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Red Steel 2 (Wii) Review

Review for Red Steel 2 on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Ubisoft have jumped into gun and sword swinging action once again with Red Steel 2, the successor to Wii launch title Red Steel. Over the course of four years, Ubisoft have taken their franchise and given it a vigorous re-working, so much so that little of the original remains intact. The question is, though, has the time and effort Ubisoft have put into Red Steel 2 paid off? Let's find out...

Players take control of a nameless Kusagari, a legendary clan of sword slingers, who has returned to his home town of Caldera to find it overrun by a group of Jackals. The scavengers are looting the town for everything it is worth, though it becomes clear there is a darker motive and someone else calling the shots. Initially, Red Steel 2 starts off like a regular first person shooter, running around and taking out bad guys with a revolver, but the action steps up a notch when you get to take full advantage of your heritage after discovering a sword and an old Kusagari trainer named Jian.

This is where Ubisoft's work really shines. Taking full advantage of Nintendo's Wii Motion Plus accessory, the player is taught how to hack, slash and defend through a series of tutorials. Motions are mapped accurately to on-screen action, so just flicking your wrist isn't enough anymore; players must use their whole arm to dish out devastation on screen. Controls are easy to get to grips with but offer surprising amounts of depth. There is a whole list of combos taught throughout the game, and once mastered make the player feel like the ultimate bad-ass; you might knock enemies skyward only to finish them off in mid-air, or let them plummet to their doom, it's all up to you. The ability to use both sword and gun interchangeably is integrated perfectly, allowing a unique play style. Each of the four available guns and your sword can be upgraded, too, giving them different attributes such as increased damage or the ability to pierce through armour.

Screenshot for Red Steel 2 on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

All of this is worked seamlessly into the overall gameplay. The action is fast and fluid, with all manner of tough enemies rushing to get of a piece of the sword slinger - from simple Jackals, to tougher rival gangs such as the Katakara. The levels are well designed, and players are free to explore each area by climbing and jumping inexplicable distances (though the gameplay is still fairly linear). Each area contains several safe houses that allow for extra training, purchasing of weapon and armour upgrades, as well as taking on missions via noticeboards to progress through the story and side quests. That is, if you want to progress through the story at all; you may just want to stop and look at the amount of graphical 'oomph' that Ubisoft has managed to squeeze out of the tiny white box of tricks. Everything looks absolutely stunning, from pulling out your sword and staring at it from every possible angle, to stumbling on the draw dropping scenery that fills the world. Players may be mistaken for playing on an Xbox 360 thanks to its art style - it just looks so darn pretty from start to finish. Ubisoft have done wonders with the rather mad art style of mixing western and Asian cultures together, with a healthy dose of technology in there for good measure. It works completely and, coupled with an impressive musical score, it does a brilliant job in immersing the player into the world of Caldera.

Screenshot for Red Steel 2 on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

That's not to say that Red Steel 2 is without its flaws, however, as occasionally the game doesn't pick up motions that the player has made or the odd glitch rears its ugly head. Thankfully, these things don't get in the way of the gameplay too much. Ubisoft have also tried to eradicate as many loading screens as possible, only loading inbetween major sectors of the game. However, this leaves the game with the familiar 'Metroid Prime door syndrome', with entranceways staying firmly shut until the area on the other side has loaded. This can lead to three to eight seconds of delay depending on the circumstances, though it can be forgiven due to the overall impressive look of the game. There are also quite a few tutorials and repetitive side missions which break the flow of play slightly. Though the tutorials are necessary, you are in the dojo learning new moves which have been opened up to you quite a bit.

Screenshot for Red Steel 2 on Wii - on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review

Just as the first iteration in the series showed off the potential of Wii's capabilities - though didn't quite fulfil that potential - Red Steel 2 shows the true beauty of fully fluid control made possible by Wii Motion Plus. Ubisoft have made a stunner of a game from start to finish; the action is fast and hectic, with players switching between sword and gun at will to take down the bad guys that come rushing towards the ominous hero, all the while giving their arm a good work out as they reel off some ridiculously cool combos. All of it is bound together by the graphically impressive world, flowing movement and awesome sound track that sets the mood and pace of the game perfectly. Ubisoft have taken their slightly mediocre Wii launch title and shaken it until it resembles the bare minimum of what made the first Red Steel and turned it into a title that is easily accessible, yet delightfully tricky to master; the whole experience just feels 'cool'.

Screenshot for Red Steel 2 on Wii- on Nintendo Wii U, 3DS games review


Brilliant from start to finish. The controls really set this title alive, allowing the combined freedom of a sword and gun in the frequent and frantic action. Even with a few niggling problems, it is like nothing before.


The visuals certainly are impressive; players will have to stop and marvel at some of the scenes portrayed throughout the levels, and all the while it rocks a steady frame rate.


Some really sweet tunes. From gentle exploration tracks to tunes that get the heart pumping in the heat of battle, they have near enough nailed it.


Despite everything, Red Steel 2 isn't a particularly long experience, lasting around the nine hour mark; it feels cut short rather abruptly. There are challenges, but they are completed quickly, and it's lacking some form of multiplayer.

Cubed3 Rating

Rated 9 out of 10

Exceptional - Gold Award

About this score
Rated 9 out of 10

Ubisoft have created an amazing adventure. They have taken everything from the last Red Steel and completely revamped it for the sequel. From the fluidity of the controls, to the impressive and tough boss fights, it's easy to pick up and ridiculously hard to put down. If you own a Wii, Red Steel 2 should not be overlooked.

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C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  9/10 (184 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Reader comments - add yours today Comments on this Review

There are no replies to this review yet. Why not be the first?

Sick review Echoes, I guess it's decided. I am going to get this game.Smilie Shame about the length and lack of multiplayer though.

Keith (guest) 27.03.2010 21:32#2

Wow Red Steel 2 sounds awesome I'm glad the controls are better than the first Red Steel. No multiplayer is weird, they sould have put online too!

I've spent the last hour playing and it seems to chug along at a fair old pace... the only thing I would say is that sometimes the controls get a bit mixed up with my downwards slash being more of a stab...

But it is good, the frame rate is rock steady, I'd of preferred the enemy attacks not to become a slowdown brace yourself moment and a bit more frenzied but I guess this to allow you to react by movement.

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I'm finding the AI to be very weak. As far as the story, the little said about that, the better.

3DS Code 2578-3122-0744

Motions are mapped accurately to on-screen action, so just flicking your wrist isn't enough anymore; players must use their whole arm to dish out devastation on screen.

Is that a good thing?! I liked the choice aspect of motion games, a flick or a swing both do the job. One for when you are playing alone and the other when you are drunk and friends are around.

Jim (guest) 29.03.2010 19:17#6

Is that a good thing?!

Yes, waggle is shitty.

Jim (guest) said:
Is that a good thing?!

Yes, waggle is shitty.

Well that's me convinced.

HazukiSan said:
Is that a good thing?! I liked the choice aspect of motion games, a flick or a swing both do the job. One for when you are playing alone and the other when you are drunk and friends are around.

It does feel more fun, but there is the trade off of it being more tiring/requiring a little more space, of course. There's good and bad to it, but it's really nice to have more accurate motion sensing. You can, however, adjust the sensitivity necessary to register the actions, so you can have a setting where you don't really have to use such a wide swing, though it's still not a case of 'you can only flick your wrist' anymore.

From the hour or so that I've played, it's already on course to being better than the first Red Steel - which I enjoyed - though I'm not entirely sold on the mission structure.

( Edited 29.03.2010 16:12 by Mason )

Senior ModeratorStaff Member

Hmm - AI is what seems to be the dodgy thing from what I've seen and read.

Haven't yet tried the game mind, but glad it's overall a solid package, will probably pick this up at somepoint down the line!

Cubed3 Admin/Founder & Designer
Kyle in US (guest) 31.03.2010 20:09#10

AI isn't great, but Payne sure kicked my ass for a while.

Matt Sorapure (guest) 02.04.2010 18:03#11

They should bring red steel 3 (if there will be one) out for the wii 2 (wii hd) so the graphics will be absolutely incredible and there should be a multiplayer online also, where you use swords to kill each other and guns, with many different game modes e.g like team deathmatch.

Harald Amber (guest) 21.04.2010 18:12#12

Nice review, for a nice game.
The Game is great, i played it now for over 6 hours (think, i got a real life too with family, chuldren house and dog :-Smilie ), and its great.
why? cause the motioncontrolling is so fluid in this game, it works. and it looks very nice, high framerate and the best: it plays fantastically - its so much fun to play, and its deep ! with the combos you learn later in game, its gets deeper.
perhaps, more from this(!) quicktimeevents. qte are so horrible in the most games (ok, ps3 and so on, pushicng triggers is so ...urghh), but here - sadly only 1 qte in the whole game- its a great one: you make the moves quick like they abear in the scene. left hand swing to the right and smash his head ....sorry, spoiler :-Smilie
short: go and buy the game ! thats, why i got the wii.

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