Red Steel

Red Steel Review for Wii

On: Wii

Gun and Katana sword action for the Wii.

Review verdict Read Review
4Out of 10
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It showed so much potential
It showed so much potential

It showed so much potential

Among the handful of games released for the Wii this year, Red Steel was one of the flagship launch titles, and rightfully so. The game was designed specifically for the Wii console in mind, and unlike almost every other launch developer, Ubisoft has made a solid attempt to actually take advantage of the Wii's strengths, both from a visual standpoint and by making full use of the Wii-mote's motion-sensing control. The result? Red Steel is like receiving Sonic the Hedgehog on the Xbox 360 from your mother for Christmas, instead of Rainbow Six: Vegas. The right intentions are there, and you recognize that, but in the end, it's not exactly what you wanted.

The game begins as players take the role of Scott, a bodyguard who has fallen head-over-heals for a woman who happens to be the daughter of a powerful Yakuza boss. During a trip to L.A. to ask the mob boss for his daughter's hand in marriage, things go a bit awry. Scott's girlfriend is kidnapped, a group of thugs attempt to take out her father, and our heroic bodyguard is left with no other choice but to pull the trigger.

Before you riddle L.A., and later Japan, with bullet holes, you're introduced to the control mechanics by moving the Wii-mote to target specific fish, ala the tutorial in Halo and every other first-person shooter. Then you'll knock over a table by swinging the Nunchuck up and then pick up your first weapon by striking the Nunchuck down. So far so good, right? Once the action starts, however, it becomes clear that Ubisoft has had an all-out-battle trying work with the Wii-mote, and from the looks of it, it's a battle they lost - big time.

Throughout the course of the reasonably lengthy single-player game, the Wii-mote will work properly around 40 percent of the time - and that's no exaggeration. Full batteries and synching couldn't save the constant flickering of the cursor as it jets all over the screen without any movement from the Wii-mote, making passing through some of the later, much more difficult levels, extremely frustrating. Turning is equally as wearisome and seems to be the Achilles' heel of the Wii-mote so far (though Retro has done some great work with Metroid Prime). Moving the Wii-mote left and right to turn is a painstakingly sluggish process, and makes those ever-important head shots impossible to make as you round a corner and have to adjust your cursor accordingly.

'Moving the Wii-mote left and right to turn is a painstakingly sluggish process...'

The same type of control issues extend their ugly heads into the sword play as well. While this is undoubtedly a cool idea, using the Wii-mote to hack away at enemies, it's poorly executed and is based around the luck of the swing (the luck being if the game registers your action) rather than the skill of the player. It's like the roll of a dice, you have no control over what number comes up, and similarly with Red Steel, swinging the Wii-mote to the left doesn't necessarily mean that your strike will echo your action. The early battles are a bit more forgiving, but in later sword fights, where the bosses can parry what seems like all of your attacks and have near infinite health, battling with the game's limitations can prove costly. And trust me, after dying a few times, you'll never want to have to put up with the painful loading screens again, not to mention the fact that in a few levels you have to start straight from the beginning if you die!

That's not to say Ubisoft didn't have some neat tricks up its sleeve. Throwing grenades, for example, is intuitive and a nice example of what the Wii-mote can do. Swing the Nunchuck in a downward motion, and Scott will roll the grenade across the floor, or use an overhand throw motion and he'll lob the grenade across the room. It works well, but there's something seriously wrong with the picture when enemies can take one, two, and no word-of-a-lie, even three grenades before succumbing to the inevitable. Killing a thug from distance can require an entire clip and, even at close range, enemies seem to have the supernatural ability to get back up after a blast to the chest (or head for that matter).

It looks ok, but nothing more than GameCube quality.

It looks ok, but nothing more than GameCube quality.

Visually Red Steel is arguably the best looking Wii launch title, but it still resembles a third-generation GameCube game with its generic character designs, poor textures and wonky frame rate. Luckily for HD owners, the game features 480p as well as widescreen support, which is a huge plus given all the bugs that plague the game, including (but definitely not limited to) disappearing characters, vanishing textures, and of course, the aforementioned control issues.

If you're looking for strong multiplayer support, you might want to hold out a bit longer as well. Red Steel features four-player split screen support, but it's just as uninspiring as the single-player game. Nintendo really needs to get its online support up and running if it ever wants to stand a chance against Microsoft's excellent Live service, or even Sony's up-and-coming online offering.

Sadly, Red Steel is nothing more than a rushed launch title that will inevitably end up in bargain bins across the globe, and that's unfortunate. Why? Because Red Steel has a ton of potential. Sure, my old Biology teacher said the exact same thing to me and look where my potential got me... Nevertheless, Ubisoft is a talented group and had all the right ideas, and with a bit more development time, Red Steel could have been a great demonstration of the Wii's controls. As it stands, you're better off holding off on Wii FPS action until Prime arrives.

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User Comments

bencrosaby's Avatar

bencrosaby@ georgehoward

Quote:
Originally Posted by georgehoward
prodigious gaming
what a daft name
Georgehoward, what a daft name... :glare:
Posted 17:33 on 04 November 2007
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georgehoward

prodigious gaming
what a daft name
Posted 17:13 on 04 November 2007
adz's Avatar

adz

Pro-G stands for Prodigious gaming. I like the Wii but the same thing can be said for the Wii, all you do is wave around the wii-mote and mash some buttons.
Posted 16:01 on 25 October 2007
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georgehoward

my cousin got a wii about a week ago, and every time i see him we have gone on it. i completely agree with sulaadair, because when you think about it, the ps3 and the xbox 360 are both the same. ok, so there isn't any halo games on ps3, and the same with resistance:FOM for 360, but really the only things you have to do are wave around an anologue stick and mash some buttons. the wii is completely different in every way!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so if i were you, Pro-G, i would appreciate even 1 level of swordfighting on redsteel and i would give it a great review

P.S. I assume Pro-G stands for Professional Gamer. Well I'll be honest with you, i think i am more of a pro than you
Posted 09:43 on 25 October 2007
Tom's Avatar
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Tom

I am thinking of getting Red Steel, should I get it--- YES/NO???
Posted 18:28 on 21 May 2007
sulaadair's Avatar
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sulaadair

nintendo rules 2007 four more reasons than just games. for one they have sold more wii in the short time that they have been out than ps3(crap) and the 360(great). BUT its not the qantity of wii sold is the quantity. the 360 has good graphics but in the end is just an x-box with a different color. and the same with the ps3 which is a glorified ps2. the wii on the other hand is a totaly new system whitch bring fun to new and harcore gamers. also it has a great control system and amazing games with twilight princess and red steel to name a few.
Posted 09:50 on 22 January 2007
Robo_1's Avatar

Robo_1@ Kiroquai

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiroquai
Broken premise? No. I have the very same game reviewed here, and suffer the very same problems. The aiming is all over the shop no matter if you try and adjust the sensitivity, and the amount of times that you end up randomly looking at the floor whilst rotating in circles becomes insanely frustrating. Most of the time you end up waving the remote vaguely at the screen hoping it'll cure itself.

The only time I've ever experienced that, is when the Christmas Tree lights were on next to the TV. The Wii mote works by tracking it's position relative to the sensor bar. Ubisoft haven't programmed the game to just sporadically flip out, so the only time you'll be experiencing such broken behaviour is when the communication between the Wiimote and sensor bar is disrupted.

Let me be clear, there is a huge difference between claiming a control system is "unwieldy" or that it's "broken". One is an opinion, the other - in this case - is rubbish. If the control system was broken, then it wouldn't be effecting certain people, it would be next to unplayable, which clearly isn't the case. Hell just check out the comments in this thread and other forums, have we all taken back handers from Ubisoft?

I've no problem with a reviewer claiming a control system is bad or poor, but claiming it functions correctly only 40 percent of the time is hugely misleading, as that would be an issue EVERYONE would be complaining about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiroquai
Likewise, the game looks average, has a soundtrack full of horrible 'rock' filler tunes and a throwaway story with throwaway characters.

The game looks like a good Gamecube game, the music suits the action and the narrative isn't special but gets the job done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiroquai
Cheek to keep the review up? Stop talking rubbish. The reviewer has bought up issues that plenty of other people have. Countless other reviews have criticised Red Steel for not aiming properly. Are their Wiis set up incorrectly too? Look at the game's average review score on Gamerankings: 64.5%. Pro-G may be slightly on the low side for scoring with it, but it's hardly as if it's racking up the great scores elsewhere, is it?

The review was founded on a broken premise, that the controls worked only 40 percent of the time. No way on this planet could anyone playing the game experience that, without their Wii either being set up incorrectly, or an external light source interfering with the sensor bar.

If it weren't for that particular statement, I probably wouldn't have even commented on the review, even though I strongly disagree with it. Check the forums of those site's who've slated it. A lot of people are finding the review scores for this excessively harsh, and I do put it down to reviewers being forced to rush their way through the game, not having time to properly familiarise themselves with the new control system, and unsurprisingly struggling with it.

Hell, the reviewer himself conceded that the controls were more manageable the more time he spent with it.

I also object to the way that the review "plus, minus bar" indicates the only plus point as potential. That's being incredibly spiteful. The honour system works incredibly well, being able to target the leader of a group first to get everyone else to lay down their arms is certainly worthy of praise.

The sword fighting is both intuitive and exciting, balancing combos, reflexes and wiimote usage incredibly well. The "freeze aiming" system also works well, and the set pieces the game continually throws at you keeps everything moving forward nicely, keeping the action interesting - hell just play through the mad "fun house" level. That in-particular is worth commenting on, when a game such as F.E.A.R. gets across the board praise for essentially locking you in a shoe box for eight hours (although obviously that game has great A.I.).

I loved Red Steel and would give it a solid 8/10 in a heart beat. It's frame rate is a little flakey, the A.I. is very rudimentary but it's also a barrel of fun with plenty of cinematic shootouts, original touches and maybe the most important part, a control system which brings you further into the genre than before.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiroquai
Actually, wrong. The person who set up this site has turned it into a profitable media company with huge view ratings. Anyone can do that? Nope. I wrote with the guy at an old site and he's come a long way and achieved a heck of a lot more than 95% of gaming websites ever have or will.

I know that wasn't aimed at anything I've said, but I would like to add that despite my current grumbles with the Red Steel review, I am a big fan of Pro-G. Even though I certainly wouldn't base my buying decisions on them, their attitude is bang on the money, as evidenced by Vallentin's more than reasonable response to his critics. You wouldn't get that on an other euro-centric web site I won't mention, so kudos for that :).
Posted 21:02 on 11 January 2007
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Kiroquai@ Vallentin

Some of the comments in this thread are odd.

Quote:
I'm amazed Pro G have the cheek to keep the review online actually. It's based on a completely broken premise, that the control responsiveness is broken.

That's not a matter of opinion, it's a wrongly calibrated Wii, I'm 60 percent in and I've had zero control problems of the like described in the review. I've not got a special copy with all the bugs ironed out, but I did make sure my Wii was properly set up.

The whole "sword play is random" thing is again, more a highlight of the reviewers lack of skill using the wiimote than any failure on Ubisoft's part. I'm no super gamer, but when I block I block, when I parry I parry and when I strike I strike.

It's funny that the reviewer sites Red Steel as being rushed, as that's exactly how this review comes across.

Broken premise? No. I have the very same game reviewed here, and suffer the very same problems. The aiming is all over the shop no matter if you try and adjust the sensitivity, and the amount of times that you end up randomly looking at the floor whilst rotating in circles becomes insanely frustrating. Most of the time you end up waving the remote vaguely at the screen hoping it'll cure itself. Likewise, the game looks average, has a soundtrack full of horrible 'rock' filler tunes and a throwaway story with throwaway characters.

Cheek to keep the review up? Stop talking rubbish. The reviewer has bought up issues that plenty of other people have. Countless other reviews have criticised Red Steel for not aiming properly. Are their Wiis set up incorrectly too? Look at the game's average review score on Gamerankings: 64.5%. Pro-G may be slightly on the low side for scoring with it, but it's hardly as if it's racking up the great scores elsewhere, is it?

Quote:
Any old person can set up a website and review and review games or rate games, I guess that's what you've done, I'd like you to tell me your best game. What is it the controls to hard for you to voilent. You don't look as if you're the most experienced gamer anyway. Maybe you should get an alrounded opinion first. But there's no way you'll change my opinion. Infact, you're score makes me laugh!

Actually, wrong. The person who set up this site has turned it into a profitable media company with huge view ratings. Anyone can do that? Nope. I wrote with the guy at an old site and he's come a long way and achieved a heck of a lot more than 95% of gaming websites ever have or will.

Quote:
PRO-G.CO.UK
MAKE
IT
9/10
OR
ILL
KIK
YOUR
ASS

IF
PRO-G.CO.UK
HAD
SCORED
RED
STEEL
9/10
THEY
WOULD
HAVE
OBVIOUSLY
TAKEN
A
HUGE
BACKHANDER
FROM
UBISOFT
Posted 22:06 on 06 January 2007
Vallentin's Avatar

Vallentin

I appreciate all of your comments and criticism, negative or positive. I had finished Red Steel the week prior to writing the review, and though I agree that the longer you play the game, the better you get at tackling the control issues, in the end, Red Steel is a rushed title on all fronts. From the awful cardboard cut-out cinematics to the, yes, wonky controls, I simply couldn't get into Red Steel. A game like Call of Duty 3 (or even Far Cry for that matter) did a much better job at handling the first person genre on the wii.

Pat: My best game? Probably a tie between Ocarina of Time and the original MGS (not that lousy GC port!).

Thanks again for your feedback everyone, always welcomed and much appreciated.

Cheers.
Posted 16:13 on 03 January 2007
tomarlyn's Avatar

tomarlyn@ bencrosaby

Wooo I only read reviews out of curiosty or to rubber stamp a purchase for something I'm already interested in.

I finished the game before reading this one and I know a lot of places gave RS a harsh look. But 4/10 and the content of this article is comical and untrue for the most part (no offense to the journalist).

I'm not even trying to say its great or anything (its really flawed), but its good for a launch game. A 6 with a re-written review and some care put into the research wouldn't have made me raise the ''wtf'' flag. ''Why should I care'' I say to myself though...
Posted 06:45 on 02 January 2007
vandy's Avatar

vandy@ bencrosaby

You have two simple choices:

a) You can read honest reviews about what the reviewer actually thinks about the game - not what they think people *want* to hear.

Or...

b) You can read reviews that make you feel better.

I was really looking forward to this but I'd be the first to admit that it's just not good enough. Fun in parts, but mostly unrefined and obviously rushed for release.
Posted 16:44 on 01 January 2007
adz's Avatar

adz@ tino2k7

Quote:
Originally Posted by tino2k7

PRO-G.CO.UK
MAKE
IT
9/10
OR
ILL
KIK
YOUR
ASS

is he aloud to say that?
cheeky wee bugger isn't he!
Posted 14:35 on 01 January 2007
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Pat@ bencrosaby

Any old person can set up a website and review and review games or rate games, I guess that's what you've done, I'd like you to tell me your best game. What is it the controls to hard for you to voilent. You don't look as if you're the most experienced gamer anyway. Maybe you should get an alrounded opinion first. But there's no way you'll change my opinion. Infact, you're score makes me laugh!
Posted 14:31 on 01 January 2007
tino2k7's Avatar

tino2k7@ bencrosaby

red steel should be 9/10 because i got a wii for crimbo and red steel a few days after and i have had zero problems with the controls setting it up or moving the player around it was easy at start just read the instructions at the bottom of the screen propperly and your off but if you dont your will die and never complete the game and that will be ashame i am only a few levels in but as you shoot more the better you get the best things about the game is that you get to parry and use sowrds the best bits about the guns are you can turn them sideways by tiling the remote so



PRO-G.CO.UK
MAKE
IT
9/10
OR
ILL
KIK
YOUR
ASS
Posted 16:08 on 31 December 2006
Robo_1's Avatar

Robo_1@ bencrosaby

I'm amazed Pro G have the cheek to keep the review online actually. It's based on a completely broken premise, that the control responsiveness is broken.

That's not a matter of opinion, it's a wrongly calibrated Wii, I'm 60 percent in and I've had zero control problems of the like described in the review. I've not got a special copy with all the bugs ironed out, but I did make sure my Wii was properly set up.

The whole "sword play is random" thing is again, more a highlight of the reviewers lack of skill using the wiimote than any failure on Ubisoft's part. I'm no super gamer, but when I block I block, when I parry I parry and when I strike I strike.

It's funny that the reviewer sites Red Steel as being rushed, as that's exactly how this review comes across.
Posted 13:09 on 31 December 2006

Game Stats

Red Steel
4
Out of 10
Red Steel
  • Loads of potential ...and that's about it
  • Bugs and glitches galore
  • Weak controls
  • Not exactly a visual stunner
Agree? Disagree? Get Involved!
Release Date: 08/12/2006
Platform: Wii
Developer: Ubisoft
Publisher: Ubisoft
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-4
Rating: PEGI 16+
Site Rank: 4,965 34
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