chant the same phrase hundreds of times to reach a meditative state. This is like that, but with puniching. [Feb 2006, p.102]
  27. Play UK
    It does look great and arguably has a certain gritty charm, but is severely let down by a combat system that is, frankly, not good enough. [Apr 2006, p.106]
  28. The barely tolerable story mode does little to cover up the fact that Urban Reign is little more than pummeling goons in the face for three hours, and then bam, you're done.
  29. 55
    Full of wasted potential. A disappointing effort from a developer that knows better.
  30. Namco has created a capable fighter and dressed it in some especially uninspiring clothes. To put it plainly, Urban Reign appears to exist purely because it can. Despite its skill, no forward steps are taken or advancements made in the genre.
  31. There's no sense of progression, only a sickening sense of tedium as you're dropped into the next box of a level and take on another too easy minion, too tough boss, and the too bewildering camera.
  32. The only thing Urban Reign will provide you with is a realistic foreshadowing of what would actually happen to you if you ever ran into a few angry dudes in a dark alley late one night. If that sounds like fun by all means go for it.
  33. Urban Reign’s audio is purely average. You could play the entire game on mute and not miss a thing. The voice acting ranges from decent to poor, and the weak plot and script don’t help matters much.
  34. To be honest, if you were not sold in the first few words, classic beat’em up, then there is nothing here that will appeal to you as a gamer.
  35. A textbook case of a good idea gone horribly wrong.
  36. You may be a glutton for punishment, and for that you may have a need for a quick rental, but even with the Tekken characters as unlockables, this is not a fighter worthy of the Namco name.
  37. 40
    Forcing the player to endure 100 repetitive missions just to unlock the meat of the game is an insult, as is the imbalanced fighting engine.
  38. Strangely addicting and fun for the first thirty minutes, that feeling soon wears off as the flaws in the gameplay slowly reveal themselves until you’re so frustrated that you will probably not be in the best frame of mind to complete game or play it for any length of time again.
  39. Ferocious opponents and brutal unblockable attacks ensure the challenge is punishingly difficult, but there is little reward for investing the necessary time to master the fighting system's nuances.
  40. 35
    With its slick visual polish and ample bone-crunching sound-effects, Urban Reign could have come out on tip. But thanks to an endless series of increasingly maddening and increasingly boring stages, you'll find yourself saying "No thanks," and turning off your PS2 and bringing this game back to the store. Xbox owners, be thankful you were spared this agony.
  41. Had it been given a little more depth pretty much everywhere, this may have been a sleeper hit. Instead, it’s just a sleeper.
  42. The inclusion of some unlockable Tekken characters and a slightly more balanced multiplayer mode might be enough to give you a fix if you do absolutely nothing else in life but play beat-'em-ups and you've actually run out, but otherwise there's no reason to take an interest.
  43. netjak
    One of the worst games you could buy this year. Imagine someone took the Mission Mode out of "Soul Calibur II," and sold it as a separate game for $50. That's Urban Reign.
  44. Aside from its superior presentation, about the only really good thing that can be said for Urban Reign is that it is not available to offend on more than one console. That’s right PS2 owners, you can be proud you took the bullet for all gamerdom.

Awards & Rankings

#96 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2005
#15 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2005
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 3 out of 28
  1. Sep 6, 2016
    runs on PCSX2 ... PAL version.
    This note is only temporary, this can change if better settings are found in the future on another OS and
    runs on PCSX2 ... PAL version.
    This note is only temporary, this can change if better settings are found in the future on another OS and rig:
    Which OS to load, which user account and what hardwares:
    6 Sept 2016 … normal 100% game speed, very good graphic with no jagged lines = play this on Win7 64-bit, user account “Sec2ndteer”, Phenom 965 o'c to 3.8GHz with GTX 670 2GB. ... run it on PCSX2 1.4.0 .. Windows' desktop reso 1920x1080.
    For the setup of pre-cfg files, look for: urbsne456reidg8997.txt
    ... if you want re-tunes it: Don't turn on MSAA, it works but gives extra "shadow-shades" outside the right place on the ground, the extra shading looks like rainbow's colors on certain maps like China Town and Chinese Market. Though MSAA may makes the textures looking better, but you may also need to lower the "upscale multiplier" down from 6 to 4 ... so to increase FPS.
    More nattations on the buggy graphic if MSAA was turned on: “rainbow-bars oiled” paterns popping up like a shadow thing on the ground from time to time (it can’t effect the look of the player model or AI bot models, it’s in the background like a shadow on the ground.
    This a very fun game to play with, as good a SF V and Soul Calibur 3 !!!
    … seen girl fight just like Soul Calibur III moves, exactly!
    Release Date: Sept 2005
    ... how it runs on PCSX2
    Y = grapple … B = strike (most of the time it's kicking, but depends on how far away you're to the opponent, and it should be kicks if pressing the D-pad right or down along with the press of this B key)
    … A = sprint (press it again to stop sprinting. No, you don’t held down onto this button to sprint)
    Tips: Pressing the "Y" button + any direction of the D-Pad can end up using punches and kicks before lift up and slam moves.
    Tips: Pressing the "B" button + any direction of the D-Pad can end up using low/high kicks, it changes when the opponent is laying on the ground or in stun. There is a low swipe kick that can knock the opponent off his feet.
    … X = dodge (you barely moves, but if you press this in time when opponent is about to hit you, this counterthe attack and grasp back at the hand or leg, or weapon)
    … Left shoulder key = pick up any dropped weapons on the ground, or to loose the weapon that’s in your hand – no, no throwing weapons out)
    … Right thumbstick = rotate camera view when you’re in Story game mode and the fights has started, but this won't works in dual and VS arena game modes ...
    ... Right shoulder button = target lock onto opponent(s). Hold it down and look at the opponents' "colored small triangles" marker on top of their head, then press the "A" button (must keep holding onto the right shoulder button) and you will sprint towards him, when you're about 2 to 3 metres away from him, press the "B" button and you'll jump up and kicking and kicking again as you keep pressing the "B" button. You don't need to turn around to face the marked opponent before pressing the "A" button. Note that more than 1 or 2 opponents can be locked-on to, but usually that's because they're fighting each other and is so close together. Just press "A" once while still holding onto the rigth shoulder key and your player will run towards the marked opponent like a trailing missile.
    Tips: the most useful attack is to sprint into 2 opponents as they're fighting, then jump up and kicking at them both in turns while you're still in the air, or use bicycle kicks all at one opponent. That's using the "A" button and Right shoulder button plus then the "B" button.
    Tips: when you runs into a wall, your player will runs up the wall and flips back down, when he does that he will injure any opponent that's chasing him or standing at or near where you're landing your stomping feet!
    When you got stun and stars a circling around your head, mash the left thumbstick and the Y B A X buttons around quickly to “wack” youself up.
    When in “Story” game mode, choose to play as Brad Hawk (also works in arena battles), mash the left thumbstick and the Y, B, A, and X buttons around quickly when the SPA gauge has little of few whits in it, this will make your player do a swirling special move spin kick. But I think all it needs is pressing the Y and B buttons at the same time on the xbox360 controller, but to be safe, just mash them up, but you might using up all many times of SPA sources if you mashing those buttons for too long? The SPA gauge is shown right under your health meter, it fills up when you get hitted, or when you hitted the opponents!
    If you want to get into training, go to “Extras” > “Tutorial” or “Practice”.
    There are many characters to unlock, I think it only has half the roles unlocked for you to play as for start.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 12, 2015
    Best fighting game I ever played in my life and I played a lot. Such beautiful, intuitive mechanics, balanced characters strenghts andBest fighting game I ever played in my life and I played a lot. Such beautiful, intuitive mechanics, balanced characters strenghts and endurances, not like in other games where a big guy's punch has the same power as some girl and they can take the same amount of beating. This is so underrated that it makes me mad, no word of a sequel or a remake, such a shame. I spent countless days playing this in multiplayer with my friends and it's very addictive and fun. I'd score it 20 if it was possible. Full Review »
  3. Oct 3, 2015
    El mejor juego para jugar entre amigos por tener combos buenisimos , muchos estilo de lucha , armas , mapa de batalla y varios personajes .El mejor juego para jugar entre amigos por tener combos buenisimos , muchos estilo de lucha , armas , mapa de batalla y varios personajes . El punto debil es la historia muy simplona pero mirando que es un juego que esta hecho para dos jugadores pues no se apresta tanta atención . Muy correcto juego Full Review »