Mixed or average reviews - based on 50 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 50
  2. Negative: 4 out of 50
  1. Ultimately, all of these elements, gameplay, visual design, and even an orchestral soundtrack, are all brought together to support an ambitious narrative that starts with the opening of the game, and doesn't end even once the credits roll. In one word, the story in this game is compelling.
  2. 90
    There are minor disappointments - the vehicles can't compare to those of Halo 2, and some of the environments are a bit bland amid the stylized design and saturated colors of others - but the end sum experience is so engaging and empowering that you'll easily forgive the shortcomings.
  3. Advent Rising is interactive fiction at its finest. This is what "Halo" wanted to be; hell, it's what "Star Wars" wanted to be. Orson can write circles around George Lucas when it comes to stories, characters, and dialogue.
  4. Great storyline, great originality, great sound.
  5. I loved every minute of Advent Rising and haven't been sucked into a sci-fi game like this since the original "Halo" game.
  6. You do get used to the lag and the interesting controls, but darn it if this title isn't fun. Hopefully the second in the series will tie up those lag issues.
  7. Glyphyx bit off a little more than it could chew, as the bugs and hiccups show. Still, the developer dishes out a thrilling tale with varied gameplay that will keep you immersed through the end.
  8. If technical difficulties like a choppy framerate and a maddening enemy targeting system didn't get in the way, this would be one of the year's best games. As it stands, however, it's a darn good one.
  9. An impressive title and the involving storyline means that before too long you're playing it well into the night and forgetting to eat, work, or even make it to the bathroom.
  10. All told, Advent Rising does a whole lot more right than it does wrong. If this really is the first of a trilogy, we'll be first in line for the next installment. [July 2005, p.86]
  11. A few rough edges aside, Advent Rising is gaming's latest and most promising future epic. [July 2005, p.74]
  12. For some it may be a bit short but the cinematic scenes and the artwork are something to see.
  13. What's clear is Orson Scott Card's story is stirring, the visuals can be sweeping and fantastic at times, the masterful score is award-worthy, and I can't wait to see the next chapter.
  14. The game's unique flick-targeting system-"flick" the right control stick towards an enemy and you're automatically locked on-takes some getting used to, but actually frees up the triggers and face buttons, meaning you've got plenty of options when it's time to dole out ass-bootings.
  15. Quite simply, is a very good action game that lacks the polish needed to be considered a "must-have" title.
  16. The amazing music helps sooth the pain when there's a frame-rate drop, but when you get stuck in an invisible wall there's nothing that can help the torment you'll be experiencing. In a nutshell, Advent Rising is under-polished, under-developed, and just doesn't play like a finished product.
  17. 78
    If gamers are willing to adjust to the flick targeting system and forgive the poor framerate, it has a lot to offer in terms of gameplay, story, and sound. I was able to ignore these technical shortcomings in most areas and enjoy the excellent cut-scenes and character development.
  18. It's a bit like a first album by a band you know will go on to record a classic. All the elements are there - they just need a little polish. [July 2005, p.122]
  19. The game is a great rent, but a weak buy. If the trilogy ends up being amazing, then you have to own the first one, just to have the whole collection, but other than that, give this one a rent and when the second one comes out, you can buy it used for 15 bucks.
  20. It is a good game, and won't annoy you instantly, only when it comes to those extreme combat situations when you don't want the glitchy physics to come into effect.
  21. Even with all of the technical difficulties and bland graphics, I still looked forward to playing the game when I was away from it.
  22. 75
    The game may suffer from many problems, but these problems are more than made up for in terms of story and design.
  23. 75
    The first game in a proposed space opera trilogy, in theory, wants to be the video game equivalent of "Star Wars," but in practice turns out to be more "Battlestar Galactica." As soon as we took control of space ace Gideon Wyeth, we smelled a bit of intergalactic cheese, here.
  24. But my biggest overall complaint is that the game's camera can be jumpy and jittery, leaving you discombobulated. It distracts you from the very good story line and well-done video cut scenes.
  25. The graphics engine never really received enough attention to smooth it out, nor did the sound system. The control system is ambitious and unique but just doesn't pan out either.
  26. This is a sci-fi adventure game with a compelling storyline, interesting gameplay and nice visuals. For all intents and purposes it's an interactive movie with lots of control variables that allow you to really get into your character.
  27. 70
    One of Advent Rising's most obvious assets is the game's ability to suck the player headlong into an unapologetic (and occasionally pretentious) space opera, all the while maintaining its inertia throughout the journey.
  28. Its most interesting aspect is "flick targeting," in which you snap your right control stick at an enemy to lock your weapons on it.
  29. If they had put the money they are giving away toward development, Advent Rising may have been a little more "Blade Runner" and a little less "The Fifth Element."
  30. Advent Rising is too easy, too short and too buggy to justify spending your hard earned money on it.
  31. Reduced to its simplest terms and stripped of its highly aspiring overtones, Rising is essentially a competent shooter with its heart in the right place, and a ton of ideas that never gel into any cohesive whole. [Aug 2005, p.92]
  32. If you have zero tolerance for stuttering frame rates and occasional fumbled controls then don't go near Advent Rising. It's a good science-fiction action game that suffers from technical problems.
  33. Advent Rising reminds me of "Breakdown" (the Xbox game, not the Kurt Russell movie) in many ways. Both feature brilliant stories and interesting innovations, but are shackled by flawed gameplay mechanics.
  34. Majesco promises a unique gaming experience that looks great on paper, but is constantly plagued by poor enemy AI and major frame-rate issues.
  35. Advent Rising is not unenjoyable, but it simply doesn't make much of an impression, being overtly unoriginal and not nearly as ambitious in its gameplay as in its story.
  36. It's got plenty of big ideas and executes most of them brilliantly, but the game's shortcomings - namely the frame rate and questionable dialogue - leave us wondering what really could have been with another year of development time.
  37. A textbook example of something that must have looked great on paper, but whose actual implementation fell apart in almost every conceivable way.
  38. A brave attempt at making an epic experience, but it was never going to be the game it so desperately wanted to be. [April 2006, p.90]
  39. Advent Rising also suffers from its really short lifespan. Gamers can quickly move through this one in an afternoon, and the open ending keeps you wanting more, but who knows how long that will be.
  40. Advent Rising certainly could have used a lot more work. If you're a sci-fi themed shooter fan, you can find this one for a decent price. You have to be pretty forgiving as there's a lot here that could use some polish.
  41. The presentation is a technical nightmare, the story is poorly told, and the modicum of uniqueness the gameplay has to offer is almost completely murdered by sloppy mechanics and a myriad of bugs.
  42. Too ambitious of an undertaking, and for whatever reason, not even one of the game's features felt complete.
  43. There's a good game here but when you have to fight tooth and nail through its problems to actually see it, there aren't many that will feel that AR is anything but a somewhat finished mess.
  44. It's a work in progress somehow on shelves, full of frustrating bugs; shooting for the stars, it lands well below its own lofty expectations. [Aug 2005, p.116]
  45. 50
    All the good intentions in the world can't make a game good, and shoddy craftsmanship and not-quite-there design afflicts just about every aspect of this one.
  46. Like a luxury car with a rusted engine or a fudge sundae made with frozen yogurt, Advent Rising is a study in untapped potential. Although the core gameplay and concepts are really good, the package is marred by execution errors left and right.
  47. 40
    Bad controls, bad story, and bad code add up to make this is a bad game.
  48. 40
    Incredibly disappointing. Derivative, buggy, and underwhelming on almost every level, this is a game that is marred by distracting problems that should have been fixed well before release.
  49. It's fair to say that playing Advent Rising is about as enjoyable as getting home from a hard day's work to discover you've been burgled. [Aug 2005, p.114]
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 44
  2. Negative: 10 out of 44
  1. Jan 24, 2011
    Potential. That's definently the best word to describe this game. Unfortunately it doesn't reach it's fullest. The story is definently awesome, and might just be enough to hold you over for dealing with the games annoying flaws. The framerate gets to be seriously annoying at some points in the game, and the action could of been handled better, mostly the targeting system. It was a good try at something new, but ultimately didn't have enough polish. It feels as though the developers were super rushed or something and put out an unfinished game. Alot of the mechanics are just too buggy. I think if they had given the game another six months or so for fine tuning, it could of been in the top 20 games of all time for sure. As I said, the story and what grahics you are allowed to perceive without framerate issues are the best things about the game. If you're a sci-fi junkie like myself, you might be able to muddle through the game just to enjoy the story. The game definently sets it up like this is going to be the first chapter in a trilogy, or maybe a big series of games. I know I would of been chomping at the bit for them to come out with a sequel with more spit and polish. Who knows, maybe they wil some day. As it stands, all I'll say is the one word I stared my review with. Potential. Full Review »
  2. AlexD
    Jul 25, 2009
    Starts out wonderfully - the opening scenes are as big and beautifuly as 2001 A Space Oddity. But the extensive tedious combat is simply button mashing devoid of tactics. Driving the Scythe vehicle (think: Halo Warthog) is unsatifying and frustrating. I think they may have been a resonable story in there somewhere but it's obscured by lousy gameplay mechanics. IMO, Fire Warrior on the PS2 is a much better game. I'll rate AR a lucky 7 'cos I believe the developers tried hard but were hampered by some bad design decisions. Full Review »
  3. KatK
    May 11, 2008
    Best game I've played. While Halo and Halo II are good games, Advent Rising is a cut above. Ultimately you are only limited by your imagination. I've read criticism of the long cut scenes but to understand how and why you are a part of the story is integral to creating not just a game but a true adventure. Full Review »