Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 30
  2. Negative: 17 out of 30
  1. The graphics and sound are great, and the numerous challenges and arena modes offer some diversity. If you're up for a quick hack-and-slash game, rent it. If you want a game with depth, however, this Axe needs sharpening.
  2. There has not been a real development concerning the gameplay of Golden Axe: Beast Rider. Graphics are quite good, also the sound of the game.
  3. Eschewing the expected hack-n’-slash mindlessness, a timing-based evasion and blocking system is required to master the melee. It’s not enough to save an otherwise lackluster effort, but Secret Level was definitely on to something with the combat.
  4. Golden Axe: Beast Rider confuses the tribute to retro with the flat and boring gameplay. The new game of SEGA is mediocre in every aspect, and comes as a failure in its attempt to recover a legendary name and turn it into a worthy product of Next-Gen platforms.
  5. The Golden Axe name is liable to do Beast Rider more harm than good.
  6. 55
    Unfortunately the main gimmick of the game is pointless at best and frustrating at worst. There are challenge modes available after the game is completed and extra costumes to unlock, but nothing to offer real replay value.
  7. While it’s kind of cool to see a new take on such an old game, the presence of a muddy palette and outdated game mechanics combined with the inexplicable absence of co-op makes Beast Rider forgettable and so much less than it could have been.
  8. Tyris is likeable enough, but generic and uninspired gameplay manage to reduce everything in Golden Axe: Beast Rider to the lowest common denominator. It’s simply not fun--offering very little incentive to keep playing.
  9. It’s a perfectly playable game, but a frankly boring one that quickly becomes a chore to play. [Christmas 2008, p.102]
  10. As you attempt to cut through your enemies in grisly fashion you’ll recall a simpler time, where you rode a purple chicken and kicked gnomes in their fannies.
  11. This halfhearted revival attempt leaves Golden Axe lifeless and dull.
  12. I don't believe that there's anything inherently wrong with Sega trying to do something different with the series, but by taking away a feature that many fans wanted and offering nothing compelling in exchange, Beast Rider will have a hard time appealing to both series fans and those who are just looking for a decent action game.
  13. Above all, there's the sense that every aspect of the game has been designed not to challenge, but to frustrate. Like the witch doctors who can summon rocks to fall from the sky and crush you, or the just-barely-visible bear traps scattered about.
  14. Golden Axe: Beast Rider isn’t a very good game. It’s not quite as bad as some critics have claimed – it can be fun for a little while, and the combat system is relatively ambitious – but it’s certainly not worth your $60.
  15. The problem comes when you stare too long: there are constant screen tearing and randomly dropped frames.
  16. 45
    Golden Axe: Beast Rider had the potential to be the second coming of the Golden Axe franchise, instead it left fans of the long-running series mulling over what could have been.
  17. Lacking co-op and the rest of the cast, Beast Rider seems more like a market study than the complete Golden Axe experience we could expect.
  18. Golden Axe is the latest classic franchise to disappoint on new hardware, and we can't help but think it's a huge wasted opportunity. Beast Rider even fails to include multiplayer support, something that was core to the original game, confirming its fate as a sub-par hack 'n' slash.
  19. It's not worth it, mate. [Christmas 2008, p.116]
  20. A game destined for the chopping block. [Summer 2009, p.78]
  21. What may have seemed like a good game during the development process turned out to be a game that’s destined for the wastelands.
  22. 40
    While the counter-attacks and the beasts add something to the lacklustre gameplay, everything else from cameras to enemies makes it a chore to slog through one end of a level to another.
  23. 40
    Add in tired and repetitive level designs, a lackluster story and the general absence of fun and you have a title that isn't worth playing. [Dec 2008, p.95]
  24. The original Golden Axe is available almost everywhere these days and this is about a thousand times more fun than this poor excuse.
  25. It's descended into a dismally unimaginative hack-and-slash affair. [Christmas 2008, p.86]
  26. Beast Rider makes all the right attempts to become relevant again (3-D, bloody combat) but stumbles so badly on the fundamentals that you wished the game was axed from development to begin with.
  27. 32
    This is a game worth avoiding like the plague, even if the classic remains deep and warm within your heart.
  28. If you ever plan to design a hack & slash-game, you should definitely play Golden Axe: Beast Rider. It's the perfect example of what not to do.
  29. If that wasn't bad enough, the glitchy, jerky graphics are further ravaged by a spastic camera that literally had me woozy at times. [Holiday 2008, p.84]
  30. 25
    With the exclusion of co-op -- what people really want to play -- and the constant hint that a sequel's already on the way, Beast Rider feels like a difficult, drawn-out, $60 tutorial. Why bother?
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 7
  2. Negative: 4 out of 7
  1. AllanD
    Jan 5, 2010
    As others have stated this game is underrated. OK so it's not the next Eldar Scrolls but the graphics are great. If you've played Conan you'll know what to expect, there's a lot less combos on offer but this is made up for with the coutering system which I won't go in to here - but if you can master it, it's as satifying a game mechanic as you're likely to find. Really hope there is a sequel! (And to SEGA, leave out the Barbarian and the dwarf, just put in more customisation for Tyris!) I paid £8 pre-owned. If you see this game for less than a tenner, grab it. Full Review »
  2. Funkymonk
    Jan 26, 2009
    As a big fan of the classic original I can only express dissapointment at this update. The gamplay is repetitive, the fighting flawed and apart from a few of the characters it doesn't even have much in common with the original. Do not buy this. Not even at a bargin bin price and especially not if you have a soft spot for the old Golden Axe. You're the ones who would be most let down. Full Review »
  3. Jun 26, 2013
    I'm changing my score. I gave it a 8 initially, but after playing through most of the game, it just gets worse and worse. Repetition increases, and eventually what story existed in the beginning disappears. I give it a 6 now. Full Review »