Review by Connor42
"If you can overlook the controls, then this is a really good game."
Ubisoft has provided us good games, such as Ghost Recon, Rainbow Six, and Far Cry. Now, Ubisoft takes their chances with the Wii, and at E3, this game was full of hype. They showed the cool controls on how you aim and shoot, and they topped ot off with a sword battle. It even made me want to play this more than Zelda. Now, that the game's out, does this game really live up to our expectations?
The story in this game is pretty basic. Your fiance gets captured, and you have to rescue her. Sure, there's more to the story, but I don't want to ruin it for you. The voice acting in this game can sometimes be downright annoying. While some may provide decent voice acting, the people with accents can be awful. I also doesn't help the fact that the game's story is told through pictures instead of full motion movies.
The graphics, on the other hand, are much better. The anamations are really good, and when the story isn't told through pictures, it looks really well. The explosions are top notch, and the game has destructible environments to. The only thing that is dissapointing about the graphics, is that the people in this game can look like paper, when you get close to them. Overall, the graphics look great, the Wii maybe last in the graphics race, but with games like Red Steel, it certainly isn't suffering.
The sound in this game is really good too. There's bullets flying right pass you, explosions sound real, and the music can sound pretty good too. There's a drum roll that keeps the sense of urgency going. Sometimes, the music, like the voice acting, can get annoying to, but, unlike the voice acting, most of the music is great. The sound in this game is almost perfect.
The controls in this game can be awkward at first, but once you get the hang of it, the controls will become second nature. The B button, on the bottom of the remote, is the trigger you use to fire your gun with, the A button is used to zoom in, the Z button is used to crouch, and to C button is used to jump. Turning is handled by pointing at the end of the screen, this can be a bit slow, and doing actions, like opening doors or flipping over tables for cover, is done by shaking the Nunchuck. Shaking the Nunchuck is a little unresponsive, but it stills works well.
You aim, as if it were a light gun shooter. The turning maybe slow, but what you will get is accurate shooting with your Wiimote, as long as the enemy is in front of you. Zooming is kind of awkward with a sniper rifle, when you zoom in, and it almost never fails to mess up your aim. You can set the controls to a certain sensitivity, low is where the aiming isn't as sensitive and the turning is slow, medium, which is probably the setting you're going to use, is more sensitive and turns faster, high is the most sensitive, but you don't have any control over what speedyour turning at. I guess the sensitivity are there own difficulty settings. The controls in this game are innovative, they just take a while to get use to, but once you get use to them, they are very intuitive.
Somewhere along the game, you'll be able to gain the ability to freeze time in a limited amount of time. You can tag enemies by killing them, or tagging there weapons to disarm them. This feature might have actually been hard on other consoles, but with the Wii, it works perfectly. Once you disarm your enemy, you wave your reticule up and down, as if you were motioning to him to get down on the ground, and he will surrender. This feature in the game is the best part about the game, not very many games let you freeze time and tag enemies to kill them.
The AI in this game can be pretty dumb, they like standing around and getting shot at and sometimes they'll run right pass you for no reason. But the AI does have some positives. They use cover very well, and there accuracy is pretty good too. Overall, though, they are just pretty dumb, ibut if you do get killed by them, you'll restart at one of the many checkpoints the game provides you. It also doesn't help that there are no difficulty settings to really challenge yourself with.
All the running-and-gunning is sometimes breakin up by a sword battle. The sword is done by swinging the Wiimote, and blocking is done by using the Nunchuck. You can attack with special moves, but they're pretty useless since the enemies fall for basic patterns. I thought the sword fights were pretty cool, but it would've been neater if you could run around like an actual samurai and kill everybody with a sword, but you're just limited to the duels, once a duel is finished, you either kill off or let your enemy live for respect points. Sometimes, you just don't want to the damn sword and want to do it the Indiana Jones way, shoot the damn guy with your gun and get it over with, but overall, the sword fights are decent.
The objectives in this game are pretty simple, most of it is get to point A to point B to point C, and so on. Sometimes, you are made to do certain stuff, but those don't really come often. In the beginning of the game, the game does get pretty exciting, and you are taken through scripted events. You'll get knocked around, and captured and all that stuff. The game does have one of the worst endings I have ever seen, there are alternate endings, but they only worth enough to look at on youtube. So, if your up for it you can try to get one of the endings, but they pretty dorky for all the stuff that you went through.
You're are taken through many locales in the campaign, and this sometimes immerses you. Going through the streets of Japan is pretty believable. The characters in the game are also rememberable, but sometimes, not in the right way, sometimes, the characters will say stuff that wasn't intentionally funny. But the overall atmosphere is good, because not very many games provide you with streets to run around in and actually look believable.
I haven't played the multiplayer, but I since I have'nt played multiplayer, I'll tell what I heard from it. There are your typical deathmatches and all, but there is this one mode called killer, where the speaker on the Wiimote will give you certain orders to take on. I've heard that the orders were suppose to be secret, but the other people may hear the orders just as well as you do. Though, thats a complaint from someone else, I don't how it really works. There is no online multiplayer and you don't have any sword duels to do in multiplayer either, but I heard that the multiplayer is decent as long as you have a big enough TV.
Red Steel was a game where the expectations were pretty damn high, in this case it fails. The story is basic, the voice acting can be annoying, and the controls aren't as immersive as we were hoping for, but what the game does provide is solid gameplay. The game also has a lot of potential to, the controls maybe our primary controls in the future, and if Ubisoft made a sequel, they might actually create a whole better game. But right now, enjoy Red Steel for what it has, and throw you're expectations out the window, because is you do that, then this game is a really good game.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.5 - Good
Originally Posted: 07/17/07, Updated 06/19/08
Game Release: Red Steel (US, 11/19/06)
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