Recommend---Any fan of a great story, great action, and doesn't care about all the technical ****
Not Recommend---People who can't stand glitchy games
Advent Rising is one of the best game I played on the Xbox. I can't believe it received terrible reviews! Besides the glitches in the game, I don't see what's wrong with it. The story is amazing, made by the guy who wrote Ender's Game. I'm not done the game yet, but it's about these aliens the Seekers who try to destroy the human race and whatnot. It seems like the typical story, but it's much more that that. You just have to see it for yourself. There's a ton of sci-fi, lots of great cutscenes, and it sort of feels like a movie in a way. Story aside, everything is still good. The gameplay is fun as hell, with a ton of weapons and powers at your disposal. Beating up baddies is as fun as ever, and each time feels different. The sound is really, really good and I think that's what everyone praised it for. It has an excellent and epic soundtrack, which everyone deserves hearing. The graphics are where all the problems are. They look good, but the framerate is just sloppy. All over the game are small (and sometime large) glitches that are questionable. Most of the time they're nothing big, so I just continue on. This is where I can't stand all the other reviews, though. People review games to crazily now. IT'S STILL A FUN GAME!!!!!!!!! Who cares if there are glitches? Look past it, and you have a great game in your hands. Because of you terrible reviewers out there, the rest of the trilogy won't be coming out! I'm pissed, but whatever. This game is good, so get it.
Conclusion---Don't believe all those bad reviews out there! This game is really fun. Sure, there are glitches. But who cares. In fact, I hear the PC version of this game fixes up some of the problems so that version is probably superior. Definitely get this game. I bought it from Toys R' Us for $4 or $5, and it was worth it.
Ok, so after putting this game on hold for 5 years, I finally came back to it today to finish it (I am currently writing this in November of 2012). I am currently on my Thanksgiving break from college so I figured why not. This review (even though it's edited) also marks the return of my reviews here on GameSpot, which I also haven't done in years (and I will now be more strict instead of giving every game I review a close to perfect score).
Anyway, I popped Advent Rising back in my dusty original Xbox to complete the rest of Chapter 5, all of Chapter 6, and the Epilogue. Looking back on my original review, I still agree with a lot of what I said. However, there are a few things I must point out. First of all, there is no way in hell this game deserves a 9.5 (which is what I originally gave it). I guess it took me these few years to fully mature as a gamer and critic to know the difference between a true 9.5 game and a game like this. To make things short, this is my brief standpoint on the game:
The game, for what it was when it came out, WAS really ambitious but it failed to meet a lot of goals. Looking back on it now, this game was DEFINITELY a Halo-clone. The characters, gameplay (bar the 3rd person action), and vibe of the game is very Halo-esque (and I know this because I've played a lot of Halo in recent times). The story, I must say, though, is great. Even though the graphics aren't that great now by today's standards, the cinematics are still gorgeous (runs in 480p as well) and is one of the most thrilling aspects of the game. Clearing levels just to see these scenes is a great reward. The gameplay is fun but HORRIBLY flawed at the same time. It HAD potential, and it's cool that you have around 8 different powers and a multitide of weapons that each can be upgraded (all have a secondary action, too) to level 5, but the game is SOOOO choppy. I can't even tell you how many times the game glitched, slowed down, or just did something so weird that I was questioning what the hell was even happening. I guess previously it didn't bother me that much in the beginning of the game, but towards the end when it gets harder it is downright frustrating. Sometimes you will find yourself so close to getting the next checkpoint, only to die because you find yourself trapped in a wall and walk off an invisible ledge that shouldn't even exist. Combat is tiresome at times and the lock-on system is atrocious. It never works the way you want it too and sometimes the camera gets permanently locked, which can only be broken by switching into first-person mode (a trick I learned too late). There are also portions of the game that are randomly difficult for no aparent reason. I had to look up guides for these parts of the game and it really pissed me off when I found out what the solution was. Really aggravating.
The music is great, but it cuts out at random times and it loses its epic appeal sometimes. Besides the above flaws, the controls are alright and work as well as they can for a game like this.
Length-wise, this game took me a good amount of time to beat (considering I never finished years ago; I guess I gave up at one point). It has little replay value since it is a linear single-player game with nothing else to do or unlock. The only reason I can see replaying portions of the game is to max out all powers and weapons to level 5, but even then there's barely any motivation I can see to do that. There is no multiplayer and no other missions to do. You would simply just be replaying old missions that are glitchy and you have already experienced, especially if the game was freshly beaten. I guess if you haven't played the game in a while and wanted to come back to it it'd be a little nostalgic, but that is up to the eye of the beholder.
Bottom line, this is an entertaining and HIGHLY underrated game. I agree with what a lot of the reviews of the time said, but I don't believe it deserved as low as most scores it got. Maybe by today's standards, but this game is STILL fun to play and by last-gen standards it shines even brighter. Like I said in both reviews, the game is very glitchy and sometimes obnoxiously frustrating, but at the end of the day it is a great piece of entertainment that I believe deserves a playthrough. I got this game brand new for $5 at a Toys R Us years ago, so I can assume you can get it for at least that cheap nowadays. For that value, there's no reason not to play it (though note that it is NOT backwards compatible on an Xbox 360; it NEEDS to be played on an original Xbox..there is also a PC version that is apparently a little more polished, but I have never played it). I don't know what this game was originally priced at, and I would hesitate to recommend it to someone if it was priced as a typical $50 game like a lot of Xbox titles were at the time, but I DO recommend playing it because it's a great experience. I can see why the trilogy got canceled (along with Advent Shadow), but it's a shame they never came to fruition, at least in book or comic book form. The story was pretty unique and the ending leaves the story To Be Continued with a new unnamed character introduced (sorry for the spolier), so it's sad we'll never get to see what the creators had in store. So yeah, sorry for the ranting, but get this game.