Urban Reign

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Urban Reign
Urban Reign game cover
North American box art
Director(s)Masahide Kito
Producer(s)Hirofumi Motoyama
Composer(s)Yoshihito Yano
Rio Hamamoto
Junichi Nakatsuru
Akitaka Tohyama
Katsuro Tajima
Platform(s)PlayStation 2
  • NA: September 13, 2005
  • JP: September 29, 2005
  • EU: February 9, 2006
Genre(s)Beat 'em up, Fighting
Mode(s)Single player, multiplayer

Urban Reign (アーバンレイン; Aban Rein) is a multiplayer beat 'em up game developed and published by Namco in 2005 exclusively for the PlayStation 2.


Urban Reign follows the exploits of "brawler-for-hire" Brad Hawk, who is hired to find a kidnapped gang member by the swordswoman Shun Ying Lee. Brad fights his way through the street gangs of Green Harbor, a fortified city in the U.S. As he does so to get some answers, the true machinations of the protagonists reveal themselves and things become more complicated.


Urban Reign features both single player and multiplayer action with both multiple AI opponents and human controlled characters on the same screen fighting at the same time. The characters can move in the environment, pick up weapons, throw objects, give instructions to AI partners, and pull off moves on multiple opponents. There are low and high grapples, air grapples, counters and recounters each with its own animations for each character. Although characters have optimal combo strings, most combos start with three presses of the attack button, the third of which will juggle an opponent. Then the player has the choice of an air grapple, special move, simply continuing the combo or running away to pick up a weapon or reposition.

Neutralizing attacks by opponents is done with a single button press that must be timed to the moment of the attack. Also, if the player presses up or down on the keypad while pressing dodge at the correct time, his character will reverse an attack, if possible. Even when cornered by multiple enemies, it is possible to dodge all oncoming normal attacks.

Finally, "special arts" can be pulled off with a press of two buttons. Special arts cannot be countered, reversed or dodged except by another special move, and they can be buffered. Characters have a "special arts meter" that must be at a certain level for a move to be attempted. The meter is expended when a move is pulled off, and increases when characters take damage, successfully dodge attacks, or strike their opponents with attacks.

Initially, it is not possible for two players to play through the single player missions together (unless unlocked with a cheat code at the title screen), but once unlocked, the game includes game modes for multiplayer action, including four-player brawls with a PlayStation 2 multi-tap and extra controllers.

Additionally, the characters from Tekken, Paul Phoenix and Marshall Law, are unlockable characters.[1]


Aggregate score
Review scores
Game Informer8/10[6]
GamePro3/5 stars[7]
Game RevolutionD+[8]
GameSpy3.5/5 stars[10]
OPM (US)3.5/5 stars[14]
The Sydney Morning Herald2/5 stars[15]

The game received "mixed" reviews according to video game review aggregator Metacritic.[2]

GamePro criticised the graphics and control system, but praised the number of arcade-style multiplayer modes. GameSpot said "The cheap difficulty and blandness of the story mode make Urban Reign difficult to recommend." IGN said "Urban Reign really could have made use of better tuning to its AI." Eurogamer said "There's nothing in terms of pay-off to compare to the likes of Ninja Gaiden or God of War in the roaming beat-'em-up genre, which, thugs or not, this is up against, and there's nothing in terms of depth or balance to compare to Virtua Fighter 4 or SoulCalibur for one-on-ones." Games revolution summarised it as "Had it been given a little more depth pretty much everywhere, this may have been a sleeper hit.


  1. ^ GameSpot staff (July 20, 2005). "Tekken characters appearing in Urban Reign". GameSpot. Retrieved July 30, 2015.
  2. ^ a b "Urban Reign for PlayStation 2 Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved November 7, 2012.
  3. ^ Edge staff (December 2005). "Urban Reign". Edge (156): 104.
  4. ^ EGM staff (October 2005). "Urban Reign". Electronic Gaming Monthly (196).
  5. ^ Bramwell, Tom (January 30, 2006). "Urban Reign". Eurogamer. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  6. ^ "Urban Reign". Game Informer (150): 134. October 2005.
  7. ^ Bones (September 14, 2005). "Urban Reign Review for PS2 on GamePro.com". GamePro. Archived from the original on November 3, 2005. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  8. ^ Tackett, Tim (October 18, 2005). "Urban Reign Review". Game Revolution. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  9. ^ Colayco, Bob (September 15, 2005). "Urban Reign Review". GameSpot. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  10. ^ Chapman, David (September 15, 2005). "GameSpy: Urban Reign". GameSpy. Archived from the original on January 14, 2006. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  11. ^ "Urban Reign Review". GameTrailers. October 2, 2005. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  12. ^ Bedigian, Louis (October 23, 2005). "Urban Reign - PS2 - Review". GameZone. Archived from the original on October 5, 2008. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  13. ^ Dunham, Jeremy (September 21, 2005). "Urban Reign". IGN. Retrieved July 31, 2015.
  14. ^ "Urban Reign". Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine: 107. October 2005.
  15. ^ Hill, Jason (February 23, 2006). "Urban Reign". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved July 30, 2015.

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