previews\ Jul 6, 2009 at 8:00 pm

Red Steel 2 - WII - Preview 2

Last month, GameZone was given some hands on time with Ubisoft’s upcoming western/samurai shooter/slicer, Red Steel 2, at E3. While our time was brief, the game showcased some nice promise for what we could expect from the franchise’s reboot. At a recent visit to Ubisoft’s San Francisco headquarters, we received some more time with the game, as well as a chance to see the overall design direction of what should be one of the most promising Wii shooters in quite a while.

Red Steel 2 will put the players in the role of a “Nameless Hero” type of warrior (think of the stoic and silent Clint Eastwood type and you’ve got the idea). His clan has been killed off, leaving him the last vestige of order in the region, as well as severely wanting in the revenge department. So, with your trusty samurai sword and revolver, you embark on a mission to take down the bad element and dispense some western-samurai justice.

The demo we played at the event was the same build as the one shown at E3, but the added hands on time gave us a better chance to check out the subtle nuances of the gameplay. The game makes fine use of Nintendo’s Wii motion plus add-on, as attacks will vary in power depending on how hard and wide you swing the Wii remote. This isn’t the type of game where you’ll simply be able to “waggle” until your enemies are dead, but rather one where each sword attack has to be deliberate. The game’s parry system is also pretty good, requiring you to hold down A and hold your Wii remote as you would the hilt of your sword when deflecting an attack, vertically to parry horizontal strikes, and horizontally to deflect vertical attacks. Once you’ve knocked your enemies around enough, you’ll be able to press A to complete a finishing move.

We were also given some ideas as to what the structure of the final game will offer. The game will be fairly open in structure, with each city featuring a central hub, and several mission areas fanning out from the middle. You’ll find yourself in your area hub often, and once you’ve completed enough missions you’ll be able to move onto the boss.

Red Steel 2 is turning out to be a solid shooter, and one that should fix the mistakes that the first game presented, while creating a compelling universe and solid gameplay.

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