|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Ubisoft||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Ubisoft||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov 2006||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1 - 4||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|Review by Darwin||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
by Darwin C.
Launch day. Set up the Wii. Rip the cellophane off the new games. Jump in head first. Sorry Zelda, youre not my style. I need to shoot something and thats where RS comes in.
Ive been watching the development of Red Steel for awhile as I was quite intrigued to play an action game where I would be fused together with my onscreen counterpart, shooting and slicing my way through hordes of enemies and trying to decide who I will shoot and who I will slice. But the reality soon came crashing down around me: the game will decide who I can slice, not me. If my enemy has a sword, I will meet him with my blade. Im all for honor but Id prefer to just shoot some of these samurai dudes. Unfortunately thats the not the worst of it.
Red Steel suffers and it literally pains me to say that.
Its not an unplayable game by any means but there are all kinds of unpolished elements that just make it appear rushed at best and unfinished at worst. During the gameplay youll witness clipping, floating characters, stuck characters, slowdown and unfair and inconsistent AI which will see them standing around waiting to be killed, sniping you from unseen areas and other frustrating trials. Some other elements conspire to erode any realism the game may generate. The levels are linear and you are forced into swordplay whenever youre confronted by an enemy wielding a blade even though you may have a couple of guns on your person. Not only cant you use your guns but you cant even shoot at one of these swordsmen from a distance as the bullet will just go through him. Is this game trying to enforce chivalry? I say you should be able to use whatever youve got in inventory. To paraphrase the classic Indiana Jones saying, Dont bring a sword to a gunfight.
There is so much potential to Red Steel that it almost begs for a sequel, if anything, to get it right. The story is interesting as are the cast of enemy characters, the Japanese mafia known as the Yakuza. Unfortunately they are reduced to the level of the thugs on the 60s Batman television series. Playing as the nondescript Scott, the main protagonist, your girlfriend has been kidnapped by members of the Yakuza, which are hostile towards her father who is a high-ranking member of a different gang. Travelling to Japan, you befriend a rival family and by performing various tasks, they assist you in locating your girlfriend. Here you will begin training to become a samurai. The action will take you to warehouses, industrial compounds, high tech offices, apartments and the shady, neon-soaked, parts of the city. The game definitely takes its cue from Max Payne but is unable to make the gameplay and the storyline flow. It even features a form of bullet time called Focus Mode in which time slows down allowing you to pick off the enemy AI in style.