Review by Exodist
"An FPS which, whilst a little fun on occasion, offers more bores than thrills."
Before release I thought Red Steel looked great. You could shoot multiple enemies with some focus system, and fight with swords. Sounds good on paper, but in reality, when it comes in the form of Red Steel, it's not. Red Steel is a mediocre FPS, and whilst it offers sword fights, these are done poorly making the game offer nothing new for the market.
Firstly, the story line is just like a action film. You play a man named Scott, and his Japanese girlfriend gets kidnapped by some Japanese gang. Lucky she just happens to be the daughter of the Japanese mafia leader. Because Scott has clearly had gun training before, he sets out across industrial settings, and some Japanese levels toward the end, with a gun, shooting any one that gets in his way. It's pretty simple, but with some very minor plot twists near the end of the game, they still don't help from the otherwise average and boring plot.
Secondly, I will explain the control system. The nun-chuck is needed to play Red Steel, the analog stick will move you forward, and backward, and also allow you to strafe left and right. Swinging it up can be used for a variety of actions, opening doors, reloading or picking up a new weapon to name a view. The nun-chuck buttons can then be used to jump, and duck. The remote, when moved, is an aiming tool, allowing you to aim around the level. Pressing A will zoom in the weapon, moving the remote can zoom in, and pulling it can zoom out, B will fire, and then the left directional button will change weapon. That's pretty much it, I will explain the sword controls in the sword fighting paragraph though. Still, there are problems with the controls too. First off, the crosshair some times jerks around, or resets it self back to the middle, or sometimes even moves into a corner of the screen. Also, although the controls are different than a normal controller or mouse and keyboard, they aren't any more realistic, or more effective, it's just a different way to control the game. I really did not find the remote to be incredibly precise as some claim.
The shooting parts of Red Steel can be fun on the occasion. Aiming with the remote can be tricky at first, especially since the actual crosshair moves, not the whole screen. But, after a while, you will get used to it with ease. The levels are filled with destructible environments, like pillars for example, or cars which blow up with over the top explosions. Unfortunately, some times, the game tries to make too much happen at once, and the framerate will suffer a lot from this, making some gun fights a pain. Usually you will shoot through some parts, then have some cut-scenes. This can be an annoyance, because you can't skip them, at because the game has checkpoints, you may have to watch some annoying cut-scenes before a hard gun fight. Also, the AI is pretty dumb, and the enemies will run right past you, or run into walls or just stand there and do nothing, which is below average and shouldn't be happening.
So the sword fighting, most probably the biggest disappointment with Red Steel. First, you swing the remote, and the character on screen will mimic your action. First off, this lags for around a second behind your swing, very much like in Zelda. Also, your character only knows how to swing in eight directions, making it seem even more unrealistic. Also, you cannot do stabbing attacks, like your opponents. You can dodge by pressing a button and moving the analog stick, and you can block attacks by shaking your nun-chuck. You can also use power attacks to try and break the enemies sword, so you can either finish them off, or let them live. Personally I just kill them all, it doesn't really matter. The sword fighting is pretty easy though, some fights may be harder than others, but nothing too serious. Once you have the power attack, you can just break their swords in a couple of attacks and it's over and done with. The enemies can fall prey to basic patterns, and it's pretty easy to block most of their attacks. Also, the sword fighting is randomly placed after some shooting bits, which is kind of annoying, but nothing serious.
The graphics in Red Steel aren't too impressive. Some effects like explosions are pretty good, but, a lot of the other games graphics are pretty bad. The game suffers it's framerate for some special effects, but they don't look all that impressive anyway, and it's a shame the players suffer. Character models look average, and the textures are pretty low res, only when you walk right up to a lift door do they look decent. The background buildings are also blurry, low res and look out of place with the rest of the graphics. Also, there isn't any blood in the game, which makes the game title rather misleading. However, with all the bad graphics, the audio is actually fairly decent. The music suits the game well, suits the action well, and is of decent quality. The sound effects are good enough too, with minimal sound effects coming out of the speaker, but remember, the speaker is cheap, so that doesn't matter too much. Unfortunately, the dialog is pretty bad, and so is the voice acting, when people shout KUSO!!! it's likely to make you laugh more then anything else.
Overall, Red Steel is just another generic FPS game. This most probably means a sequel, and if the problems are sorted out, it could be a decent game (with this updated review a sequel has came out, yet to play it though). If the problems were sorted out for Red Steel, it definitely would of scored much higher. If your looking for a decent enough FPS game for the Wii, then this is it. But here is hoping future FPS games (like Metroid Prime 3) will be much better.
Reviewer's Rating: 2.5 - Playable
Originally Posted: 01/30/07, Updated 04/29/10
Game Release: Red Steel (EU, 12/08/06)
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