Red Steel - WII - Preview
E3 2006 Hands On Preview
When Nintendo’s entry to the next-gen ring hit with it’s extremely different controller (namely a remote control) many critics were quick to report that the death knell for Nintendo had in fact sounded. However, people with a fair amount of clout within the industry embraced Nintendo’s decision for a fully interactive game experience as (not to beat a dead horse) a revolution. Ubisoft is one such company, and has decided to take Nintendo’s offer to create completely new gaming experiences for their platform. Their first entry will be a first-person shooter called Red Steel.
Red Steel looks much like your standard first person shooter, albeit one with a Yakuza theme that sends you to modern Japan and gives you not only guns but also Katana swords to do your business. However, the game will control like no other FPS before it, giving you the ability to point your gun and peek around corners much as you would in real life. You can also swing the controller around like a samurai sword once you have one armed, blocking effectively and attacking your foe.
While the development team has only had their dev kits for about three weeks (they’ve handled most of the development so far with PCs and the ideas that Nintendo has presented them with for the hardware), they still had quite a lot to show for it. The playable build for the game presented some of the gameplay elements for the game and was basically a tech demo of what the game will be able to offer, but all in all Red Steel looks to be the kind of game that will be able to effectively showcase just what Nintendo’s system is capable of.
The story in Red Steel follows a young San Francisco man as he courts a Japanese American woman. When he goes to ask the girl’s father for his approval, the girl is kidnapped and the father is mortally wounded by some Japanese Yakuza. It’s then revealed that the father is actually a Yakuza head himself, and he imparts his katana sword to the young man and charges him with rescuing his daughter. You then head to Japan to not only fight the Yakuza, but also gain their respect and rally the gangs of Japan to support your cause.
The gameplay in Red Steel will be mainly focused on the control, which admittedly takes some getting used to. An early part of the game will be centered on eating with your girl, an act which requires you to use the Revolution’s unique control scheme to eat. Eventually, you’ll get used to the new way of playing, at which point you’ll be able to move on to guns and swords and so on.
While the hands-on demo didn’t showcase the swordplay (:-( ), a pistol was given to the player and a target range was presented. The game used the “nunchuck” control scheme, using the analog stick dongle which hooks into the bottom of the controller, using one hand to control your character and the “remote” to aim your gun around. Since the controller is gyroscopic, you can tilt it at a ninety degree angle and your character on-screen will respond and hold the gun John Woo-style. You can also tilt it this way to peek around corners without getting shot.
Aside from just shooting and slicing, you’ll also have grenades at your disposal. Still utilizing the Revolution’s controller, you can either swing the controller differently in order to lob grenades underhand or overhand.
Given the enormous potential presented in the game, Red Steel could be just the kind of revolutionary gameplay experience the FPS genre needs to stay fresh. Look for it to hit at the time the Revolution launches.