• Publisher: Sega
  • Release Date: Sep 6, 2011
Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 56 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 56
  2. Negative: 14 out of 56
  1. Sep 9, 2011
    84
    Rise of Nightmares has been a refreshing experience for me, reminding me that motion gaming can work great when developers put forth a complete effort that encompasses a solid story and smart use of motion control.
  2. Sep 5, 2011
    83
    What I love most about Rise of Nightmares is that it actually works. Having finished the game I'm still very impressed with how responsive all the movement controls were, and how well they meshed together to perform a very cohesive experience.
  3. Sep 28, 2011
    82
    Rise of Nightmares had me in a sweat for most of the game, either from constantly being in movement when hacking and slashing through zombies, or from the sheer terror that I felt moving from one area to the next, never knowing what was coming up.
  4. Dec 12, 2011
    80
    While still not a system seller, the fact that a game like this can and has been made for Kinect is a great step, and helps move things forward for the system. The level of immersion is a step in the right direction, and beats the rumble of a controller. You try not to squeal at least a little bit the first time something jumps on your character and you have to push it off of you. I dare you.
  5. Sep 5, 2011
    80
    It's the first adults only game for Kinect, and it's one that will test your nerves: flesh, blood and gore en masse won't please everyone. For Kinect, it's one of the best games available.
  6. Oct 6, 2011
    78
    This is virtual reality without the goggles and the gloves, and if you own a Kinect you should at least experience it once.
  7. Sep 9, 2011
    78
    We're quite impressed with how well the Kinect controls worked in Rise of Nightmares. The combat itself, while repetitive is sloppy fun, as you lop off heads and kick someone back into the middle of next week – or maybe even an elaborate trap. Still, more could've been done with walking.
  8. Oct 12, 2011
    76
    Rise of Nightmares is a fun Kinect game for those looking for some blood.
  9. Sep 22, 2011
    75
    If you have a Kinect already, Rise of Nightmares should be in your library. It's a devilishly fun game that showcases the power of the Kinect and allows you to punch the undead in the face.
  10. Sep 9, 2011
    71
    Rise of Nightmares is a fun game that harkens back to the House of the Dead series and with the controllerless capabilities, it definitely takes this genre to a new level. This makes it a much more immersive experience. In terms of originality, the gameplay is not the most original content of the year but as a Kinect title, it works quite well.
  11. Oct 16, 2011
    70
    What's truly shocking is the fact that there is a real, substantiated horror experience tucked behind its Kinect veneer.
  12. Oct 4, 2011
    70
    Rise of Nightmares is the first proper core game for Kinect. What the game lacks in the story- and graphics-department, it more than compansates for with innovative and intuitive gameplay. This bodes well for Xbox 360s motion sensor.
  13. Sep 20, 2011
    70
    Rise of Nightmares is flawed fun.
  14. Sep 6, 2011
    70
    It's important to remember, however, that underneath the trite atmosphere and awful writing, there lies an experience that allows you to physically sift through a pile of skulls and, later on, toss explosive spheres of arcane energy at your enemies.
  15. Sep 29, 2011
    68
    It's fun, but faulted. Kinect does its job, but there are a few drawbacks that you must come to terms with to be able to appreciate this crazy adventure. Given kinect games' price, it's well worth a go if you have had enough of animals, sports and cute things.
  16. Sep 14, 2011
    68
    A game with mixed results. It uses Kinect like never before, it is well executed and it marks the way for other games to follow, as it is one of the few "traditional" games adapted for Kinect-only gameplay. But it also has it flaws, and sometimes it is difficult to go back, turn or pick up weapons, and this harms the enjoyment of the game.
  17. Oct 9, 2011
    65
    Rise of Nightmares is a decent horror game with great ideas and a spooky atmosphere but is let down by clunky movement controls.
  18. Oct 4, 2011
    65
    Rise of Nightmares is an interesting attempt to bring something new to the Kinect, and for that it gets my vote. Though it stumbles along the way, it's a unique experience to play through, fighting off the undead and sprinting from abominations without a controller in sight. It's got its flaws, but if you got an interest in the horror genre, and a Kinect, take a stroll through a haunted landscape in Rise of Nightmares.
  19. Sep 14, 2011
    65
    Overall, Sega's Rise of Nightmares makes valiant attempt at a creepy matured rated action horror game for the Kinect.
  20. 63
    It's hard to recommend this one at full price, but if you're pretty patient I have a good feeling you will enjoy the experience Rise of Nightmares offers. If you're pretty sick of Kinect already, this is not going to be the game to sway you over.
  21. It's an arse-ugly game to watch, but not without charm. [Dec 2011, p.]
  22. Sep 28, 2011
    60
    Once over the control issues there is a pretty decent game to be played. However, it is hard to get over the feeling that the game could have been better off removing the movement controls and having a story driven fully on-rails hack em up type game.
  23. Sep 23, 2011
    60
    It may not be perfect, but the hardcore gamer should be optimistic about the future.
  24. Sep 21, 2011
    60
    Being the first true hardcore game for Kinect, Rise of Nightmares falls short of the challenge. Its b-movie aesthetic and nice combat system quickly gets tiresome due to the... nightmarish movement mechanics.
  25. 60
    Movement and combat never really come together in a cohesive matter. When you're overrun by the undead or your weapon suddenly breaks and you need to defend and retreat, it becomes painfully obvious that the game can't handle multitasking or movements made in quick succession, and will perform only one (and sometimes none) of the many actions you need to survive.
  26. 56
    Kinect has confused the gaming cosmos. Rise of Nightmares certainly isn't a good game - but just about passes for a good Kinect game.
  27. Sep 24, 2011
    55
    Rise of Nightmares is a missed opportunity. The idea of a first person horror game made more immersive thanks to motion controls is a very good one, but it fumbles in the controls department due to a clunky exploration system and a too simplistic and repetitive combat system. It deserved to be better thought out and developed.
  28. Sep 23, 2011
    55
    The use of Kinect in Rise of Nightmares is both its strongpoint as its weakness. It immerses you in a great survival-horror experience that has enough twists and turns to keep you entertained. But at the same time, the controls deliver so many frustrating moments that we can't really recommend it.
  29. Sep 6, 2011
    55
    Awkward motion controls and shallow combat make Rise of Nightmares a frighteningly unremarkable adventure in zombie killing.
  30. Dec 21, 2011
    50
    Rise of Nightmares is an interesting idea, an ambitious project followed by a catastrophic implementation. Walking on 3D locations sounds really promising, but its charm disappears after 10 minutes because of a too twisted control schema: considering this was the first horror hardcore game for Kinect, we can only hope for a brighter future for this genre.
  31. Oct 23, 2011
    50
    Could have been properly ace if it has used Kinect and a controller in tandem. [Dec 2011, p.95]
  32. 50
    It's a shame that a title that actually tries out some new ideas for Kinect doesn't manage to leave a better impression. For once though, the blame shouldn't be put on the motion sensor, but rather a lack of attention to graphics, sound and story.
  33. Sep 30, 2011
    50
    More time in the oven (it may be years yet) may prove a glorious revolution. For now, the heinously awkward movement controls are as low-rent as the storyline.
  34. Sep 29, 2011
    50
    It's not awful and, in a House of the Dead-while-standing-up kind of a way, it's acceptable, but only really worth buying if you have nothing else for the Kinect that you spunked money on and you've seen it going dirt cheap somewhere.
  35. Sep 28, 2011
    50
    It's a mediocre survival horror game that demonstrates a lot of ambition on the part of Sega, but it clearly needed some more time in development.
  36. Sep 26, 2011
    50
    SEGA deserves some respect for trying, but this fails (again) as becoming "the Kinect game for hardcore players".
  37. Sep 23, 2011
    50
    Rise of Nightmares is gross, linear, ugly. Kinect does a good job in recognising movements of the videoplayer, but the control scheme is simply ludicrous and not functional.
  38. Sep 16, 2011
    50
    Sega shows that they understand exactly how to make interesting Kinect challenges. Unfortunetly, the controls just doesn't cut it when the action get to hectic and in the end, Rise of Nightmares is a letdown.
  39. Sep 14, 2011
    50
    Instead of embracing the technology on its own merits, the game is actually more an exercise in forcing Kinect to ape the functions – sometimes for good, but mostly ill – of a standard controller.
  40. Sep 12, 2011
    50
    It's repetitive and full of admirable yet ultimately failed experiments, and there are many better titles worthy of your attention.
  41. Sep 9, 2011
    50
    For better or worse, Rise of Nightmares doesn't support a standard controller. Even if it did, the game would still be just as guilty of blandness. Combine this sin with the constant control struggles, and it's tough to recommend this game for even the most desperate Kinect owner.
  42. Sep 8, 2011
    50
    Just like the mad scientist whose baffling plot drives the action, Rise of Nightmares is a failed experiment.
  43. Sep 14, 2011
    46
    If you get through it once, you won't want to re-live the experience.
  44. Sep 9, 2011
    42
    Average at best, and a shining example of a control scheme struggling to find its strengths in a full game.
  45. 40
    An excellent example of Kinect limitations – frustrating controls with an annoying delay in this case make Nightmares a forgettable piece with gore scenes and plenty of obscure weapons. [Nov 2011]
  46. Nov 14, 2011
    40
    It's quickly frustrating. [Issue#77, p.91]
  47. Sep 27, 2011
    40
    Rise of Nightmares was supposed to be a great game with excellent Kinect controls that was perfect for the hardcore gamers. However, due to poorly developed controls, Rise of Nightmares is a failed project.
  48. Sep 13, 2011
    40
    The bottom line is that Rise Of Nightmares isn't as engaging or exciting as AM1's established brand. It's also too adult in its content to appeal to the younger users who might enjoy its gimmicky use of Kinect.
  49. Sep 13, 2011
    40
    On the one hand it's a bold attempt at creating a real action adventure game using your body as a controller, but on the other it's an awkward, ugly mess that doesn't use its horror setting nearly as well as it should.
  50. 40
    An admirable attempt to create a 'real' game for Kinect, but despite the simple arcade style gameplay the technology just can't keep up.
  51. Sep 7, 2011
    40
    The ironic thing about Rise of Nightmares is that the control scheme is so basic it comes off feeling like a game for kids, when it tries so damn hard not to be. Even if you like the novelty of chopping off undead heads longer than I did, a bad horror game is a bad horror game. And Rise of Nightmares is a monster.
  52. Sep 6, 2011
    40
    Could have been a passable romp through a zombie-infested castle of terror, but the frustrating controls, lack of horror elements, and sub-par presentation make it a game that's difficult to recommend, especially for the mature audience it's meant for.
  53. Sep 6, 2011
    40
    If the game had been as unique as the controls, and it didn't just try to directly map first-person action gameplay onto a less responsive format, Rise of Nightmares could have been something pretty special. This game may not be that great, but it shows that the Kinect itself has potential.
  54. Oct 10, 2011
    33
    Rise of Nightmares suffers from the syndrome of great ideas but poor execution.
  55. Sep 12, 2011
    30
    Quotation forthcoming.
  56. The lobotomised, slash-block combat is the final straw. Rise of Nightmares offers nothing in the way of action, puzzles, intelligence, or maturity. It's a heartbreakingly lame way to kickstart the adult Kinect genre.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 19
  2. Negative: 2 out of 19
  1. Sep 10, 2011
    8
    I have to agree with the higher critic scores on this one. Let me start by saying, this is a Kinect game like no other. The story is cliche,I have to agree with the higher critic scores on this one. Let me start by saying, this is a Kinect game like no other. The story is cliche, with over the top acting, but that never stopped the Resident Evil series from being loved to death. Besides, what's a campy horror flick without bad acting? Maybe we should inform some "professional reviewers" that this isn't Hamlet: The game. The graphics are dark and foreboding, like they should be --- with shades of browns, rusts, gold and a ton of blood red; actually, make that a more than a ton. Rise of Nightmares seems like part Saw, part House on Haunted Hill(the awful remake) and a "rail-less" House of the Dead. There's even a creepy sprinkling of Silent Hill here and there, but don't expect any type of complex adventure which sets that series apart. The sounds are disturbing, with moans, groans, screams of torture, footsteps, clangs, electric shocks and much more, backed by a wonderfully eerie music selection.
    The gore in RON is generally over the top, though there are a few scenes which I found disturbing, and as for being scary? Well, at moments it actually can be! Go ahead, play it at night on a big screen with the lights out; raise the volume and make sure you don't have on dark clothes so the sensor can find you in the darkness. Now, don't tell me you won't feel tense as you turn each corner. Not to mention, the game does have few jump scenes which were gladly welcomed. Perhaps those complaining about it not being scary should try not playing it with the sun shining into their room or at a dorm party with six drunk dudes. The controls seem to be an issue for some reviewers, yet according to the real audience, they're working out fine. Now and then, I had a bit of trouble backing up or turning - but for the most part, I've been plowing through this horror ride, kicking all sorts of zombie flat butt without a problem. If you're really stuck, you can use the auto icon by raising your right hand, allowing the game to walk for you. It won't help with encounters, but it aids in getting out of weird spots or when you're feeling disoriented. Your arm will tire quickly, which I feel is a good thing, otherwise, you'd be using it throughout the whole game. There are lots of weapons to find which is part of the fun, especially when the more devastating weapons come in to play. When you find something like an ice tong or chainsaw, you can't help thinking - oh man, they are SO dead now...well, dead for good this time. Think about this... instead of pressing a button the conventional way, you mimic the motions of actually holding one of these babies. Trust me, it's very satisfying, but you didn't read that here. Sadly, weapons wear down with use, so you've got to find a new one soon or you'll be fighting with your hands and feet. Speaking of feet, I love how the Kinect senses your foot as you kick a zombie down while preparing to slice and dice. It also gives you a second to breath while other zombies are lunging at you. Overall, I'm loving Rise of Nightmares, though admittedly, I'm more of a fan of subtle creepiness over gore. Sega's mature rated release is easily the most interactive on the Kinect yet, utilizing a host of clever, immersive gestures that help keep the game from feeling repetitive. Rise of Nightmares is what Kinect is all about, and hopefully, will pave the way to even grander scale games which will utilize this device in more innovative ways. Bravo for taking the risk, Sega!
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 18, 2011
    9
    Rise of Nightmares was my surprise of the year, hands down. These days, games with metascores in the 50s are increasingly rare, so I did notRise of Nightmares was my surprise of the year, hands down. These days, games with metascores in the 50s are increasingly rare, so I did not have the highest expectations. After spending a couple hours with it a couple nights ago, I walked away with the impression that despite the awfully dated graphics, the game has a very refreshing, oddball charm that is almost totally absent in most big-budget games. The atmosphere is just like that of a twisted b-movie and the sound design is absolutely excellent. I also admired the game's ambition for trying to be a 3D action game controlled entirely with kinect. That said, I found the controls just a bit too awkward and clumsy for me to really enjoy playing the game for an extended period so I figured I probably wouldn't go to the effort to move the couch out of the way to play it again anytime soon. The next day, however, I woke up really wanting to give the game another chance and a couple marathon sessions later, I have now finished it... absolutely loved it. Aside from one unfortunate instance where I was impaled by spikes during a QTE because the kinect did not register the fact that I was, in fact, jumping backwards to dodge them (and had to replay 10 minutes of zombie-bashing to get back to that point), I actually came to really like the way the game controls. If you are having problems with it, I recommend playing the game on easy as well as going into the menu and tinkering around with the sensitivity options. I feel like this is such a fresh, unique gaming experience that it's a shame that it will probably end up being sorely over-looked by most due to the time it takes for one to adjust to the controls. For me it stands as proof that the kinect CAN give us more diverse, enjoyable experiences than just on-rail shooters and dancing/fitness games. Definitely not one to miss if you have a kinect. Full Review »
  3. Sep 8, 2011
    8
    1. Dont compare this game to a "normal" core title in this genre. It is fully motion-controlled!

    2. This is not a serious horror-game and
    1. Dont compare this game to a "normal" core title in this genre. It is fully motion-controlled!

    2. This is not a serious horror-game and does not try to be either

    3. Adjust the controls and you will not suck at this game

    Really, it is not that hard. I wonder if most of the "professional" reviewers noticed, that you dont have to turn your upper body. moving your shoulders is enough. If you calibrate your kinect properly and mind the distance between the camera and you the controls work well. It is also important to speed the "interaction time" needed to open doors or pick up weapons. If you do so, you walk around, point to a highlighted object and you will walk automatically to the specific position and interact or pick up an object.

    After a while, you will have a flow of walking around freely, automatically walk to points of interest and objects to pick up and last but not least, kick some f****** zombie-a** :)

    The fighting itself is suprisingly precise and allows you for example, to kick and punch zombies into deadly spikes on walls and so on. Sure, during the heat of battle the game sometimes misinterprets if you wanted to step forward or backwars, but in most cases it was my fault because I did not keep the distance between the camera and my body in mind. But this was never frustrating at all and only happened a few times. So this is definitely not a game breaker.

    So as "novacharson" already mentioned: If you dont expect a horro-game like dead space and also want to experience something new and innovative, give it a shot!
    Full Review »