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A COUPLE OF YEARS DEVELOPMENT AND WHAT DO YOU GET?
on 29 March 2010
After playing, and just about enjoying, Red Steel, sort of, I was looking forward to seeing if Ubisoft could finally bring together their sword and gunplay idea and make it work in a cohesive and enjoyable manner. So I had a bit of spare change and with nothing else kicking around the game shelves that I fancied or didn`t already have, not to mention the fact that I already had a motion plus, I though `why not,' and grabbed a copy of the long awaited Red Steel 2. So here goes my point by point review:
- Controls work much better than the first game and for most part feel as tight as my bosses wallet.
- The West Meets East, mad max, stylings are intriguing and the graphics are clear and sharp, although extremely sparse feeling when compared to something similar like Borderlands - fair enough this is Wii and we all know about the graphics capabilities...but more on that later, these are supposed to be the good points after all.
- Swordplay soon opens up to be varied and interest and gives you plenty of scope for decent battle scenarios.
- The music is fittingly spaghetti western with small touches of that japanesque feel for extremely good measure.
- The cell shading works surprisingly well at defining the play area and enemies clearly.
- Aiming is precise and guns feel chunky and powerful, oh yes.
- The game is a decent length and flows quite well even without much of a story or a proper map.
- Missions are varied enough to keep you occupied till the ultimate conclusion.
- Character design is very cool indeed.
- Quicktime events are decent.
- The controls though tight are not always as responsive as you'd like. Often you'll be swinging around wildly trying to pull of the move you're attempting, and even with the slightly off-puttingly cumbersome motion plus block attached you'll be wishing for a simple button combo in no time as you try to relax after work.
- The levels though nice and clearly rendered are ludicrously sparse looking leading to a soulless feel, and yes I know this isn't my PS3 or 360 but the wii is always trying to prove it can achieve all, if not more, than other consoles with it's intuitive controls and simple graphics but lets face it this is far from the most immersive game world you'll ever inhabit, and it will leave a lot of gamers feeling detached from the overall experience.
- Story? Character development? Anyone?.......nope...okay then.
- The sound effects and music may be very nice but the voice acting is substandard and ultimately cheesy
- The lack of an overall map means that you get lead around like a child by the hand through the medium of little area maps with big green arrows. It's disappointing and only helps detach you all the more from a game world that should feel alive and fit for exploration.
- The lack of blood really takes away from any truly visceral feeling and reward you should get from flapping around your wiimote, plus it makes the finishers seem pointless and nigh on redundant. When you blast an enemies down to their knees then slash them with your awesome sword you would expect, quite reasonably, to see heads fly but instead you lamely knock them aside as they emit what looks like dust or milk or something - pathetic - oh and what's that I hear? Ah, it's that old friend immersion circling the bowl in desperation yet again.
- it just doesn't do anything especially new or interesting.
- With all the time they've had to work on this it adds little new to the original apart from amped up controls and a different setting- plus and it's by no means the best looking game on the system - for that you need a copy of the new Silent Hill or Mario Galaxy.
Red steel 2 is at it's core a solid shooter with a decent little bit of swordplay tacked on for good measure, but after all the criticism and time they've had since the first game it should have been much, much more than that. However if you take a good hard look at the overall package it is a game that seems to try it's hardest to alienate it's audience and leave them feeling cold and uninspired. Any notion of the visceral or depth is quickly counteracted by empty feeling levels and dry violence. Ultimately it's worth a rental if you're curious but if you just want to relax and enjoy a decent game rather than feeling slightly uninspired and end up flapping around what could have ultimately been a few button presses then get something else.