LOS ANGELES--One of the biggest real-time demos shown at Nintendo's Electronic Entertainment Expo 2006 press conference was Ubisoft's Red Steel. Announced a few weeks ago as the first fully confirmed third-party Wii game, Red Steel is a first-person action game where by using the Wii controller's movement-sensing capabilities, you'll be able to aim guns and slash swords. After announcing that Red Steel would be an exclusive launch title for the Wii in both Japan and North America, Ubisoft reps gave a brief but informative demo of the game.
The demo started out with the main character holding a pistol. A brief description and demonstration of the controls showed that the left-hand controls were used to move the character, and the right controller is used to aim and fire. If you're feeling particularly gangster, you can tilt the right controller sideways and get your sideways shot on. As the demo began, the character walked up to a doorway, at which point it was learned that you open doors with controller movement, either by turning your hand or pushing real hard. After that, gunplay began. The character switched between a pistol and Uzi, laying down heavy bits of gunfire to take out enemies that popped up around the back-alley environment shown.
From there, the character moved into a pachinko hall. In here, he busted out a shotgun and began blowing away both enemies and pachinko machines to show off some of the destructible environments. Here, we also got a look at what the developer called "clan artificial intelligence." Each grouping has a leader, and if you disable or kill the leader, the remaining enemies will behave differently. In fact, making enemies submit, rather than simply offing them, is a specific mechanic to the game. Once an enemy is disabled, you can indicate with your hand what exactly you want the enemy to do. You'll also be able to "tag" specific enemies in certain spots. The game will go into something of a slow-motion sequence, and you'll use the controller to pick specific tag points on each visible enemy. Once it goes back to normal, you simply fire toward the tag points, and you'll either kill them or disable them, depending on how you tag.
From here, the demo went on and showed more gun combat and more environmental destruction. One sequence showed nearby fish tanks getting blown apart, with water and fish spilling all over the place, and later, the main character shot through a series of paper walls, which produced some neat lighting effects.
Finally, sword combat was shown, with the main character fighting against a tattooed swordsman on a rooftop. With sword combat, you block attacks with the left hand and attack with the right. The sword combat shown looked pretty fluid. Both characters moved pretty fluidly, and similar to the gun combat, you can simply make the enemy submit once you've disabled him. However, despite the fact that you'll totally be cutting up a shirtless enemy with a sword, it looks like there won't be any blood.
The Red Steel demo was definitely one of the highlights of the Nintendo conference, and we can't wait to get our hands on this latest build. We'll bring you more on the game as it becomes available.