Rise to Honor is a beat ‘em up with top-notch production values that Sony’s looking to sell quite a few copies of next year. This game, inspired by and closely designed with Jet Li and his stunt choreographer is a game that Sony’s been high on since last year’s Gamers’ Day. It’s got tons of potential, and it’s a blast to play, but sloppy controls are really holding it back at this point.
Rise to Honor is all about re-creating the look and feel of Hong Kong action flicks. This means lots of fights where you’re out numbered, rooftop chases, and firing two guns while running, ducking, rolling, and jumping across a room. RTH employs a unique control scheme that completely forgoes the use of the Dualshock’s face buttons. Kicks and punches are performed by moving the right analog stick, while jumping, ducking, blocking and other moves are performed with the shoulder buttons, or a combination of the shoulder buttons and the right analog stick.
It’s actually quite easy to learn this control scheme, and the game does a nice job of putting you through a tutorial without making it feel like sitting through a class. As I mentioned earlier, the controls just aren’t responsive enough at this point to make the game work. It’s very tough to turn from enemy to enemy, which is what the game’s all about. This problem can easily be fixed however, and judging by the high hopes that Sony’s got for the game, I’d expect the controls to be spot on for the finished product. There’s almost too much good stuff to list here: cut scenes of the bad guy dying after you cap him, enemies jumping through windows, riding on your back, guns blazing on a hospital gurney down a hallway…mmmmm tasty. Look for it in February 2004.
9/21/2003 Aaron Thomas