Review by ravenhood27

"Despite a few technical setbacks, Red Steel still impresses."

Red Steel, the brand new FPS from Ubisoft, is a great way to start off the Wii's life.

Gameplay: The gameplay, although solid, has a few setbacks that prevent it from being as great as it was expected to be, although they are fairly minor. The Wii Remote acts as both your gun and, on occasion, your sword. The sword fights are well done, but there is a very limited variety of attacks. In addition, during sword fights, the Remote is not as responsive as it could be. Luckily, that isn't a large issue, as the sword fights are usually quite simple.

Gunplay, on the other hand, is much more polished. All you need to do is point and shoot, moving the cursor to the sides of the screen to turn/look around. Unfortunately, the cursor/pointer on the screen will occasionally "jump," causing the player to lose control of where the aimer is pointed, making them re-aim in the proper direction, which could easily be fatal at some points in the game. However, the AI/CPU isn't exactly the brightest, so that shouldn't be a large issue.

Visuals: Yes, this game isn't exactly "beautiful," but it's not horrible. The characters themselves could use some decent improvement, and the textures aren't always superb, but the overall look of each location is usually stunning, especially in the brighter areas.

Sound: This is a huge strongpoint for the game. The music, composed by Tom Salta, is among the best music of the next generation thus far. The music is always well placed and timed for each level and situation, whether it be a large-scale gunfight or a one-on-one sword duel.

Voice Acting and Replayability: This is where Red Steel falls short. The voice acting for almost every character is well below average. There are some characters that you may be indifferent to, and there are some that you just can't wait to shoot (or, in some cases, slice).

As for replayability, all the game offers is a Replay A Level option (to attempt to achieve a higher Rank) and a good and bad ending. A Samurai Rank is needed for a perfect percentage (which is 105%, not 100%) and is not needed if you get the Samurai Rank on each level during your first playthrough. Unfortunately, the Replay A Level option contains a glitch which prevents the player from achieving a higher rank. One of the factors that affects your ranking, the Respect Points (earned by disarming enemies and sparing lives in sword duels), is reset to zero during each major load. So, if you want to make sure that you get all Samurai ranks (or, to see both endings), you may have to play the game through twice.

Overall: Red Steel certainly accomplishes its goal of being a solid shooter/sword-fighter, but it falls a little bit short due to technical issues. Still, it lives up to the hype created prior to release. I would recommend renting it first, however, as this game is not for the every day FPS lover.

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/02/07

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