In the rich tradition of Hong Kong action movies, Jet Li
performs physical feats, twisting, turning, spinning and dropping his foes with
a fluidity that both amazes and delights.
The only thing this time out is that Jet Li is not controlling
the action – you are.
Rise To Honor is a first-party PlayStation2 title from SCEA
slated for a January 2004 release. It was one of the titles showcased at Gamers
Day 2003 in San Francisco.
In the story, Jet Li takes on the role of Kit Yun, the bodyguard
to Boss Chiang. Chiang is assassinated, but while dying he tells Yun to deliver
a message to his estranged daughter in San Francisco. This embarks Yun on a
mission will eventually challenge Yun’s sense of honor and duty.
What is unique about the title is that Jet Li not only lends his
name to the production, but also his considerable skill in the martial arts.
Using motion-capture technology, developers accurately portray Li’s abilities in
a 360-degree format.
But rather than being a button smasher, trying to pull off
blocks and counters, as well as the wide assortment of kicks and punches, the
game has moved all the fight elements into the right thumbstick. By tapping the
thumbstick in any direction, Yun (Li) will attack any foe approaching from that
area. Not only that, but he can use elements within the environment to his
advantage. Walls become ramps for high-flying moves, and chairs become missiles.
Jim Wallace, SCEA, stated that "we’ve been able to realize our
ambitious goals for this game."
"We really want to get across the feeling that the player is the
The game sports 11 different environments, solid cutscenes, and
Graphically, this game is superb. Yun looks like Jet Li, not
only in terms of standing still, but even when in the middle of a fight, battle
opponents surrounding him. In addition to the simplistic attacks, the game also
uses simpler defense controls. R1 blocks attacks and combining L1 and R1 with
the right thumbstick blocks and then counters attacks.
See the gurney? Hop on it and roll down the hospital corridors,
guns blazing as hoodlums jump out of the doorways. If one picks up a tank of
explosive gas, shoot the tank. That will discourage the thug from advancing
And, of course, in the grand tradition of the films upon which
this story is based, there does not seem to be an end to the number of henchmen
surging forward to taste Yun’s fists and feet.
The path through each level looks somewhat linear. There is an
opening cutscene and a defined exit – which is through a host of opposition and
a boss. You will have to determine how to open doors, and there are simple
puzzle elements in each level – mostly in figuring out how to negotiate your way
through the area. Stealth is really not the option here. You will leave a trail
of destruction in your wake.
Rise to Honor is fast-paced and furious action interwoven with a
solid story. The control elements only add to the great feel this game has, and
will likely make it a top-seller when released.