After a lackluster reception
from the press, Ubisoft has gone back to the drawing board to rethink the Red
Steel franchise. GameZone was able to meet up with the developers of Red Steel 2
recently in San Francisco, California for hands-on and an intimate chat on where
the series is heading.
Immediately noticing the new
art direction, it’s apparent that Ubisoft has wiped the slate clean and began
anew with the series. The cel-shaded style – all within the gorgeous desert
metropolis Ubisoft has created – was a fresh look in comparison to the dull
realistic aesthetics of the first. Attempting to push the limits within a teen
rating, Ubisoft is out to provide a mature title for all ages – thus, the level
of gore is low and the animated violence is high.
Gun shots won’t do much damage against the armored foe
Allowing players to switch the
speeds of their controller sensitivity, along with three sets of difficulty, Red
Steel 2 will have a various amount of options for user optimization. If players
are having trouble using the Wii remote for attacks, they can look to the
actor-guided tutorials for lessons on how to master the controls. The woman in
the videos is often robotic in form, but the tutorials are perfectly crafted to
aid the player in understanding how to play Red Steel 2.
The controls this time around
felt more akin to what were originally promised with the original – tight and
precise. The motion attacks ranged from horizontal attacks, vertical attacks and
variations thereof. If players want a strong attack, they’ll have to put effort
into the swing. If they don’t, the attacks would turn into simple slices and
stabs. Putting together combos, players are able to perform top-notch maneuvers
such as The Guillotine that eliminated several enemies in one brave attack. If
players are interested in blocking, they’ll have to hold their Wii remote up in
vertical fashion to block sword attacks or ricochet bullets.
To take down this enemy, you’ll have to target the armor first
After attacking enemies,
players may be eligible for a lunging attack that has The Gunslinger (the
protagonist) stabbing for an immediate kill. As players continue forth in their
venture towards ridding the world of The Jackals, the villains in Red Steel 2,
they’ll buy maneuvers from their dojo to learn and master. After buying the
attack, they’ll head straight to the training ground to gain knowledge from Jian,
The Gunslinger’s sensei, on how to use the attack in combat. There are also
hidden strikes such as a 360 degree attack to use to overcome the odds in
Exploring the open-world
environment, although linear in story progression, players can retrieve quests
from the mission board. Once all missions are completed, a new area will open on
the map to continue forth in the storyline. There are also option missions to
aid in the exploration of the map to find chests, destroy objects and eliminate
wanted posters of The Gunslinger.
Specific enemy targeting can be cycled through with the Z button.
The gunplay was also equally
enticing. Instead of randomly spraying bullets across the chest of my enemies, I
would often shoot the knee caps out from underneath them. Once this was done,
I’d proceed to stab the enemy through the heart for an exciting disposal of my
enemy. There’s also the availability to upgrade ammo, guns (along with the
swords) and the armor, so if players are becoming overwhelmed with the gunplay,
they can always upgrade to even the odds.
Running at 60 FPS (frames per
second), the animations were more impressive than they were in the past;
especially the powerful combos that were unlocked during our session. One of
the more unique kills I was able to accomplish was bouncing bullets off walls to
take down enemies who were using cover – it often provided a good laugh since
the enemies never saw it coming.
It’s fair to say that Red Steel 2 is
a whole different beast than the original. The futuristic Wild West setting with
samurais and ninjas is definitely peculiar. Upon completing my session, I walked
away with sore shoulders from all the powerful swings and a smile on my face.