In Ubisoft’s cinematic Wii first person shooter game Red Steel players embark on an adrenaline rush adventure through Japan. You play the silent yet strong character Scott, an American bodyguard. While in Los Angeles you and your lovely Japanese girlfriend arrive to meet her father. Suddenly, a shoot-out ensues. In the midst of the chaos your fiance is captured by a handful of thugs. You discover that your future father-in-law is actually a yakuza crime boss with many enemies. Scott must travel from L.A. to Japan mastering gun and sword fighting skills for revenge. To save your kidnapped girlfriend you must unleash the fury of the steel and take down the yakuza gangsters.
Gameplay (4 out of 5)
The gameplay is extremely fun. Players are allowed to carry two weapons simultaneously for some intense action experience. There is a good variety of weaponry at your disposal. You can use pistols, shotguns, semi-automatics, or grenades to destroy yakuza gangsters. Grenades are thrown by a tossing movement with the nunchuk while holding down the Wii Remote’s D-Pad. The focus mode enables players to slow time to accurately fire shots. Throughout the game you’ll be maneuvering from factories, cities, high-rise buildings, a creepy amusement park and various locations in Japan. As the game progresses you earn opportunities to pick up extra fighting moves. After an enemy has been conquered in a one-on-one sword fight you are asked if you with to kill or let them live. It’s totally up to you but to receive a high ‘respect status’ it’s important to select the let live option more often than kill. Each time ‘respect status’ is earned there is an increase in the amount of samurai skills that can be taught to you. Red Steel also has a challenging multiplayer mode. You can compete with up to four players in a standard split-screen.
Graphics & Sound (4 out of 5)
The graphics in this game are nice. There are a few glitches where the enemies get frozen, but overall it’s visually impressive. Occasionally after a mission a beautifully animated cut-scene will play similar to the graphic novel Sin City. Players travel through brightly lit cities to customary Japanese dojos. The close attention to detail add immensely to the graphics and 16.9 widescreen progressive-scan display option. A very cool aspect to Red Steel is the destructible environments. Some of the explosion effects are mind blowing. The sound is incredible. If you’re a fan of J-pop, like me, than you’ll love the soundtrack. It includes a mixture of heart pounding rock as well. All of the sound effects fit well within the games action scenes and mellow points. The sword clicks and gun shots seem very realistic.
Controls (4 out of 5)
Ubisoft took full advantage of the Wii’s controllers. They had the handy Wii remote and nunchuk attachment in mind when they created Red Steel. The analog stick is used to move your character through the changing environments and the Wii remote is used primarily for shooting. A quick jerk of your nunchuk reloads your gun, blocks enemies, and pushes doors open. Weapon sound effects soar through the Wii remote speakers so always check the volume levels. The Wii remote moves your sword. Moving the Wii remote in the direction of the screen will allow you to zoom close-ups on enemies. If you’ve never played a first person shooter on Wii before it might take a little time to get used to the wrist movements. Once you’ve played for awhile the controls are easy to pick up on.
Overall Rating: (4 out of 5)
Red Steel may not be the best game ever to be released on Wii, but it has it’s good points. Ubisoft created a storyline similar to a Japanese action flick. Filled with cinematic cutout scenes, true to form Japanese environments, and a blend of two cultures Red Steel is entertaining. The levels and variety of weapons keep players engaged. The Wii remote controller aids in pretty accurate aiming. There are plenty of ruthless gangsters to duel, snipe, and blast away. Although, a few glitches and lack of replay value exist, Red Steel remains a noteworthy game. If you’re strict when it comes to games having replay value than I recommend renting it first. Overall it’s a fun, shots blazing, and sword swinging time.