News Article

Red Steel 2 Sharpens Up

Posted by James Newton

New build, new features, new joy

Since our first hands-on play with Red Steel 2 all the way back in June - yes, it really was that long ago - we've had two more chances to get to grips with the game, the most recent at this week's Eurogamer EXPO where a new build was on display. How's the title coming along? Very, very nicely.

Our play-through was on the same level as demoed in Paris - and at October's Ubisoft event - but with a new build in place it played better than ever. With the game's Ninja Mode now available it was time to try out some advanced play and the new features that were promised.

The first big improvement is the addition of body part-specific damage. You can now easily kill an enemy with a headshot, and shots to the chest and arm clearly injure them in those areas, making the need for strategic shooting even more important. It doesn't sound like a big deal but it's endlessly satisfying to pick off charging samurai cowboys with well-aimed headshots, and helps the gun controls feel as accurate as the swordplay, a concern from last time.

The HUD has received a bit of work as well, now clearly displaying remaining ammunition as well as demarcating attacking enemies more intuitively. Enemies that are susceptible to finishing attacks also have a different target surrounding them, and some of the lock-on sections feel tighter, particularly the parts that ask you to hack open a door with your sword: now these events auto lock-on to the door, which you can cancel by walking away. It's a much better system than retaining camera control with the Wii Remote pointer when you're trying to smash open a door. What's interesting is that although this mechanic has been improved, you only use it half as often as before, suggesting a streamlining of the number of sword sections outside of combat.

The MotionPlus-enabled swordplay is every bit as good as ever, picking up the strength and angle of your slashes with no difficulty. There weren't many new moves on offer although there was a new stab move with a forward thrust of the Remote, but sadly the rather fun-looking shockwave and lift moves weren't unlocked in this build.

One slightly worrying impression from playing three versions of Red Steel 2 is that each time only the first level has been available. Having played it for the first time nearly six months ago we would have hoped there'd be a new area to play, and although it's understandable to present the first level as the learning curve would otherwise be quite steep, we must have defeated the hammer-wielding boss a good ten times by now. Hopefully this isn't an indication that the rest of the levels are lagging, just that they're catering for newcomers to Red Steel 2 as the MotionPlus blades and bullets can be a little disorienting at first.

On the evidence we've seen so far, RS2 is still looking like one of the Wii's most promising titles for early next year, and if Jason VandenBerghe and his team can deliver on even half of that promise then Red Steel 2 will be up there with the Wii's best.

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User Comments (27)

Aviator

#1

Aviator said:

Wow. May have to keep my eyes open for this. Hopefully they bring back a stronger multiplayer.

premko

#2

premko said:

Can`t wait. I hope they will sell a lot of theese - MadWorld was incredible and the sales - we all know...

James

#3

James said:

Aviator - multiplayer will have to wait for Red Steel 3, this is a single-player only game!

Roopa132

#4

Roopa132 said:

I'm looking forward to this. I hope there's gonna be a good game soon that has a free Wiimotion+ inside since I don't want to buy Wii Sports Resort or the accessory itself :P

Aviator

#5

Aviator said:

@Prosody Thats a bummer. I really liked the game in the first one where you were given a mission through your 'phone'.

thebigM

#6

thebigM said:

@Prosody: You got to play NSMBWii and Red Steel 2 this week? You're some lucky guy ;)
Did you come across any more precise news about the release date than early next year?

Zammy

#7

Zammy said:

So appealing, yet I'm still wary of gimmicks. If I find any major ones, there'll be trouble. ;)
Oh well, I'll probably pick it up anyway. It's a shame I didn't get WSR, 'cause I missed out on a free MotionPLUS. I guess there's no harm in buying it now, but still...

mjc0961

#8

mjc0961 said:

Wait, so Ubisoft might actually be making something that's better than mediocre?! The world is coming to an end!

Objection

#9

Objection said:

I hope that RS2 is consistent in its apparent quality, as that was where its predecessor sometimes suffered. I'll likely be giving this a shot (no pun intended) as I thought the first was good overall.

Devil_Hunter_Dante

#11

Devil_Hunter_Dante said:

I am going to wait for reviews. I like the art style better than the first. I just want to make sure the gameplay hold ups and is a good game before I throw a 50 around.

Streakk

#13

Streakk said:

I love the art style of this game. Hope improvements like this continue to happen.

Nero

#14

Nero said:

Looks and sounds promising. If it's bad in any way then I will eat Jason VandenBerghe's beard.

bro2dragons

#16

bro2dragons said:

been looking forward to thins since its announcement; i was one of the few to actually enjoy Red Steel.

Monkeh

#18

Monkeh said:

Isn't it a good thing that they're only showing one level? Most developers nowadays have showed off their entire game before it's even out yet.

Ch3p3

#20

Ch3p3 said:

RS2 rocks and we know that
Borderlands has dissapoint me cuz it has terrible graphics, RS2 has better than that crap

smithers

#23

smithers said:

looks pretty fricking awesome.......THIS is exactly what i had in mind when i bought a Wii

James

#24

James said:

Nope, no Red Steel 3 yet, it was more a reference to the fact there's no multiplayer in RS2.

@Monkeh - I'd never considered that, to be honest. It's just a little disappointing to have had three opportunities to play it now, and each one is the same level I saw before E3. They're keen to show off the other levels in their videos, so let me play one next time, Ubi!

Ren

#26

Ren said:

this looks great so far. I'll need to put aside some dough and actually get WSR too, so I can get a MO+. Just having a Wii has become an expensive habit with all these add on toys. It wasn't long ago when gimmick peripherals didn't actually do anything, those were cheaper days to be Nintendo Fanboy.

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