Review by KirbyRockz

"Red Steel... mediocre? Read on."

Red Steel is a game created by Ubisoft for the Nintendo Wii console. It was announced before E3, and E3 even had a playable demo. All were impressed by its innovative use of the Wii Remote and its functions. Rumors flew. Would this be /the/ FPS that sets the bar for all future Wii shooters? Could it be the next GoldenEye? Read on, my friend, and you shall see.

This is something, in my opinion, that is not as crucial to the "heartbeat" of a First Person Shooter. You're in the game to shoot stuff, not listen to long, overly drawn-out cut scenes. If you believe the same way, that's good. Why? Because the storyline in this game is absolutely terrible. Basically, you are Scott Monroe, the protagonist of the game. You are engaged to Miyu, daughter of a Yakuza stronghold, Sato. When you are about to meet him for the first time, he and Miyu get attacked. Miyu gets taken... and that's where the game takes off. You must save your girlfriend. Not exactly an "innovative" plot. A huge problem I also had was you can't skip the cut scenes... the extremely long, overly boring cut scenes. I wasn't emotionally stirred in the slightest bit. I suggest turning the sound down while you play this game.

This is where I deviate from the line of current reviewers. I really liked the graphics in this game. It's something the GameCube could never think of doing. Just look at the reflections in the floor, or the spectacular water detail! They also put a lot of thought into making it seem real. For instance, if you shoot a pipe on the wall, a hole will be seen with steam spraying out of it. A very nice touch, if you ask me. Contrary to what most people say, I liked the character design. The only graphics I did not like in this game are the multiplayer graphics, which I will get to shortly. That aside, I thought it was very fresh and well done, overall.

While there were some nice touches via the use of the Wii Remote's speaker, there really isn't much to glorify here. First off, the voices. The voice-overs in this game were, quite possibly the worst that anyone has ever seen. Some examples follow. "Hey, there's another one left! Let's kill him!" "Stop, you *******!" "You're gonna die!" "Murderer!" "Drop your weapon! *fires at you*" Yeah. Really, really bad. The non-combat voice-overs are just as bad, in my opinion. It's like they opted for the cheapest actors and missed out on something that could have been high quality. We also have the problem of non-voice sounds. The music in this game is absolutely dreadful, and completely annoying in every respect; but they didn't separate the "Sound Effects" and "Music" on the options, so you can't turn it down. So, if you want to at least hear your gun fire, you're going to have to live with it. The gun sounds themselves are very true-to-life, and the cool mixture of Wii Remote speaker sounds coupled with the noise of bullets flying by your head in the game is very nice. It's just sad they had to look over the voice acting like that.

Shooting: This category is where Red Steel shines the most. It takes the ideas of all current FPS games, rips it out of the water and serves it up with some salad. People say they had excruciatingly difficult problems with the controls, but it was not the same for me. The game's controls were absolutely FLAWLESS. You aim, the game aims. You move your Remote closer to the screen, the game zooms in for accuracy. Want to reload? Pull down on your Nunchuk, like pulling the magazine out of the gun. Need some extra firepower? Take out a grenade, and just swing your Nunchuk. It's all very immersive, and I can't get enough of it. I can bear playing through this game countless times, just so that I can continue with taking out hordes of Yakuza with just my pistol. I can't say it enough, it was truly a perfect control experience for me.

Sword fighting: Well... it's not what everyone was expecting. Most hoped for a true "follows the Remote pixel for pixel" experience (Similar to the baseball bat in Baseball for Wii Sports), but they didn't get it. The sword stays centered, no matter how you're twisting it. That being said, I still thought it was fun. I had some trouble getting it to respond to my slashes at first, but after adjusting the sword fighting sensitivity, it was great. It's a typical defend-attacks-then-attack system with a bit of dodging here and there, and that can get pretty boring after awhile. The main problem I had with this was the AI. It's not random at all, and once you realize their pattern it's extremely easy to counter. Still a lot of fun to take out a full-blown Ninja in a katana duel from the comfort of your own home, though.

Game play
Single Player: This is what you came for, and this is what you get--nothing special. The game consists of 3 Acts with a total of 14 missions. Sounds nice, but just how much time did they spend on it? Not enough, apparently. The levels are overly linear, the AI is stupid, and the mission system is useless. You'll receive plenty of tasks along the course of your mission, but they all just point to one thing: get from point A to point B to win. That's all. I never once looked at the "current objectives" screen because there's no need to. The level design was terrible. You go through one door, kill the enemies in the room, and go through the next, then go through a hallway, then go through another room with more enemies, then you swordfight, then another doorway. It really gets boring after awhile. There is really only one level that peaked my interest, and that level is Tetsuo's Games in Act 2. This is the trippiest level of any FPS I've ever played. I won't spoil anything for you, but if you like anime girls and rabbits, you will fall in love with this mission. Other than that, it was bad. Really bad.

Multiplayer: Now that I finally retrieved a second Wii Remote, I recently started playing this with my friends. Despite having basic character skins and only four maps, I really had a good time with it. Killer Mode was hours of fun (you get a secret objective through your Wii Remote speaker, and must complete it before the other players complete theirs), and the good ol' Deathmatch is hard to beat. The only complaints I have here are the graphics and frame rate. The two are okay in a 2 player battle, but for every player you add, they drop significantly. In a four-player match, the graphics look very bad and the frame rate is so choppy, you'll be dying for the match to just be over the first time. You get used to it, but in my opinion it's not something I should have to get used to. They could have at least worked on the engine a bit.

Conclusion: This game, as you can see, was mediocre. It didn't live up to the hype at all. That being said, I had a fantastic time playing it. It's one of those things that you know isn't good, but you play it anyway. At least rent it. Don't shell out the price if you don't think you'll be playing Multiplayer a lot. Let's just hope that the next FPS takes the good parts of Red Steel and improves upon its gray spots. Still, it was an okay game... and so far is the only thing you'll have for shooting on the Wii. Not a bad start, if you ask me.

Overall rating: 7/10

Reviewer's Rating:   3.5 - Good

Originally Posted: 01/29/07

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