rAge 2009 : Red Steel 2 Hands-On

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If you played the first Red Steel Game on the Wii you probably would have been  – like I was – bitterly disappointed. It was meant to be the first game that got motion-controlled swordplay right. It failed, miserably. A lot of that had to do with the Wii itself – The Wiimote wasn’t anywhere near as accurate as Nintendo promised it would be, leading to Red Steel – and many other Wii titles – being a silly wagglefest.

Along came the Nintendo Wii MotionPlus, which as proven by Wii Sports Resort does allow for a much greater degree of control. Red Steel 2 represents a second chance for Ubisoft. Have they capitlised on the opportunity, or is Red Steel 2 set to flounder, much like its forebear?

The game’s setting is equal parts The good, the bad and the ugly and feudal Japanese epic, albeit in a revisionist futuristic setting, and the first thing you’ll notice is the huge change in visuals from its predecessor. Gone are the futile attempts at pushing realistic graphics on the Wii. Instead you’re presented with a heavily stylised world with a look more reminiscent of Ubisoft’s own XIII.

Red Steel 2 hook though is its sword combat. You’re equipped with your sword at all times, and a simple swipe of the Wiimote will relate to a slash on screen. Jabbing the Wiimote forward produces a similar stabbing motion. With both attacks, the more force you employ, the harder the in-game attack is. The MotionPlus accessory allows for the swordplay to feel a lot more natural and tangible. It’s not quite on par, with regards to precision, as Nintendo’s swordfighting in Wii Sports resort, but hopefully with the game delayed to 2010 they’ll have time to work out the remaining kinks.

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Complimenting the swordfighting is the more traditional first-person shooter element. Along with your sword you have access to your six-shooter, obviously controlled by the Wiimote’s infrared pointer. Like any other light-gun game on the Wii, it works flawlessly. You’ll have to use both offensive methods to disarm and dismember your numerous cyberninja enemies.

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The second profound thing you’ll notice is the game’s difficulty – despite being a Wii title there is quite a learning curve, something that made the short hands-on time I had with the game seem even shorter.

The game certainly needs a bit of polishing – which its delayed release should make provision for – but it’s certainly shaping up to be one of the best core gaming experiences available on the Wii.

Last Updated: October 5, 2009

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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