Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critic Reviews

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
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  1. 100
    A masterpiece, plain and simple. From the opening Pearl Harbor sequence, to the rain-soaked midnight raids, to the machine-gun-mounted elephant rides, Rising Sun oozes with jaw-dropping quality at every single turn.
  2. PSM Magazine
    Solid gameplay wrapped in an engaging story with a dab of multiplayer madness on the side makes for one tasty gaming meal. [Holiday 2003, p.39]
  3. No, the game doesn't look as good as a "SOCOM II," but the gameplay I think is pretty solid, and it's got some really good online play to it.
  4. Play Magazine
    Engaged me more heavily than any FPS I've played this year. [Dec 2003, p.54]
    The end result is that we get another decent Medal Of Honor Game set in the same Medal Of Honor mould when everyone knows that if your going to survive in the jungle you're going to have to adapt to survive.
  6. The single-player campaign doesn't cover much new ground but the multiplayer takes no prisoners. [GamesMaster]
  7. 80
    While a lot of work has been done to make this an accurate experience that feels and sounds right, the gameplay itself lacks the upgrade that it needs.
  8. 80
    Each iteration of the Medal of Honor series has been better than the last, and Rising Sun is no exception. It would have been nice to see EA take a few risks and break formula, but the game's a great war shooter nonetheless.
  9. A decent enough way to get your World War II on, but does nothing to move the genre forward or distinguish itself from other FPS games. [Dec 2003, p.136]
  10. The single-player campaign is only eight missions long, and over before you know it. While the multiplayer online games are fun, they are too simplistic to last as long as other games tailored for online like "SOCOM 2" or "Rainbow Six 3."
  11. It's a shame to see a game that could have been spectacular turn out to be just a little bit above average.
  12. 74
    The graphics looked washed out and lacked textures and seemed dated.
  13. The soundtrack perfectly compliments the World War II motif, transitioning flawlessly from one epic instrumental to another.
  14. It's not a bad game, but then again, it's not the be-all and end-all Pacific-theater FPS we expected. The primary emphasis on gloss and glamour over gameplay and challenge suggests that Rising Sun is geared more toward the tyro rather than the savant.
  15. Feels a bit like Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor in that an attempt to make an epic WWII Pacific Theater experience results in a product with brilliant touches mixed with mediocrity.
  16. While bitching about the problems with the enemy, if you manage to hit your enemy with a bullet, I’d make sure to hit him repeatedly… head shots aren’t necessarily fatal, and shots to legs can usually be walked off after bouncing around for a few seconds.
  17. It's fraught with lots of minor gameplay problems that eventually add up to one major headache. Rising Sun isn't completely without merit, since it comes packaged with some nice extra materials and mostly solid production values, but the weakness of the gameplay itself undermines what could have been a much more enjoyable experience.
  18. 60
    True-blue Medal of Honor fans will still enjoy Rising Sun’s cinematic style, respectful and historically accurate atmosphere, and heavily arcade feel. But for many, the game will feel too familiar in a fast-food way, lacking that old Medal of Honor magic.
  19. 60
    A cookie-cutter, linear romp through the sweatier, jungle-infested portions of the Pacific conflict that's sure to almost satisfy fans of the series (especially those craving a split-screen co-op mode -- it's in there!), but leave pretty much everyone else shortchanged; especially in the graphics and gameplay department.
  20. 60
    The few moments of true excellence are sadly overshadowed by some dull level design and lackluster enemy AI. Still, the game provides enough juice to keep the avid "Medal of Honor" fan happy.
  21. Besides basic online deathmatch options and a new set of PTO locales and situations for new recruit Joseph Griffin to step in and save the day, Rising Sun’s average visuals and linear-to-a-fault level design leave us just as cold as “Frontline” did a year ago.
  22. A real disappointment... falls a long way short of reaching the benchmark of its console predecessor.
  23. Rising Sun begins in Pearl Harbor with a bang, but drags on to finish with a whimper.
  24. Quite simply, the game offers nothing that you can’t get in the other games, and can’t have a better time getting in the other games.
  25. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    As for enemy behavior, it's so embarrassingly bad at times, it's hard not to laugh. [Jan 2004, p.122]
  26. I also have to wonder what part of the world Uncle Sam dug up my own squad mates. They could often be seen running in circles and constantly blocking my line of fire. At least they were resilient; one of the guys was turned into Swiss cheese by an enemy bayonet and shrugged it off like nothing happened. Tough guys…tough guys.
  27. Edge Magazine
    On retreading the levels enemy attacks become predictable puppet shows, with mad-eyed soldiers lining up to get killed exactly where they did many times before. It's the kind of repetition more commonly associated with lightgun games these days. [Christmas 2003, p.109]
  28. A formulaic, by the numbers FPS with zero innovation, demented AI and a crushing lack of inspiration.
  29. There is nothing ultimately redeeming about Medal of Honor: Rising Sun - because ultimately it marks the lowest point in the series.
  30. games(TM)
    We were disappointed when "Frontline" failed to take advantage of its World War II settings, but it's galling to see that EA still hasn't got it right with Rising Sun. If there's ever a case against World War III, then surely this is it. [Christmas 2003, p.100]

Awards & Rankings

#15 Most Discussed PS2 Game of 2003
#20 Most Shared PS2 Game of 2003
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 134 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 80 out of 134
  2. Negative: 16 out of 134
  1. TimM.
    Feb 23, 2004
    Sweets Game 've played RS is way better then frontline.
  2. Jan 26, 2023
    Game is pretty forgettable. Not very challenging either. Framerate can drop quite a bit in some sections. That said there is still some fun toGame is pretty forgettable. Not very challenging either. Framerate can drop quite a bit in some sections. That said there is still some fun to be had and I liked the jungle/ temple theming. Full Review »
  3. Jul 30, 2022
    It's a shame how this game had so much potential and yet it was thrown away. A Medal of Honor set in the Pacific theatre would have beenIt's a shame how this game had so much potential and yet it was thrown away. A Medal of Honor set in the Pacific theatre would have been gorgeous - but this game sank like the USS Arizona. Fortunately, the empty stomach that Rising Sun left us with was filled in Pacific Assault, the game that proved a Medal of Honor in the Pacific was a great idea. Full Review »