Review: Red Steel
Red Steel is a game that has come under fire ever since it was released and even before its release. I have played through most of the story mode and have played A LOT of multiplayer. I’m not sure if most of the reviewers that reviewed the game didn’t play through the game all the way or not–but it seems to me they didn’t give the game enough credit for what it sought to accomplish with new ways of using the Wiimote. Well, let’s get started on the story mode.
The storyline for Red Steel is different than most, but fits the mold of a few other games. You play as an American named Scott. Your fiancee has been kidnapped and you father-in-law is part of a Yakuza clan. There is another Yakuza group who is responsible for his daughter’s kidnapping. So, naturally, you’re the one that’s supposed to save her. The storyline develops more as you go along, but it really isn’t the strong point of the game. The story mode can be frustrating at times. You go through 5-10 checkpoints in each different level, which is good because you can load from these checkpoints. The annoying thing is that you die A LOT–so it’s a good thing they have lots of checkpoints. Overall, the story mode is engaging enough to keep you coming back and playing. It offers plenty of new sword skills and weapons to master as you progress.
One thing I wanted to mention that I LOVE about the game is the upgradable sword techniques. At first, I was pretty disappointed in the mediocre sword fighting. But the farther you get in the game, the more sword moves you can master. Some of the newer moves require a lot more coordination. The beginning moves don’t require much, but the more complex moves are quite rewarding. For example, one move requires that you slash the wiimote right, then left, then slash the nunchuk left. It does all these moves in succession on the screen, so it’s like a slash, slash, parry. Very cool. Anyways, on to the multiplayer.
Now the multiplayer is a little bit of a mixed bag. There are only 4 levels to choose from, but my friends and I couldn’t get enough of Red Steel. The multiplayer really is fun, even if you or some of your friends are struggling with the controls. It makes it really fun when you can get someone from the other side of the room with only a pistol, or being able to throw the grenade without blowing yourself up :D
Visuals: Red Steel has some of the most impressive visuals of any launch title. Light actually looks like it when it’s in your face. It affects the gameplay a lot too if you’re firing into the sun or light source. The environments are HUGE, and offer quite a bit of variety in both locations and objectives. It’s a very pretty game that has a lot of cultural influence. Locales in Japan are especially fun to play through.
Gameplay: There are some times that Red Steel falls short during gameplay. One is in the area of bounding boxes. The bounding box for aiming is so big that it is often hard to turn and shoot at the same time. That is my only BIG gripe with the game. Now, most will say this is enough to warrant not giving Red Steel the time of day–I disagree. It is worth the play through, because most people that play are a bunch of troglodytes that can’t seem to figure the controls out.
Replay Value: In my opinion, there is no real replay value if you’re talking about the single player mode. Now the multiplayer is a different story. Even with only the 4 levels, Red Steel encompasses a real treat for FPS multiplayer fans. It doesn’t bring much that’s new to the table, but it does make for a frantic fire-fight.
Wii Innovations: The innovation in the game falls short in some crucial areas. It doesn’t offer quite the precision I would like from a FPS with the Wiimote. I’m really looking forward to Metroid because I think that will be the benchmark for all FPS’s on the Wii.
Fun Factor: Multiplayer is fun, and some of the sword fights are fun. The sword fights can get pretty repetitive though after you’ve played through 20 or so guys. Definitely low on the list of pure fun titles for the Wii.
Verdict: If you’re in for a new experience in a first-person shooter, than Red Steel is, at least, worth a rent. The game succeeds in some areas, but falls short in some crucial control areas.