Review by Jebus

"What game were the other reviewers playing?"

What game were the other reviewers playing?

I'll sum it up quickly - this game is excellent. Red Steel started off as a very hyped-up project announced some time ago before we knew the wonders of Wii. Many people were captivated by the ideas of believable characters, Wii-style shooting, and the whole theme of the game. Unfortunately though, it seems a lot of reviewers were expecting something different, and wrote their reviews accordingly.

I'll start with the most important aspect of a game - Gameplay. I'll answer the questions everybody seems to be asking before they buy this game. How does it control? How does it play? Excellent. It really is great. Shooting with the Wii controller really does immerse you to a whole new level, and to be honest, while I have Zelda, Wii Sports and Wii Play, nothing else has felt as immersive as Red Steel. Aiming, shooting, ducking, dodging, and slashing your way through the levels is not only 'bearable' - It's a pleasure. The gun fights are long and exciting. Nothing is more satisfying than jumping between cover and picking off a couple of enemies. Well, nothing except the swordplay. Sword fighting in Red Steel is controlled with a swing of the controller for a slash, and a swing of the nunchuck for a parry. Of course, you can dodge and perform different moves as well. While the sword's movements are not 1:1 with the Wii controller, it is still very fun. Although the sword play does seem a bit like a mini-game at some points, because you can't run away or just pull out your gun, it still remains fun and challenging. Not only that, but the game rewards your honour and overall skill with an end-of-level ranking.

The Story in Red Steel is quite an interesting one, while it does contain some very cliche elements. Basically, it starts with your character meeting his girlfriend at a restaurant, waiting for her father to arrive. It begins with some basic lessons to get you used to looking around, by spotting fish in a large tank, and walking. Very shortly, action erupts as your enemies make themselves apparent, and you are practically thrown straight into a firefight. Thanks to our fishy training earlier, though, this is no problem. From the beginning you know what to do and how to do it. Red Steel is great in that sense. While the story and levels are fairly linear, the option to make choices is still present. This is not particularly game-changing, though choosing to spare an opponent will gain you respect points which can be used later.

The graphics, while a tad blurry on my dated CRT, are stylish and realistic, though I found my self wondering if the game would do better with a cel-shaded or otherwise stylised look. The characters show off realistic models and animations, and the interactive environment leaves little to be desired. Nothing like seeing a glass bottle shatter in the face of your enemies. The guns are very detailed, and interactive objects found in the environment omit a subtle, yet obvious glow to bring your attention to them. The explosions and fire I found specifically impressive. The sound effects are good too. For a video game, the sound of gunshots, breaking objects and even the voice acting are above-par, again adding a layer of immersiveness. The enemies will taunt you as they surround you, curse you as you kill their friends, and beg for mercy if they are dis-armed.

The game's length and replayability depend solely on the player. Taking the time to explore can yield benefits such as more ammo or armour, but is not always necessary. I cannot estimate how long it would take to do a speed run, or a slow-paced exploration run. All I can tell you is that it is a very solid game and it will keep you entertained for a long time. Replayability is not much, though for the collectors or enthusiasts you can always go back and try to gain a higher rank on each level you've completed. Not to mention the multiplayer mode, while it doesn't include bots, shooting up some friends in a one of several game modes will always bring you back.

Overall, this game is definitely a winner. Although, it is apparent that not everyone will like it as much as the next person. I really do recommend that you at least play this game for half an hour before you shun it. Borrow it from a friend or rent it before you buy it, just to be sure. Either way, you need to play this. Red Steel is a launch title, and many people say it was rushed. Considering such a gem can come of this - I am excited for future Wii releases. Give it a go. I give Red Steel an 8/10. The graphics, controls, sound and gameplay were all top-notch; the factor that dragged it down was the general size. The game could have been longer, multiplayer could have included bots or more maps, and it could have been more replayable. Beyond these minor issues, the game is very solid and very recommended.


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/02/07


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