While the combat, visuals and controls are tops, there are naturally a few unrelated issues that keep Red Steel 2 from scoring any higher. First, the map is borderline useless, as there's no way to look at a full view of the area you’re currently in. Over time you can learn the lay of the land and follow the green arrows to your destination, but if you're scouring for four totems or 10 wanted posters, odds are you'll end up walking in a big circle. Highly irritating and easily fixed with a basic map option.
Above: There's also a lot of loading, so get used to this door
Then there are the "whooa look at me, I’m using motion controoool!" moments that reeked of old ideas. Stuff like flipping levers and cracking safes, mini-game type things that handle just fine with the new MotionPlus accessory, but stick out against all the other, better implemented controls.
Above: Flipping switches will always be boring. Sorry
Aside from a bit more mission variety, there’s little else to complain about. In a sense this is the game Wii's motion control promised all those years ago, and had the console launched with this game instead of the original, the third party scene could very well be a different place. We're not trying to oversell the experience here, as this is no BioShock, Modern Warfare or Halo – but judged solely as a Wii game, this is flat-out exceptional, and more importantly, it's just plain fun.
The Conduit? Yes. High Voltage touted impeccable FPS controls and a multiplayer arena just as robust as the big consoles with their 2009 shooter, but in the end all it's remembered for are bland environments and the fact no one really wants an online FPS on Wii. Steel has better controls, prettier graphics and is simply a better game.
Red Steel? Oh god yes. We don’t want to beat this dead, rotting, barely recognizable corpse any longer, but there’s just no comparison between the two. Ubi might as well have called it "Sci-Fi Samurai" and removed all connections to the abysmal original. Don’t let the stigma of this three-year-old turd scare you away.
Metroid Prime Trilogy? No. For all its achievements, Red Steel 2 doesn’t compare to the atmosphere and length of any one Prime game, let alone all three. However, the aiming and shooting controls, something that Prime has held over all over FPSes heads for years, are about the same, which no small feat for Ubi. Obviously Prime’s a larger, less linear experience, so consider that too.
The first let so many down, while part two succeeds in just about everything it set out to do. Maybe it's the bundled MotionPlus, maybe it's just better programming, but we left Red Steel 2 thinking it could be the most improved sequel of all time. If you've given up on Wii shooters, here's a reason to rethink your stance.
Mar 22, 2010