• 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
  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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 60
    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.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 8
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 8
  3. Negative: 0 out of 8
  1. Apr 17, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The difficulty is ever increasing. THe game takes place in the same world as Tekken and makes several subtle and not-so-subtle references. The team-up system is good and the weapon system is easily balanced. (1 gun and it's a pistol, it does massive damage but it's easy to avoid simply by rolling) The story doesn't offer much but it set the foundation for a sequel that won't ever come. The ending was anticlimactic and you spend the last part of the game just running around the city doing random things. Then, all of a sudden, the Mayor's been organizing the riots! It has a vast multitude of characters, all with their own abilities and stats. This was the thinking man's beat 'em-up. Full Review »
  2. Aug 20, 2010
    A hardcore, no-holds barred, adrenaline pumping beat-em-up that combines the arcade action of games like Final Fight and Streets of Rage withA hardcore, no-holds barred, adrenaline pumping beat-em-up that combines the arcade action of games like Final Fight and Streets of Rage with the finesse of a modern day fighting game. Using a glut of animations taken straight from Tekken 5, Urban Reign's developers have created a very playable homage to action movies like District B13.

    While at times frustrating, Urban Reign never becomes aggravating, and the seasoned gamer will be able to brutalize enemies over 100 stages, and surely come back to replay their favorite levels. This addictive action game is only marred by its lack of 2-player cooperative play, but players can still go head to head with the game's large and unique roster.
    Full Review »
  3. ReyA
    Jul 30, 2009
    I don't understand why the critics complained about this one. The gameplay mechanics were fun and the characters were cool looking I don't understand why the critics complained about this one. The gameplay mechanics were fun and the characters were cool looking people. Even the voiceovers for the characters were good. Ok, so there's not much of a story for single player mode, but most people buy these types of games for the multiplayer mode anyway. The best part is, you can use a multitap and play 1-4 players. Anyway, this one belongs on my shelf right next to Soul Calibur 3 and IV. Enough said. Full Review »