Jet Li: Rise to Honor
is a video game
released in 2004
for the PlayStation 2
. The game features the likeness, voice acting and motion capture work of martial arts actor Jet Li
, and features martial arts choreography by Corey Yuen
Rise to Honor
features a cinematic presentation designed to mimic an action film, with no loading screens and sections of the game split up into "scenes". A DVD
-like chapter selection menu allows the player to go back to any past scenes once they have been cleared previously.
Played from a third-person perspective, the majority of the game is a beat 'em up, with the player using the right analog stick to direct blows at enemies. The game also features a number of levels where the player uses firearms with unlimited ammunition. During levels, the player constantly builds up a store of adrenaline, which the player can unleash to perform powerful hand to hand combat strikes. An alternative is, when using firearms, the player initiates a temporary slow motion bullet time mode similar to the video game Max Payne.
The game follows Kit Yun (Jet Li
), an undercover Hong Kong
police officer who is assigned as a bodyguard to Boss Chiang, a friend of Kit's father. A year into Kit's undercover assignment, Boss Chiang decides to leave the life of organized crime, but not without getting outraged protests by Kwan, one of his associates, only to have various gang members attempt the assassination of Boss Chiang. Despite Kit's efforts, Boss Chiang gets assassinated by a mystery sniper.
During Chiang's dying moments, he tells Kit to deliver an envelope to his estranged daughter, Michelle. Being a childhood friend of Michelle's, Kit obliges and heads for San Francisco to deliver the message to her, despite whatever obstacles come in his way.
In San Francisco, he meets up with Chi, a friend of Kit and Michelle from childhood. Together they attempt to find Michelle, fighting many villains on their way.
References to Li's films
Being a Jet Li video game, the game features several references to Li's previous movies. Some examples include:
- A gas mask chamber while fighting Kwan, in which Kit has to grab Kwan's gas mask to restore his own air supply, which is a reference to the final fight in Black Mask.
- Kit having an option to use mobile stretchers while shooting firearms from a supine position in the hospital stages is also most likely a reference to Black Mask, in which the protagonist does a similar stunt while commandeering a motorcycle. Several reviews also note the similarity of the level to the famous hospital gurney scene from the Hong Kong film Hard Boiled.
- Kit releasing his grip on a handrail and grabbing on to the next one in the floor below him, making a reference to the beginning of Cradle 2 the Grave.
- Kit fighting twin enemies before fighting the main villain is a reference to Kiss of the Dragon. In addition, the twin enemies are named Fei and Hung, most likely a subtle jab at the folk hero Wong Fei Hung, which Li played in the Once Upon a Time in China series.
- Kit breaking a criminal's neck with his legs in a similar fashion from Lethal Weapon 4.
- Kit having the option to team up with Michelle for a fight in the Metreon is inspired by Jet Li and Aaliyah's fight scene against Françoise Yip in Romeo Must Die.
- Two unlockable skins: Wong Fei Hung and Chen Zen from Fist of Legend.
The game received mixed reviews, with Game Rankings
listing an average score of 68% from 72 reviews, and a Metacritic
score of 68 from 50 reviews.
Both IGN and GameSpot praised the production values and cinematic approach of the game, but were disappointed in the simple gameplay mechanics, cheap bosses and short completion time. Eurogamer called the gameplay "unbalanced and frustrating", and the fighting "dreadfully limited". In contrast to the general praise of the presentation, GameSpy thought the "cutscenes are completely uninvolving, with bored-sounding voice acting".
However, GamePro gave the game a score of 5/5, calling the game, and the analog-based control scheme in particular, "innovative and fun".