Red Steel Review - 12/07/2007

Red Steel takes a bit of getting used to. Wait, come back! That in no way means that you shouldn’t buy it, because the more accomplished you become with the remote, the easier you’ll find this game.

Nintendo envisioned the controller to allow anyone to join in and get gaming straight away. Red Steel however chucks that out of the window; the remote and nunchuck are used and practically all the buttons are called into play - for a Wii virgin this is quite a lot of things to be going through your head, but as you progress it all begins to click and make sense.

The game starts from your viewpoint, and as you are going to meet your girlfriend’s father for the first time, a giant fish tank stands in front of you and you have to calibrate your view by looking at the different fish in the tank. This instantly stood out for me as it made you interact in the story a bit more than normal as your overly bossy girlfriend asks you to look at the ‘lovely’ fish.

As the level progresses your girlfriend and her father are kidnapped by Japanese gangsters and you have to try and get them back and the game splits you up from them whilst in a fire fight which teaches you how to use the remote as a gun. I found the aiming to be quite sensitive to begin with but as you slow your movements down it becomes easier to control. Rather confusingly you shake the nunchuck to knock over tables for use as cover and to reload, which sometimes results in you not having any cover and no attack as whilst reloading you are vulnerable - it’s perhaps best to knock over the cover and then reload.

As you progress through the level you gain the use of the sword through your girlfriend’s father and he teaches you how to use it. These sword fights are the most hyped and the bits I was most looking forward to and they don’t disappoint as the swipes and swishes you make with the remote and nunchuck translate onto the screen really well, it’s just a shame you cant use the sword anywhere in a level except the pre-scripted ‘boss’ characters.

The game takes you through a typical American setting through the first half of the game, but it’s not till you jet off to Japan that the graphics and environments start to look like a next gen game. The first half is full of drab looking hotel rooms or warehouses, but the Japan levels look really pretty with neon drenched skylines and some really inventive wacky levels where you go through different themed rooms, one like an observatory, and these levels also throw power ranger like ninjas at you instead of boring old American beefcakes.

The game has been well thought out and cries out for a sequel at the end, and apart from a few control niggles early on really does show the machine off well. The graphics, although adequate throughout, can sometimes show a little of the power that the Wii has under its smooth sleek white lines - the loading screens are especially good with pastel pencil drawn storyboards running throughout. The sound deserves a mention for some good atmospheric music and great sound effects, especially the sword clashes through the remote’s speaker; the scripting and voice actors are total ham unfortunately though, and sometimes ruin what is a good story.

Ubisoft haven’t just made an excellent single player mode, they’ve also added a great multiplayer mode as well - this is very reminiscent of the old classic Goldeneye, with one of the best features involving a game mode where you get a ‘secret’ mission given to you via the wiimote’s speaker, like protect the boss or kill the fisherman, and this would have been even better if it used the Wii’s online service as if you’re in the same room as someone it’s not quite so secret before the game starts. A great launch title for the Wii.

Graphics 7/10
Sound 8/10
Playability 8/10
Lastability 8/10


Ubisoft Paris