Red Steel Hands-On - Hacking and Slashing

Wii...er, we tried a new demo of Ubisoft's Eastern-themed first-person shooter, which is shaping up well with refined controls in time for its release alongside Nintendo's new console.

NEW YORK--Ubisoft showed off a new and much-updated build of Red Steel, its prominent first-person shooter set in Japan and the first game of its type to come out for the new Wii (considering it will accompany the console to shelves on November 19). We got a good feel for the shooting action in the game, which the designers have been working hard on since the Electronic Entertainment Expo, and we got to play through a brand-new level, which showed off previously unseen environments and culminated in a one-on-one duel with a sinister swordsman that gave us a chance to try Red Steel's somewhat revamped first-person melee combat firsthand.

The first part of the demo we played was all guns ablaze as we climbed several floors of a building and fought off tons of armed thugs in an attempt to reach the roof, where we discovered our ailing stepfather. To get to him, we had to do a whole lot of shooting, and we started to get a solid feel for Red Steel's controls well before we emerged into the daylight. The game's loose lock-on function is perhaps the most important element of its shooting gameplay, since it lets you zoom in. But unlike most lock-on features in games, it doesn't guarantee your shots will hit--it merely keeps the camera more or less focused on the bad guy in question, and it's up to you to fine-tune your aim and make the kill. As mentioned, zooming in is the easiest way to do this, and to zoom you have to extend your arm outward. The possible level of zoom is pretty great (and consequently you'll have to stick your arm way out), so it helps to shoot from the hip, as it were, while playing Red Steel.

After finishing the rooftop level, we finally got to jump into a brand-new level set in a Japanese street in what looked like a much smaller, more traditional sort of town. Picture less of Tokyo bright lights and more of a classical Japanese look, and you've got the right idea. Our mission was to infiltrate a walled mansion where some geishas were being held, and we jumped atop some crates to scale the wall and take out a passing guard before he noticed our presence. This initiated a brief firefight with some other bad guys who were hanging out in the courtyard, and afterward we got to head into the house, where we met up with our sword-wielding assailant.

The swordplay in Red Steel may not have changed drastically in concept since E3, but the implementation of it seems to have been smoothed out a good bit. You're still wielding two blades--the one on the right for attacking and the one on the left for blocking--and now your own physical movements are mapped a little more closely to your character's attacks onscreen. We're not talking a one-to-one correspondence between the way you swing the remote and the way your character swings his sword, but it's closer. To block effectively, you have to thrust the nunchuk forward precisely in time with your opponent's attack. The timing here is very unforgiving, so you really have to be exact to escape injury. Luckily, there's also a sideways dodge that will help you get out of the way, too.

Red Steel's graphics have certainly progressed since E3, with more-cohesive environments that feature a lot of destructible objects, John Woo-style, and with a lot of the less desirable elements having been polished up nicely. It's no secret at this point that the Wii isn't as powerful as the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, but we were so fixated on playing a first-person shooter in such an uncommon fashion that the visual gap between this and some of the 360 games we've been playing wasn't even an issue. Let's just say the visuals get the job done just fine. How will the rest of Red Steel stand up to more-intense scrutiny? We'll find out sooner than later--barring some catastrophe, it'll be one of the first games we get a chance to play in final form on the Wii.

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164 comments
AFWorm
AFWorm

As long as I don' th ave to hack with effort.

darklurker1
darklurker1

All I want in a Wii shooter is for the controller to mimick the precision and speed of a mouse. Whats so hard about that? Also, with the new software for Wii, Red Steel 2 should have 1:1 sword movements as it is much easier to program moves for the Wii with the new software. If you want crazy amounts of blood in a sword game, grab a $10 copy of Max Payne, then download the Max Payne mod Katana. It has crazy amounts of blood and is a hell of a mod. If you chop off someone's head with the Katana, blood shoots everywhere, same thing if you get an arm or 2. It is something to experience. And for $10 why not?

snoman99991
snoman99991

My current synopsis for Red Steel: Pros: -Even with less power, the Wii still makes the game look great. I see no need for excess power as long as the game runs smoothly. The Gamecube had great visuals, people just never bothered to notice because there were never any high profile games like that. I am quite frankly impressed with what I've seen out of the environments, and I really don't need any more than that. I just want to play the damn game, not look at it. -Even if it's not 1:1 conversion of motion, it also gives us a little more control in a different sense during swordplay. If you had perfect control, you would be terrible at it. It would be difficult to program swing distances and power (even with accelerometers), and it seems rather pointless because the Wiimote doesn't have the same weight of a sword (so you could go as fast as you wanted). With less motion conversion, we're given set standards for speed that we have to adjust to so the playing field is level. It's like having characters shoot at the same speed. Just because someone can push a button faster doesn't mean the gun they are using should shoot faster than the real thing can. -The aiming system is impressive. It zooms in when you adjust Wiimote extension and that allows you to home in for greater accuracy, similar to focusing on a target in real life. It allows for a lot of flexibility, and limits the problems most lightgun-esque style games encounter. Sure, arcade shooters are fun, but they feel like they are "on rails" because you don't have a lot of flexibility with your HUD. Now that you can adjust zoom and you have a mild lock on feature, you have good control over where you are aiming, shooting, and idealistically, killing. The Cons- -No 1:1 conversion puts a lot of people off to the game, which will pressure Ubisoft to show why it's better. -We still don't know much about the turning system -Multiplayer is still uncertain

KevinBush23
KevinBush23

ReD Steel gonna kick some mager as@ has any one seen the direct feed videos of it on IGN

Zero254
Zero254

The graphics are nice. Remember. You can have all the high textures you want and still get bad graphics on a high end machine. Ubisoft 's team is doing really well. I'm glad I could reserve the cards and stuff. While I was NOT there to get the system, I was there to get a classic remote, Nunchuku extra, some point cards and a few other things. I wish I could get a Wii, Black. I was so lucky, reservations for accessories started while I was in the store. I got this game reserved too.

lovemuscle13
lovemuscle13

If you want blood, play Manhunt, and then get bored with the concept of a bloody as all hell game. Like internet porn killing the sex drive of most people, overly bloody games can do the same, and just make it meaningless. When you're shooting hundreds of people in the face, it's only gonna be the first few times where you go "sweet!!! There's blood dripping down the camera!!!!". And then, every time afterwards, you'll be lucky if you notice and luckier if you even really care. Mature doesn't always mean high grade games *cough* Without Warning, 25 to Life, Bulletproof, 187 Ride or Die *cough*. Beating a virtual man senseless with a virtual baseball bat is still fun, be it bloody or not. Now, if you really want to make it fun, have that virtual man crawling away, begging for mercy, and add a button that lets you make an evil laugh with each cry for help. Maniacal laughter is still fun.

JBHtrain
JBHtrain

No blood? I'm surprised at hearing that. I believe one of Nintendo's goals early on was to provide a greater number of maturer games for owners of its upcoming console, the Wii, in order to cater to a broader age range. Sure, maybe Nintendo has no control over this, but I kind of think they do. My point is this: As someone wanting more mature games for Wii than the 'Cube had to offer, I hope that this is not a sign that Nintendo plans to keep its software oriented more towards "kiddos." One of the highlights of my Gamecube experience was Resident Evil 4. I hope that the Wii will have games similar to that one; because with its innovative control scheme, I can't imagine an experience much more fun than that combination. Back to the blood. I haven't read anything about the absence of blood in Red Steel myself, but if it is true, it seems contrary to the title and box art of the game. On the box art is a sword with blood at the end; and the title makes me think of a steel blade drenched with blood (red). So, for me, that seems awkward. Nonetheless, this game is going to be great. I can't wait to get my hands on it. I look forward to hours of swinging my arms in front of my television, killing Yakuza clan members left and right -- with or without blood.

twister03
twister03

i would like to have Blood in the game, but either way its still going to be fun. For all of the people who say no blood = kiddy game, what makes a game kiddy? Does a game have to have blood in it to not be considerd kiddy? Most of the older adults i know tend to play games that are based on gameplay, not the ammount of blood and gore that is in the game. And for the people whos parents wouldnt let them get this game if it had blood, you probably shouldnt be playing it anyway. I agree with encryptkeeper on the fact that it all comes to gameplay and not graphics, but i also agree with Mike961990. Profiles under a certain age would have blood tunred off when playing, and at/over the age would get blood tunred on.

Muzykmann
Muzykmann

Encryptkeeper-Good to see some like-minded gamers out there. If it's any consolation, those who insist on the uber-realism are the same morons who miss out on the fun of titles like Wind Waker and Super Monkey Ball 2. Granted, that stupid Japanese monkey-babble of the latter got to even ME after a while. But the point remains: fun game. Just once, could I get those of you who keep insisting on blood to just be honest? Stop claiming "increased gameplay" "more immersion" and whatnot. You all are looking for that moment of "CHECK OUT ALL THE BLOOD!!!" or "WHOOOAA DID YOU SEE HIS BRAIN EXPLODE OUT THE BACK OF HIS HEAD?!?!". Nothing more, nothing less. If you need that sort of experience to have fun in a game, fine. But that's pretty disturbing, and I hope you don't live anywhere near me.

encryptkeeper
encryptkeeper

Muzykmann-Totally agree with you bro. I have said it enough times that people on these boards will hate me, but look at the way the DS is beating the PSP. Sure the PSP has better visuals, but damn, it's expensive, and the games just really aren't that good. So many of them are just ports of what's on the PS2. Those movies? They chose to release the dumbest movies on PSP, (Lords of Dogtown, Chronicles of Riddick) and now they wonder why even Wal Mart is considering taking them off the shelves. The DS is about innovative gameplay, and it has worked *very* well for Nintendo to do things this way. I really think this is the way that things will go with the Wii.

encryptkeeper
encryptkeeper

I'm so happy to see the writers for Gamespot appreciate this new control scheme for the Wii and that they are not constantly hung up on the fact that the Wii doesn't have the amount of power that the competition does. I'm so sick of tech and gaming websites that praise the 360 and the PS3 for making the systems soooooooo powerful. Unfortunately, gaming is taking the route of Hollywood, where you're getting more and more movies and they have more and more special effects, but they aren't really making very many good ones anymore. Having the new control scheme is refreshing, and if you ask me, the visuals on the Wii look extremely good even without the most cutting-edge graphics that the competition offers. Alot of game reviewers had the same thing to say when the 360 came out "The graphics do wear thin eventually, and it all comes back to gameplay".

hyrulian_elite
hyrulian_elite

hey pleesee guy no one wants a kiddie game what kind of title that features swords and guns does not have blood i mean come on it is a bit pathetic i would be satisfied just to see a spek of blood on my sword after taking some one downbut any way wooo getting wii on launch LOZ and red steel wooo

hyrulian_elite
hyrulian_elite

its got to be this and Legend of zelda on launch day for me and those should last me a while well at least till super smash bros brawl comes out and this better not be some kiddies title i want some game that i can slash with a sword and have a bit of blood else it is just some pathetic kiddies game

hyrulian_elite
hyrulian_elite

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

yoshirox85
yoshirox85

RS is coming out on launch too? Dang it, I want them all! :(

Monchie
Monchie

I think this game will make the history books. it's gameplay looks awsome but the graphics don't look that great even for the nintendo standerds.

jerm1403
jerm1403

aaaahhhh.... consider this: does anyone of you has played turok evolution?? thats a bloody gory game. Lots of blood and body parts flying all over the place. The thing that made it acceptable was the enable/disable blood option; I think ubisoft can include something like this in Red Steel

Mike961990
Mike961990

Muzykmann, I think the game seems pretty great whether it wil feature blood in it or not and either way I will definitely be picking it up at Wii launch along with my console, however I think that adding realistic amounts of blood that doesn't disappear and more features on the blood such as blood on the walls when you shoot somebody close to a wall at close range with a shotgun would make the game more enjoyable and make you feel more immersed in the game. Also, for people like Pleeseee, I again go back to my comment that profiles under the age of 16 or 18 should have blood disabled by default, perhaps with the option being open to parents to enable it. EDIT: After reading the article found on the link at the end of my post I am seriously reconsidering my decision to get this game. If what is said is true about the aiming not being like a lightgun but more like a mouse and the sword fighting not being accurate to your movements then I think the game won't even half as good as I first anticipated. Also, if this is true, I think that Ubisoft should be pretty disgusted at how deceptive their trailers are for the game as they clearly show players aiming at the screen as though they were using a lightgun. Please let me know if you have heard other than is mentioned in the article. http://www.computerandvideogames.com/article.php?id=147543

pleeseee
pleeseee

Im glad it doesn't have blood .using a sword like that would be VERY bloody and gory and my mom wouldn't let me by the game.I can count on nintendo to make there games kid friendly.

Muzykmann
Muzykmann

I think some of you (glares to 16Tony, Mike961, and crew) are missing the point. Nintendo isn't about blood; they're about gameplay. The Wii hasn't been designed to pump out the most realistic graphics possible because Nintendo feels that it doesn't have to in order to be successful. They're working to make games fun by coming up with entirely new ways to experience gaming. You can up the graphics of an average FPS until it looks like film footage, but you're STILL gonna have a game thats no more fun to play than an average FPS. Feeling like the main reason to play games is because of how real they look is a very Sony-Customer attitude, and frankly, I've never understood it. Give me my 8-bit Legend of Zelda anyday.

16tony16
16tony16

No Blood!!! come on man that is going to suck!!:-(

16tony16
16tony16

NO BLOOD!!!!! come on man without blood it is retarded. who cares if it isn't kid friendly.

16tony16
16tony16

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Mike961990
Mike961990

Actually Eric if you read my post you would see that I made that point in response to what zerox said ;)

AManNamedEric
AManNamedEric

seems to me that not showing blood has a much more negative effect than showing it. Think about it, say an impressionable 8 year old goes to kill a guy with a samurai sword and sees no blood...his parents tell him that the guy is just "knocked out" now...its a long shot, but it certainly is possible that this kid could end up thinking that blades don't do anything but "knock you out" and the next time he is bullied...he tries to "knock out" said bully with a knife. Possible? yes, likely? no, but my point has been made

Mike961990
Mike961990

I think its pretty pathetic if the game doesn't feature blood in it. In fact, I think it would be pretty degrading if blood that stained floors and walls wasn't included. At the end of the day this type of game isn't meant for younger kids so why develop a game revolved around what is suitable for them whilst degrading the game for the people who are mature enough to play it? Now if Super Mario Galaxy was to include blood and gore then I would understand peoples such as zerox0409's concern, but this is a game revolving around guns and blades and so it isn't suitable for them in the first place. Besides zerox0409, is it OK to send a message to kids that you can shoot someone in the head or stab them in the face without killing them? Even if the game gets rated 'M' (or 18 in the UK) then I would much rather have to get somebody over 18 such as a parent to go and purchase the game for me than be able to go and buy it myself but not enjoy as good of a gaming experience. I'm not saying there should be Mortal Kombat style blood and guts but it degrades the gaming experience if there isn't some blood. Say for example you shoot somebody in the head near a wall then there should be some blood and a splatter on the wall, and it would be extremely satisfying to see somebody slither down a wall leaving a trail of blood. On top of this I truly do not understand how it would be possible for you to slash or stab somebody with a sword and there not be blood. Due to this it is my view that as it stands the games name is extremely deceptive and the lack of blood will degrade the realism and atmosphere of the game resulting in a less although still enjoyable gaming experience, and although I would be disappointed if blood or the option of blood for those who wanted it (for example Wii profiles over 16 or 18 could have blood) was not included in the final version of the game it would still be one of the games I am most looking forward to with the release of the Wii.

7640688
7640688

This game will truly be a sight to behold.

cmyers2215
cmyers2215

Well I'm not much of a fps guy but after I saw this preview of this game, I was in awe. Just the way you use to controller really makes this looking like a fun and interesting game. I'm really looking forward to play this sure fire Nintendo hit!

7640688
7640688

I already have a Wii reserved and RedSteel. Watch out world here I come! :)

chrismaida
chrismaida

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

zerox0409
zerox0409

you're missing the point, if there were blood spurts everytime you shot/slashed someone it would mean a different level of violence, it would be very easy for a parent to tell their child that the guys they're fighting aren't dying, just oh, say getting tranked or something, blood effects would make it much worse, believe me, i've seen these things before, i have experience with these issues.

chrismaida
chrismaida

oh ya so i guess its alright for a young kid to kill a person but if he sees blood while hes doing it thats bad (sarcasm)

zerox0409
zerox0409

To Chrismaida: the reason that the blood isn't spraying from him like in Kill Bill is because Nintendo doesn't need their games to be gory blood pools in order for people to like them, Ubisoft knows this and made the game accordingly, if they did the blood effects in the way you would expect it would bump the age rating from E-T all the way to M, not to mention the worst word you'll hear in this game will be "S**t" the way they've done it means a wider audience and therefor more consumers buying this game without fear of their children freaking out from (or being de-sensitized to) extreme bloodspray.

chrismaida
chrismaida

looks good but i saw a guy get sliced with a samurai sword and saw no blood, i mean come on thats stupid

jmac777
jmac777

Red Steel will be a good game....Its not gonna be better than MEtroid though xD

biggamerhk
biggamerhk

wow it really seems that red steel will be one awesome game. i wanna be the first one to get it!!!!!!! actually, i probably wont be, i still want to get it. but it seems so awesome. i cant wait till the day i get it. yeah. i agree with fatdawit: it seems like red steel will have really great graphics. I cant wait till the WII come out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

fatdawit
fatdawit

I don't know what you're talking about pspking111. Red steel probably has the prettiest graphics on wii. Not to mention the intricate designs on every single level. Red steel wants to be number one on the wii. I'm so excited about the split-screen multiplayer. Gamecube didn't have a lot of good fps's so i'm hoping red steel will be a knockout.

rougehunter66
rougehunter66

I just love it how exageratted these videos are, with him diving behind the couch and stuff, and hell psyching himself up for the sword fight. It looks like such a cool game though. For it to succeed though, they have to get the sword-fighting right. If Ubisoft screw that up, then I don't htink it will appeal to people as much. I'd still buy it, but would the people who want it solely for the sword fighting?

Kyo__man66
Kyo__man66

im hoping to get this at launch...

volpexpress
volpexpress

his game looks awesome im definitly getting this!!!!!!!

ps3weee
ps3weee

this will be a fun game to play ;D , Sepcially when you have firends at home.

walkerctranger
walkerctranger

well this game will be really cool. but I am glad the graphics have improved because before the charecters honestley looked like wallace and gromit

dell900
dell900

I am getting this Game!!!!!!!!!! it looks awsome!!!!!

pspking111
pspking111

well THEY ARNT TRYING TO GO FOR GRAPHICS. nintendo is going for the way you play the game not how it looks and it looks better then the current gen systems but the down fall is no HD but so what most ppl dont even have a HD tv

WoWmustbemylife
WoWmustbemylife

Moody flame no it wouldnt have killed them to bump up the graphics a bit but it would probably bump up the price to Xbox 360 launch price and remember most vids on websites are reduced quality

MoodyFlame
MoodyFlame

well nintendo seems to like having so-so graphics, i mean, seriously for $250 they woundn't have died to rev the graphics up a 'lil bit

tmvmecca
tmvmecca

to bad thw wii doesnt have good graphics at all nothing diffretnt it oisses me off cause it could be a realy really goos system but its gonna turnout just like gamcube its always gonna be microsoft sony and nintendo nintendo will nvr have better graphics it looks like

foxhound421
foxhound421

i'm really torn between this and COD 3.

ReggieNametaker
ReggieNametaker

Im only getting this at launch, the zelda & wario ware at christmas. i want to appreciate it more and if i get zelda too i wouldnt be albe to appreciate it as much. Red STeel FTW!!