Review by Nemesissy
"A nice start to First-Person shooters for the Wii."
Next-gen is here. The Wii is here. The future of gaming. So a game that can live up to the new innovative controls is needed also. And Ubisoft delivered with a game that will revolutionise First-Person shooters.
Decent enough. You play Scott, a man about to meet his fiance's father. Suddenly, gangsters attack, kidnapping your fiance and injuring her dad. It's up to you and you alone to save her. Kinda cliched, what with the whole one-man-war-machine thing. But it holds up.
The game is split into chapters. Complete each to progress. At the start, you are given a handy little scene to test out the aiming on the Wii-mote. The first few levels give you handy hints. Then you're on your own. The missions are lengthy, and entertaining to say the least. One level has you making your way through a stage with weird obstacles to overcome, and enemies to boot. A little like Saw, including the bad-guy watching your every move through cameras and stuff. Each mission is slightly varied, so you don't have to suffer through the same old stuff. Every enemy drops weapons (except for enemies with swords). You may think this is too easy, and to be honest, you will only run out of ammo if you go mad and don't pick any up, but you'l need some ammo. You can only carry 2 weapons at a time, so choose which ones wisely. I stick to a pistol and either a shotgun or a rifle, depends which you need for that particular level.
Shooting. One of the things that makes this stand out and one of the main reasons many people, including me, bought this. Enemies are clever. Sort of. They take cover and get better at shooting the further into the game. Usually a head-shot kills them instantly, bu shoot them in the body and it's a different affair. They can take a fair beating sometimes. A nice little feature of the game is that you can slow down time, and choose targets to shoot. Groins and faces ahoy! Better slow-motion than any in Enter the Matrix. Another nice touch with this game is that you can destroy all the scenery. You can blow pillars to shreds or blow holes into the walls. Tables can be over-turned for you to take cover behind. Explosive barrels are back. Everyones favourite. Shoot them to make nearby enemies fly away like rag-dolls.
Sword-fighting. Probably the main appeal of this game, along with the shooting scheme. The sword-fights aren't exactly the slash-athons we were all hoping for, but fun never the less. You also can't hack away at them, as the further into the game you get, the better at blocking they get, forcing you to be more defensive. There is also a lag, so it takes a little longer for your on screen character to repeat the move you just made. You get 2 swords. The one on the left is used to parry, the one on the right is used to attack. It's always fun to block, then slash away when they're off balance. You always have a sword, except for special times when your weapons are taken off you. The sword doesn't count as one of the 2 guns you carry. Unfortunately, you can't use your swords all the time. You have no access to them when you aren't in a sword-fight. Your character magically reveals them when a sword-fight starts. Takes away some fun (How fun would it be to run at an enemy who is holding a gun and you're slashing at him with a katana?) but sensible. You can't really expect to beat a swarm of enemies with a sharp stick when they all have guns? Guns hurt. For some reason, you're character is forced to fight with a sword, instead of pulling out a gun and blasting the poor enemy away. Strange, but needed, otherwise you'd just blast your way through the game.
When defeating an enemy in a sword-fight, he/she falls on their knees. You can either spare them, or deliver the final-blow. Sparing them earns you some tasty respect points, which unlock things, like new sword moves. If you spare them, then they won't attack you again. They'll disappear. Kill them and you don't get any respect points. But if the enemy has killed you several times and you've finally managed to beat him, then it's strangely nice to just kill him and teach him a lesson...
Cutscenes aren't that common, and the main cutscenes appear in comic-book style form. Nice change.
This has strangely received some bad vibes for its graphics. The graphics aren't too bad. In some parts, there breath-taking, in the dojo for example. Character design is decent enough, as is the weapon design. Not he best, but it's still early days for next-gen consoles.
Now, I wonder how many of you skipped to this section to see what I said? I don't blame you. The main talking point is the controls, as is with any Wii game, but this more than many others.
Moving about is easy. Same as Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, which probably 95% of people with a Wii have played. Just moving the Control Stick on the nunchuck controls you. The Wii-mote determines where you face. You have total control of where you face. Up at the ceiling, down at the floor, a whole 360 degrees, anywhere. This part of the controls is pretty much perfect.
Shooting. Now this is where things get complicated. This game can be a nightmare to control at first, but give it a few minutes and you'll be settled. A few more and you're blasting enemies away easy. Some gamers are too impatient and discard a game as rubbish after 5 minutes, but this game is worth sticking with. You can aim anywhere, and the fact that it's you that's aiming, not a control stick, gives you a feeling of involvement. You are the shooter, not you controlling the shooter.
Sword-fighting. The nunchuck controls the left sword, the Wii-mote controls the right. A simple wave of the nunchuck to the side blocks an attack, and slashing the Wii-mote attacks. Easy enough. Hold 'C' and Press left or right on the Control Stick to dodge. Like I mentioned earlier, there is a slight lag.
Controlling other objects, like opening doors, is controlled by moving the nunchuck. To reload, open a door, over-turn a table or melee attack an enemy requires you to move the nunchuck up or down. Easy enough, but can get confusing at times.
Nice, Japanese style music. Guns make realistic sounds, as do the swords. Voice-acting is also decent.
The only real difficulty is in the controls. Some parts are hard, as you can die in 2 hits from a powerful gun. You heal automatically. Just refrain from being hit for a few seconds, then you're good as new. The game actually goes from easy to hard in a few levels.
Good enough. You can replay any level you want, and the multiplayer is excellent, keeping you hooked. Some parts you'll want to return to but for the main game, 4-5 playthroughs usually.
Scary to control at first, but worth sticking with. Do not write off. A very decent 8/10.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/02/07
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