Urban Reign Reviews (PlayStation 2)

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Game Critics (Mar 25, 2006)
Urban Reign does something pretty admirable. It manages to maintain the spirit of classic beat-'em-up gaming while modernizing everything about it. It offers its gameplay in short, satisfying bursts, which never drag on long enough to grow tiresome. There isn't a plot to speak of, nor any gameplay elements beyond the fighting. But the fighting really is exceptionally fun for novices and experts, which makes this game extremely successful on its own terms. Sure, it could do more, and maybe a sequel will, but that doesn't make Urban Reign any less of a great game.
Still, with 100 single-player missions and a decent multiplayer mode, Urban Reign is a nice surprise for folks disenchanted with the stagnant genre.
HonestGamers (Oct 03, 2005)
Reptition can dull some of the fun you'll have with this, but high production values and a cool combat system should keep it spinning in your Playstation 2. An easy recommendation for old school gamers looking for something new.
NZGamer (Feb 27, 2006)
Urban Reign is an average fighting game on the whole, but is exponentially better when played in shorter bursts. On their own, the fights are challenging and satisfying and only become wearisome when you’ve been playing for a while. If you’re a beat-‘em-up fan, or just have a free weekend, this game would be ideal to rent out for a couple of days. Keep in mind – the only people laughing at you turning the difficulty down will be the ones who haven’t given it a go yet. I mean, who ever said you had to fight fair?
Game Chronicles (Oct 16, 2005)
Heavy on action and light on story, this is the perfect mindless fighter that is easy to learn and nearly impossible to master. There is so much here and only the extensive multiplayer component will ever really give you the chance to explore everything Urban Reign has to offer.
Futuregamez.net (Sep 28, 2006)
Urban Reign falls slightly short of a great game, but it's still definitely worth checking out.
Gamereactor (Sweden) (Jan 29, 2006)
Det hela är ett gediget och roligt spel som dock tar slut riktigt fort om du inte har kompisar att spela med - handlingen är överstökad på drygt två timmar. Det är hyfsat snyggt och smidigt, musiken gör sitt jobb utan att märkas och skådespelarna är faktiskt inte särskilt dåliga. Egentligen utmärker sig inte spelet för något annat än sin trevliga blandning av Tekken-känsla och gamla hederliga beat'em up. Men det är tillräckligt kul att bara dela ut stryk på kreativa sätt för att jag ska återvända till Urban Reign ett par gånger till.
Retrogaming.it (Apr 01, 2008)
In alcuni casi sembra di essere in un film di Bud Spencer & Terence Hill... forse per gli energumeni tremendamente ridicoli, oppure per l'atmosfera da rissa della domenica mattina.
These frustrating little quirks keep Urban Reign from completely succeeding. There's no question this fighting engine deserves a second chance, especially since it's strong enough to make the annoyances seem minor. It would work remarkably well for a wrestling game, certainly one that could compete with the Def Jam series. Until then, Urban Reign is disappointingly a rental and a game that should have become one of the best brawlers in recent memory.
GameSpy (Sep 15, 2005)
Urban Reign will likely never reach the almost iconic status of Namco's other fighting games And while the game's unforgiving A.I. will likely frustrate all but the most patient of gamers, it still packs enough of a punch to entertain some of the more hardcore fighting fans out there. Urban Reign may not reign supreme in the battle of the brawlers, but it won't go down without a fight.
Darkstation (Oct 07, 2005)
Urban Reign is a game that although not without some faults really has a full package of beat em' up style action that fans of the classic old games are really going to enjoy. The game has a lot of potential, and if they do make another one of these games, I would think that online play would be an essential, and so would a better story. With all of this being said if you really need a beat em' up fix then this is a great game for you.
Fragland.net (Feb 17, 2006)
I certainly got sympathy for Urban Reign. It’s dumb, got nothing to say, violent and hilariously stupid. But I like it! It got no pretences whatsoever being a masterful game. Of course Namco has delivered some sort of quality, nothing ever gets bad. I might be interested in a serious game next week, but this week, I’m comfortably numb.
GameSpot (Sep 15, 2005)
Urban Reign's best qualities are its smooth fighting engine and the satisfying and varied animation in its fights. Watching Urban Reign played by a skilled player will make the game look a lot better than it is. Unfortunately, the cheap difficulty and blandness of the story mode make the game difficult to recommend to all but the most hardcore beat-'em-up fanatics. If you've got a Mike Haggar tattoo and don't mind beating down the same thugs over and over again a hundred times, you may get some mileage out of Urban Reign.
IGN (Sep 21, 2005)
When all is said and done, Urban Reign leaves me with a rather melancholy feeling. As a title that could have been a solid sleeper pickup for brawling fans in this busy September season, the finished product made me want to pick up my sleepy head from the back of the couch a couple of times instead. There's no doubt that with its flexible fighting engine and various game modes that it has a lot of 'weekend rental' potential for those willing to overlook its short missions and bad balancing, but it could have been so much more than that.
Gamer Within (Jan 22, 2006)
While Urban Reign is a reasonably enjoyable game for the short term, spending any longer than an hour with the game quickly becomes a repetitive experience. There is little variation between each mission, with both the Free Mission and Challenge Modes offering little additional lifespan once you’ve completed the main single player mode. The multiplayer mode does offer some good laughs and a briefly fun experience, however, it also grows old surprisingly quickly. In the end, Urban Reign proves to be little more than a worthy overnight rental, or if you must own it, ensure that its sitting in the bargain bin before splashing out that hard-earned cash.
GameZone (Oct 24, 2005)
With a thorough re-examination of what it's got and what it doesn't, Namco could turn the franchise into their biggest yet. For now, however, Urban Reign is yet another game to add to the list of brawlers we will inevitably forget.
4Players.de (Feb 08, 2006)
Namco, dafür habt ihr echt langsam Prügel verdient: Erst Death by Degrees so in den Sand setzen, jetzt dümpelt Urban Reign in der Mittelmäßigkeit daher. Das Spiel ist gerade im Multiplayermodus nicht übel, in kleinen Dosen macht es auch solo richtig Spaß. Auf Dauer ist es aber so schrecklich belanglos und eintönig: Für ein Prügelspiel viel zu simpel, für einen Brawler fehlt der sinnvolle Zusammenhang. Hier kloppt man sich nur in einer Arena nach der anderen, echtes Final Fight- bzw. Streets of Rage-Gefühl kommt nicht auf - in der Hinsicht hatte sogar Beat Down die Nase vorn. Es hat durchaus seinen Reiz und einige schöne Ideen, die aber durch einige der blödesten Design-Entscheidungen aller Zeiten prompt wieder zunichte gemacht werden. Verdammt schade.
Jeuxvideo.com (Feb 02, 2006)
Urban Reign aurait pu, aurait dû, s'accorder un temps de gestation un peu plus long afin de proposer aux joueurs une construction plus intelligente. En l'état, le jeu de Namco est certes jouissif et jouable mais ce qui ressort le plus est bien cette immense frustration née d'un ennui profond après deux ou trois heures de jeu. La difficulté mal pensée du mode Story n'est pas étrangère à ce triste constat et malgré de bonnes idées, on a plutôt tendance à rester dubitatif devant ce faux frère cadet de Tekken 5.
Video Game Talk (Oct 11, 2005)
Going into Urban Reign, I was very excited for several reasons. Its heritage from the guys behind Tekken and Soul Calibur, the slick presentation of fluid gameplay, and it had all of the makings of a classic beat 'em up. Problems become apparent very quickly though, thanks to spotty AI, ridiculously difficult (and unfair) fights, and borderline no way to defend yourself. The game will infuriate casual gamers, but hardcore brawler fans will definitely want to give this one a rental.
GotNext (Oct 20, 2005)
It takes so much effort to survive, but for what purpose? To see what happens next in the story? It is non-existent, remember? Even the crowd of unlockable extras is hardly worth the effort. To keep the player interested so the game doesn't feel dragged out as most beat 'em ups do, the action comes forward as quick and easy as finger snaps, with little downtime and narrative obstruction. This puts an extra burden on the gameplay because that's all there is to carry the game. You say you need someone to save the city. What mysterious figure can muster up that much strength?
AceGamez (Jan 19, 2006)
Sadly, even these added options cannot save what is essentially a poor title. That's not to say that it doesn't look good, or that the concept of Urban Reign isn't a good idea. But it hasn't been implemented well enough to keep the player interested. Be it frustration at the difficulty level or just boredom at the lack of variety, your Urban Reign is pretty much guaranteed to be a short-lived one.
TotalVideoGames (TVG) (Jan 29, 2006)
Urban Reign is all about instant gratification to the point of being quite enjoyable for the first hour and then quickly growing stale once the sheer repetition has sunk in. Those looking for a no-nonsense beat-em-up could find some enjoyment with the fluid combat system and frantic nature of the game, however Urban Reign makes very little attempt to bring the genre back to life - everybody else should check out Rockstar Games superior adaptation of The Warriors.
videogamer.com (Feb 05, 2006)
Urban Reign clearly isn't going to appeal to everyone. If you're expecting another simplistic button bashing brawler you're in for quite a shock, with the combat offering - and demanding - far more depth than most other games in the genre. The AI can cheat a little towards the end, but once you grasp the controls there are very few occasions where you're unfairly beaten. A more cohesive storyline would certainly have helped, but as a pure fighter there's plenty to enjoy.
Boomtown (Mar 02, 2006)
If you’re after something to play with your mates after the pub, or are looking for a short burst of knuckle-cracking violence, Urban Reign might be worth looking at if found going cheap. However, if you’re wanting a deep fighting game with long replay value and challenging, rewarding gameplay, you’re better off looking elsewhere.
Worth Playing (Sep 29, 2005)
Urban Reign is a story of gang warfare, unlikely allies, and a whole bunch of punching people in the soft and squishy bits. The barely tolerable story mode does little to cover up the fact that Urban Reign is little more than pummeling goons in the face for three hours, and then bam, you're done. It's really not a bad game, simply a boring one. Even if you're a fan, slippery controls and occasionally inconsistent AI might make you steer clear. Rent before you buy, unless you love Tekken and Streets of Rage enough to be blindly approving of anything that resembles either game. As a matter of fact, rent before you buy them, too, as your needs may be better fulfilled with Soul Calibur and Fighting Force, respectively.
Urban Reign is full of wasted potential. A disappointing effort from a developer that knows better.
Jolt (UK) (Feb 10, 2006)
If a game so bland and partial is given a seal of approval, just where do we expect Namco and co. to take the fighter next? There are numerous games like Urban Reign, and we suspect there are plenty more to come.
PSX Extreme (Sep 30, 2005)
Urban Reign's audio is purely average. You could play the entire game on mute and not miss a thing. The voice acting ranges from decent to poor, and the weak plot and script don't help matters much. The music isn't bad, and it blends nicely into the background, which is about all you can ask for from a game like this. Punches and kicks sound like they would in a movie, and the sounds of people being slammed into things, and objects breaking and shattering are quite satisfying.
Urban Reign’s enjoyable fighting system is marred by everything else. While generic locations and enemies aren’t deal breakers, when compounded with uninteresting missions and a brutal AI that is both incompetent and fierce, the result is a resounding thud. You came close, Namco…kinda. Maybe sort of close to being close.
GameCell UK (Feb 18, 2006)
In conclusion, Urban Reign has the initial feel of a good fighter - simple controls and a decent blocking/deflection system. But beyond that there's not many ways for a player to vary the attacks that Brad can use, especially against multiple opponents, which will leave just about anyone significantly frustrated as the difficulty goes up.
Gaming Age (Oct 14, 2005)
To be honest, if you were not sold in the first few words, classic beat'em up, then there is nothing here that will appeal to you as a gamer. Either you like this genre, or you don't. That is where this game will live or die in the end, as the appeal for such a title is not as widespread as years ago. Keep in mind this is Namco's second foray into the action/adventure genre in the last year, and with neither title standing out as groundbreaking new franchises, I think time would be spent better evolving their current fighters like Tekken and Soul Calibur.
Armchair Empire, The (Sep 21, 2005)
Urban Reign is a textbook case of a good idea gone horribly wrong. At its center is a decent fighting engine that I hope Namco holds on to and refines for future efforts, and the overall detail in the game’s visuals is well above par. Unfortunately the game’s difficulty completely supersedes this, either inducing searing rage or narcolepsy depending on where it’s set to, ultimately ruining this title. Sure you could grab a friend and play this game in multiplayer to make things a little bit more manageable, but what kind of monster would subject someone they care about to a title like this?
Lawrence (Oct 03, 2005)
If you have the patience to make it to the AI partner, Urban Reign becomes playable. It’s just too bad that the story missions are set up the way they are, because the fragmented nature really takes away from the game. It would be so much better if it had larger levels to explore (like Streets of Rage, Final Fight, etc), even if they were linear. 10 large linear levels that were filled with enemies would be far better than 100 short missions with 3 enemies. There’s plenty to unlock (including some familiar Tekken faces), but I highly doubt most gamers will want to spend too much time with Urban Reign.
TotalPlayStation (Sep 23, 2005)
You may be a glutton for punishment, and for that you may have a need for a quick rental, but even with the Tekken characters as unlockables, this is not a fighter worthy of the Namco name.
G4 TV: X-Play (Oct 14, 2005)
Urban Reign is a perfectly adequate rental, especially if you’ve got a multi-tap and three friends. Playing against human opponents is much more satisfying than the cheesy computer-controlled ones. Forcing the player to endure 100 repetitive missions just to unlock the meat of the game is an insult, as is the imbalanced fighting engine. This reign has come to an end before it started.
Gameplanet (Mar 26, 2006)
Overall Urban Reign does offer some goods in terms of fighting sequences being so fluid, combos and the ability to modify Hawk to your fight style, but unfortunately it is let down heavily by its repetitiveness and lack of a storyline makes it go stale very fast.
1UP (Sep 13, 2005)
While guest stars and unlockable combatants like Paul Phoenix and Marshall Law show up to add credibility to Urban Reign, it really is a blight on their resumes. With its slick visual polish and ample bone-crunching sound-effects, Urban Reign could have come out on tip. But thanks to an endless series of increasingly maddening and increasingly boring stages, you'll find yourself saying "No thanks," and turning off your PS2 and bringing this game back to the store. Xbox owners, be thankful you were spared this agony.
Game Revolution (Oct 18, 2005)
But despite their high pedigree, Namco's dev teams really dropped the ball on this one. Had it been given a little more depth pretty much everywhere, this may have been a sleeper hit. Instead, it’s just a sleeper. While entertaining enough for a weekend rent, by Saturday night you'll be eager to choke-slam Brad and leave him in the gutter.
Eurogamer.net (UK) (Jan 30, 2006)
Beat-'em-ups should be fun and playable however good you are, and become appreciably better the more you understand their subtleties; Urban Reign is rarely fun or playable however good you are, and is about as subtle as, well, its tagline. "Are you hard enough to break some skulls?" I'm not, no, and you gave me no chance to be. Back in your ho.
Netjak (Oct 26, 2005)
Urban Reign is one of the worst games you could buy this year. Imagine someone took the Mission Mode out of Soul Calibur II, and sold it as a separate game for $50. That's Urban Reign. From the company who took a tech demo and charged $40 for it. I don't understand how a company that's shrewd enough to sell the brilliant Katamari Damacy for $20, and We Love Katamari for $30 is stupid enough to think that anyone would enjoy paying $50 for a waste of time like this or $40 on Pac-Pix.
Game Shark (Sep 26, 2005)
Aside from its superior presentation, about the only really good thing that can be said for Urban Reign is that it is not available to offend on more than one console. That’s right PS2 owners, you can be proud you took the bullet for all gamerdom. While Urban Reign looks and sounds good, that pretty facade hides a repetitive, uninteresting and frustrating game that just can’t seem to deliver where it counts: gameplay. Sorry, Namco. Better luck with Soul Caliber III.
The Video Game Critic (May 20, 2006)
The instructions claim you can take advantage of your surroundings and use weapons, but these aspects are extremely under-utilized. Urban Reign regularly saves you progress, but you never feel like you're accomplishing anything, and the multi-player modes are equally pointless. The search for a decent 3D Streets of Rage (Genesis, 1991) type of game continues.