Death by Degrees Reviews (PlayStation 2)

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Critic Score
100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
User Score
5 point score based on user ratings.

User Reviews

There are no reviews for this game.

Our Users Say

Category Description User Score
Acting The quality of the actors' performances in the game (including voice acting). 3.0
AI How smart (or dumb) you perceive the game's artificial intelligence to be 2.6
Gameplay How well the game mechanics work (player controls, game action, interface, etc.) 2.3
Graphics The quality of the art, or the quality/speed of the drawing routines 3.1
Personal Slant How much you personally like the game, regardless of other attributes 2.8
Sound / Music The quality of the sound effects and/or music composition 2.9
Story / Presentation The main creative ideas in the game and how well they're executed 3.0
Overall User Score (9 votes) 2.8

Critic Reviews

MobyRanks are listed below. You can read here for more information about MobyRank.
Adventure Lantern (Apr, 2005)
Death by Degrees is certainly not a bad action adventure game. Longer than the average game in its genre, Death by Degrees offers a decent story that can drive players to finish the game. Despite its problems, the combat system can be entertaining as it does allow Nina to engage multiple enemies with finesse. The Critical Strike system not only adds color to the game, but particularly suits the assassin main character. However, Death by Degrees is not the kind of game that can be recommended to every gamer. Many players can be easily frustrated with the long load times and gameplay mechanics that can become highly repetitive. If you are a fan of Nina from the Tekken series or if you are an action adventure gamer looking for something different, Death by Degrees might be worth a shot. But do not go in expecting to find a stellar game.
None the less, while the game certainly has its shortcomings, it still manages to turn out a slightly better than mediocre performance simply for its awesome cinematics and somewhat innovative gameplay features. I believe this is one of those games one might love today and hate tomorrow or vice versa. Kind of like shoes.3 + GiN gems is my final verdict for a game that's somewhat of a mixed bag of fun and frustration.
69 (Mar 10, 2005)
Ach Nina, als Kalendar-Cover machst du dich so gut an meiner Wand und dann musst du dich in einem mittelmäßigen Action-Game abmühen. „Death by Degrees“ kommt in nur wenigen Belangen über den Genre-Durchschnitt hinweg: Das Kampfsystem macht durchweg Spaß, kleinere Ballereinlagen lockern den ansonsten zähen Spielablauf auf, die Röntgenbilder sind zuweilen recht amüsant. Der Rest des Spiels hingegen versinkt im Sumpf der Durchschnittslangweiler und so wird auch „Death by Degrees“ höchstens Hardcore-Tekken-Fans ansprechen. Schade um Namcos Nina Williams!
Worth Playing (Mar 01, 2005)
There's honestly a good game in here, however, not a lot of players will be able to get to it. It's like a Tootsie Pop, only the sweet chewy center is covered by the bitterness of gameplay mechanics and camera troubles. Whether or not you will be able to get to and enjoy the center depends on how much of a tolerance for frustration (and how ambidextrous) you are. Rent this one to see what it's about; buy only if you're one of the lucky few who don't end up getting put off.
NZGamer (May 11, 2005)
The game as a whole could be likened to the music - never brilliant, but it does the job. Death by Degrees is by no means a terrible game, but it can be very mediocre in places. Its most original feature - the combat system - can be fun, but it can also be downright frustrating. Imagine a sea of mediocrity, into which a ship of brilliance and originality comes sailing. But suddenly the ship disappears, leaving only a memory of something better. That's right, it's all the Bermuda triangle's fault.
G4 TV: X-Play (Apr 06, 2006)
Spinning-off fighting game characters into new genres is still a good idea, and Death by Degrees takes a few steps in the right direction. Even without Nina Williams and the Tekken connection, it could be a quite good action game. The camera issues simply ruin the whole experience, though. No matter how solid the control scheme or how shiny the graphics, when you can't see who you're fighting or what's down the next corridor, it's all moot.
GameSpy (Feb 04, 2005)
Taking everything into account, it's hard to recommend Death by Degrees as a full-price purchase. Various elements of the game are solid -- graphics, combat, mini-games -- but they're dragged down by the mediocre adventure elements, unsatisfactory controls, and borderline-obnoxious load times. Death by Degrees might make a decent rental, but if you want to actually buy something you'd be better off getting your Nina fix from the forthcoming Tekken 5.
GameZone (Feb 16, 2005)
With a camera that's less wieldy than a shaken pop bottle, Death by Degrees leaves the player with few reasons to return for more. The gameplay nearly redefines the word repetition. The graphics are gorgeous, but the story is horrendous. It might be considered a decent rental to the biggest Nina Williams fans. But most gamers are going to be seriously disappointed in all that this game has to offer, which, when it comes down to it, isn't very much at all.
57 (Apr 19, 2005)
Meine schlimmsten Befürchtungen sind wahr geworden: Bei Death by Degrees ist der Name Programm. Es ist mir unbegreiflich, wie Namco eine so interessante Idee so schludrig verschwenden konnte. Ich vermute aber, dass es schlicht und ergreifend daran liegt, dass die Entwickler einfach zu viel wollten: heiße Prügel-Action, aufregende Schleich-Einlagen, clevere Puzzles. Und was ist dabei raus gekommen? Gute Kämpfe mit fürchterlicher Steuerung, aufgrund der Kameraperspektiven oftmals gar nicht erst in Fahrt kommende Schleichereien und auf Dauer einfach nur nervende Adventure-Elemente. Hätte sich das Traditions-Unternehmen nur auf einen Bereich konzentriert, der bei Nina nun wirklich sehr nahe liegt, hätte Death By Degrees ein würdiges Tekken Spin-Off werden können. So ist es leider nur ein halbgares Nicht-Fisch-nicht-Fleisch-Irgendwas, gekrönt von massenhaft Logiklücken.
Game Chronicles (Mar 30, 2005)
Death by Degrees looked fantastic at E3 but they were only showing movies for the most part and you could only play the sniping game, which I won’t deny, is fun, but not worth subjecting yourself to the rest of the experience. All of the core elements are here for a great game but it all falls apart in the execution and the haphazard control scheme that will have many cursing their Dual Shock.
GameSpot (Feb 03, 2005)
Death by Degrees tries to be a lot of different things, and it fails at all of them. The adventure is reasonably lengthy, and you'll even unlock a few additional minigame modes, but the game simply isn't worth completing, even if you're the sort of Tekken aficionado that wants to see some character development in Nina. The best thing that can be said about Death by Degrees is that it comes with a playable demo of Tekken 5, though the demo is limited to one player and two characters, making it too short and shallow to make up for Nina's failure.
Death by Degrees has been designed as an odd hybrid of Resident Evil style game structure (think fixed camera angles, plus lots of hallways and item/key puzzles) interspersed with all-analog fighting à la Rise to Honor. I think this basic foundation is where the developers went wrong. The survival horror genre was conceived to build tension. All the running around you do in Resident Evil titles is actually helps to create a mood of foreboding. Here, there’s none of that. For this reason, all the wandering seems like filler. This tedium is not helped by the inexcusably long loading times. In addition, the fixed camera scheme isn’t well-suited to all-out brawling either, as sometimes you’ll be pushed into an area of a room where you can’t see your opponent.
There are two things that I like about this game, and the rest (and I mean rest) of the package reeks of utter despair. In a plus column, I have the opening cinematic and the x-ray finishing-move dynamic. Cool stuff, please do it again. Other than that, there's nothing here but a handful of standard features notable only for the variety of ways that they suck the fun from the experience, nestled between long bouts of loading.
50 (Mar 08, 2005)
Cruelle désillusion que ce Death By Degrees pourtant auréolé de l'âme du grand Tekken. Avec un allié de choix tel que celui-ci est les compétences incontestables des équipes de Namco, on pouvait résolument s'attendre à un soft au gameplay léché et à l'apparence digne d'intérêt. Et bien il n'en est malheureusement rien. Possédant certes des idées pertinentes, une progression immersive et un design convaincant, l'aventure de Nina peine à sortir du marasme avec un gameplay réellement handicapant et un plaisir de jeu cruellement absent. Au final, il ne reste plus qu'à attendre Baten Kaitos pour redorer la flamme de Namco.
Replay value is limited. It's doubtful that the average gamer would even care to finish this game. The story is predictable so there's little incentive to complete the game just to see the conclusion. There is no multi-player mode but there are some mini-games to unlock and there's a playable demo of Tekken 5 which is by far the most exciting thing you'll play in this entire package. My advice is to wait for Tekken 5 if you want a good fighting game. If you really want to see some jiggling jugs then rent an exercise video.
IGN (Feb 03, 2005)
I'm honestly at a loss to deliver a genuine positive without it being closely followed by a very serious negative. Death by Degrees is nothing else but a disappointment. It's a game that wrongs its user over and over again so that after only a few short hours, the novelty of analog combat wears extremely thin. It wears so thin, in fact, that the already-dated exploratory mechanics can't do anything to save it. Even stalwart Tekken fans will need to flex extra hard to squeeze some fun out of this one.
PSX Extreme (Mar 28, 2005)
I can't take any more, this game is awful. I don't care if it did come with a Tekken 5 demo for most people. That game is out, so the only reason to even try Death By Degrees is if you are trying for Death By Boredom.
Softpedia (Dec 28, 2006)
Something happened while playing the game, you know there's that little thing that describes the whole gaming experience. Nina had to enter the ship's kitchen at some point of the game and she found a little recipe there. It was sauteed rat... Yes, comestible rats were stored in the kitchen and they escaped running through the air ducts. One document mentioned that they really adore shiny things and the furry creatures steal them and take them to the ducts. That about covers it... Death by Degrees is our rat sautee of the day, served with Nina roast beef and a little bit Tekken 5 flavor.
UOL Jogos (Mar 03, 2005)
No final das contas "Death by Degrees" parece uma aposta em aumentar o controle dos jogos de luta, mas, infelizmente, o resultado é uma enorme falha com inspiração de outros clássicos. Talvez os fãs da Nina Williams consigam perdoar tudo isso, mas para o resto da humanidade é apenas questão de tempo para desistir da empreitada. E parece até que Michelle Pfeiffer e Benício del Toro foram copiados nos moldes de personagens!
1UP (Feb 07, 2005)
Namco appears to have lost the plot when it comes to expanding its Tekken universe, and we can only hope that Tekken 5 (for which there's a single-player, two-character demo on the Death By Degrees disc) rescues the whole franchise from obscurity. Death by Degrees is a tired, sluggish, and uninspired action adventure that would have barely cut the mustard six years ago on PS1. Save your knuckles for greener pastures.
Netjak (Jul 15, 2005)
Nobody thinks that hardcore sex is going to make Death by Degrees a quality game. Nor would more graphic violence. Yet this is the direction we see these awful games trending towards. More flesh! More fatalities! Jiggly breasts! Spooooky blood! No progress in terms of story, still the same shallow gameplay. And dev companies want to talk about how tough it is to make a hit selling game. In this case, all the team had to do was take all their instincts and industry experience...and do the exact opposite. Why don't you guys ever try learning from your mistakes? Everyone knows you have tons of them lining your in-house game libraries just waiting to teach you.
The Video Game Critic (Dec 14, 2010)
Namco obviously sunk a lot of money into this, which makes its epic failure all the more spectacular.
Diehard GameFan (Mar 21, 2005)
After plodding through some exploratory stages, and getting into some ruthlessly annoying fights, there’s not much left to do. Playing this game is about as addictive as receiving a colonic. If it’s possible, you might want to play more just to see if the game can get any worse.. but then again, you might risk some permanent brain damage by doing so.
30 (UK) (Apr 20, 2005)
But really. Only the most ardent Tekken aficionado could possible be motivated to spend 20 or so hours gritting their teeth to see this game out to the end. It's one of those games that reminds you how far we've come over the years, because it's just full of the old bad design habits that we all used to take for granted. Death By Degrees clearly started out as a game with good intentions to mix up several genres to appeal to a wide cross section, but ends up struggling to appeal to anyone. If you think you can put up with lacklustre design, half-arsed combat, tepid stealth, a terrible camera system, ill-conceived controls, insipid audio and bland visuals that barely raise a flicker of interest then this will be the game of your dreams. Otherwise, keep your money firmly in your wallet and get ready to aim a belly full of laughs at anyone who's misguided enough to buy it.