Thursday 29 April 2010

Review | Red Steel 2 - 2nd Look

Many of you may remember Red Steel, the mediocre wii slasher/shooter that while created a stir with it's promise of motion sensitive sword and gun-play, failed to wow players due to it's inaccurate controls. Now the sequel requiring the wii motion plus is available, will Ubisoft's first-person-slasher-shooter (FPSS... you heard it here first) be a cut above the rest or a shot in the dark?

I'll address first what you all want to know: Yes the sword controls have been improved. In attacking and defending, the direction, angle and speed of which you hold and swing the wiimote is accurately translated onto the screen as your avatar performs slashes and parries, as well as special moves and finishers. However, while it is fun to role-play as the samurai sword-slinger for the first few hours, swinging your arms at full stretch as instructed, you'll soon be reduced to unenthusiastic flicks of the wrist. The gun controls are slightly improved also, but gunplay is downplayed in this outing, used mostly to stun weaker enemies or hit out of reach bonus items.

Forgoing its predecessor's modern Japanese backdrop, Red Steel 2 instead chooses a cel-shaded fictional ancient east-meets-wild west setting. The graphics are pretty impressive for the wii, and the colourful characters and enemies are well designed and highly animated, fitting in with the slightly corny tone. However, the sandy sepia-toned environments become stale after a short while, as the game asks you to traverse each dusty town multiple times before progressing.

Perhaps with a more linear design and with more varied environments, this game could have really excelled. As it stands Red Steel 2 boasts an enjoyable and visually impressive combat system (especially once you have unlocked all the different moves) that is let down by a game that mostly feels like filler. In short, for owners of the wii and wii motion plus looking for a few hours of fun, Red Steel 2 delivers, but others may want to wait for a price slash before giving this one a shot.

CeX Rathbone Place, London
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