On top of weaving an emotional, character-driven story, Metro 2033 innovates the shooter genre with a few interesting tweaks. For one, gas masks play an integral role in your quest; in many areas, you'll die without clean oxygen, so finding tanks becomes as important as picking up weapons and ammo. The masks can also be broken during intense melees with enemies; an abundance of oxygen will do little good when a razor-sharp claw rips through your mask's visor. The game also incorporates an interesting economic mechanic where your ammo is also your money. The "shoot it or spend it" dynamic could add a nice layer of strategy to the usual run-and-gun recipe. Couple these tweaks with the promising story, and Moscow's metro system could turn out to be as interesting as Rapture.
Red Steel 2 (Ubisoft, Ubisoft Paris)
Release Date: March 23, 2010
Ubisoft's ambitious follow-up to their Wii launch title is more a spiritual successor than a full-on sequel. That's great news though, as the original game, despite having some good ideas, did not live up to its-or the Wii's-potential. This series reboot is new from top to bottom, retaining only the original's core concept of blade and bullet-fueled combat.
Adopting an impressive visual style that evokes a graphic novel-like presentation-similar to Borderlands-rather than a more realistic aesthetic, Red Steel 2 is one of the best looking games we've seen on Nintendo's modestly powered console. Complementing its fresh look is a narrative direction that combines appealing Old West storytelling and slick Kill Bill-like style.
Supporting its graphical upgrade and sharp story-steered campaign are Wii-motion controls that promise to make you forget the unresponsive waggling of the first game. Incorporating the new Wii MotionPlus tech, Red Steel 2's sword swipes feel like the real deal, providing the closest 1:1 control the console's ever seen. Of course, you'll be shooting as much as sword swinging, so count on this one to arm you with a variety of inspired gunslinging options. With massive improvements being made all around, Red Steel 2 looks like it could live up to the promise first hinted at by its predecessor.
CCC Freelance Writer