Red Steel 2
|Red Steel 2|
|Genre(s)||First person shooter, beat-em-up|
Red Steel 2 is a first-person shooter developed by Ubisoft Paris for the Wii video game console. It is a stand-alone sequel to Red Steel. The game was released on March 23, 2010 in North America and in Europe on March 26, 2010.
The game begins as an unnamed Hero, the last member of the Kusagari Clan, is being dragged across the desert, tied to the back of a motorcycle. He manages to break free, but Payne, the leader of the Jackals - a vast gang of thugs, murderers and thieves - steals the Hero's katana. While running from the Jackals, the Hero rescues his old swordsmaster Jian who was to soon be executed by the Jackals. After the rescue, Jian allows the Hero to borrow his sword until the Hero can recover his own from Payne.
The Hero meets up with Tamiko, a member of his clan's research division, as well as Caldera's sheriff and Tamiko's father, Judd. They provide information for the Hero to help him track down Payne, while sabotaging the Jackals' operations in the Upper City, as well as meeting a fight club-operating businessman named Songan. The Hero eventually locates and defeats Payne in the Jackals' hideout, Rojo House, recovering his katana during the battle. He interrogates Payne and, before killing him by throwing him off a ledge, learns that his entire clan had been annihilated by a man named Shinjiro.
The Hero travels to the Lower City, encountering another rival clan called the Katakara. He finds Shinjiro in the Kusagari Temple and the two swordsmen fight. After a fierce battle, the Hero breaks Shinjiro's katana and pushes him to the edge of the Temple's roof. However, before the Hero can strike his foe down, a mysterious ninja saves Shinjiro. Jian then tells the Hero that the katanas of the Kusagari, called Sora Katanas, have great unpredictable power and that the method to make these is known only to them, and Shinjiro, who trained with the Kusagari as a child, plans to make more of them.
Following a tip from Judd, the Hero discovers Shinjiro trying to escape the city on a train and manages to board it before it leaves. After the Hero fights his way through the train, which is full of ninjas and Katakara, he finds Shinjiro atop the front car; however, the "escape attempt" is revealed to be a trap, as Shinjiro detaches the rest of the train (with the Hero on it) from his own car. Surrounded by explosives, Shinjiro then throws a grenade to destroy it. The Hero survives, but is forced to walk through the desert for three days before finding a deserted town. While exploring the town, however, the Hero discovers Songan, who explains that the ghost town is a Jackal ammo dump. The Hero drives off the Jackals and survives an attack by a Katakara force, led by the lieutenant Calhoun.
After reestablishing communications with Tamiko, Judd, and Jian, the Hero learns that the trio have tracked Shinjiro to the isolated mining community of Rattlesnake Canyon. The Hero then takes Songan's advice and uses an old locomotive in the town's deserted train depot to travel there. While exploring the Canyon, the Hero is attacked by the leader of the Katakara, Okaji, but manages to defeat him, only for him to return from the dead, ready for the Hero to fight at a later time. Following Tamiko's plan, the Hero then uses explosives stolen from the mining quarry to destroy the gate protecting Shinjiro's hideout, the Tiger's Nest. However, Songan then betrays the hero and his allies, Tamiko, Judd, and Jian, are captured. Shinjiro demands the Hero's katana in exchange for his friends. As the Hero is about to give it to him, the two engage in a gun duel, where Tamiko is shot. The Hero pursues and confronts Shinjiro who now has created a new katana. After a fierce battle, Shinjiro is defeated. As he is weakened, Shinjiro tells the hero that other clans will fight him for that katana. The Hero then thrusts his katana through Shinjiro's chest and breaks it in half, killing Shinjiro in the process. The game ends as the hero throws the other half of the katana off a cliff and looks out into the distance with Shinjiro's dead body behind him.
The Hero: The unnamed primary protagonist of the game and referred to as "The Swordsman" and "the last Kusagari". The Hero was exiled a number of years before the game began. His master left him with a Sora katana before he was exiled. That particular katana in time turns out to be the most treasured katana of the Kusagari clan.
Jian: The swordsmaster of the Kusagari clan, he helps the main character learn new moves as the game progresses. The Hero can also gain additional techniques and upgrade his sword in the dojos where Jian takes refuge throughout the game.
Steve Judd: The town sheriff 42 years running. Having a wide collection of firearms, The Hero can purchase firearm upgrades from Judd's safehouses at certain points throughout the game.
Tamiko: A member of the Kusagari research division.
Payne: The leader of the Jackals.
Okaji: Commander of the Katakara clan warrior caste. A ruthless and cruel psychopath, Okaji can also be considered a monster for having the ability to "return from the dead". Feared by many governments, Judd remarks that Okaji has a bounty on his head in 38 different territories.
Shinjiro: The main antagonist. In the years before the game's beginning, Shinjiro was a trusted server of the Kusagari clan. He has killed every Kusagari clan member in an attempt to find the secret to making Kusagari Sora katanas which are said to contain mystical powers within each blade.
Red Steel 2 is played in a first-person perspective where players can alternate between shooting and sword fighting. Players are able to fight up to six enemies on-screen, though enemy packs can go up to twenty, and can deflect opponents' bullets with their swords. As the player progresses through the main missions (which progress the storyline), new techniques, armor and weapons become available for purchase or earning,(these can also be upgraded later, also by spending) while additional side missions are available to play, earning the player a monetary reward for their completion. Red Steel 2 is the very first game (besides Wii Sports Resorts) to use the Wii Motion Plus Accessory. The game features an expansive amount of movement with the Wii Motion Plus allowing it to be quite an interactive game.
Development of Red Steel 2 began in the summer of 2008. On July 28 of the same year, Red Steel 2 was announced by Ubisoft executive director, Alain Corre. It was also confirmed to use Nintendo's new accessory, Wii MotionPlus and would be included in a bundle.
Red Steel 2 features stylized, cel-shaded graphics, in contrast to its predecessor's more realistic aesthetic. The visual style is similar to Ubisoft Paris' own XIII, released in 2003. The game does not include gore or excess amount of bloodshed, which resulted with Red Steel 2 getting a rating of T. Enemies disappear in a cloud of dust as they die. Players will have at their disposal both a gun and a katana, which they can switch between at any time.
Commenting on the mix of East and West in the game creative director Jason Vandenberghe explained: "What doesn't work is to take those Western and Eastern elements, and sort of mix them into one thing. What does work is to say: here's Joe's bar and grill and here is Ming Pow's sushi's place. It's not a Western-looking cowboy katana; it's a katana, and a revolver, and they're clearly in their own place."
In April 2009, Ubisoft announced that Red Steel 2 would not feature a multiplayer mode. Creative director Jason Vandenberghe later explained that they did explore the possibilities of a multiplayer mode, but that it would never fit in the development time window, and that they preferred to deliver a great single player experience over a mediocre multiplayer game.
Red Steel 2 was met with very positive reviews. GameRankings gave it a score of 80.50%, while Metacritic gave it 80 out of 100. IGN awarded Red Steel 2 a score of 8.6/10 along with an editor's choice award, praising the "awesome style and energetic gameplay" calling it "one of the top titles on Wii." Official Nintendo Magazine gave Red Steel 2 an 86% score, praising the MotionPlus controls, visuals and audio, but criticised the mission design, referring to it as being "average." Eurogamer gave the game a score of 7/10, praising the "thrilling set pieces" but calling the game's character "flawed, certainly, but entirely honorable with it." 1UP.com were considerably less impressed, giving Red Steel 2 a C+ and stating that while "occasionally exhilarating" the game was "mostly unremarkable." GameTrailers gave Red Steel 2 8.6 out of 10. GamesRadar gave the title four-and-a-half stars out of five, praising the controls and "the engaging, intuitive combat." GamesRadar also noted that the game was drastically superior to Red Steel, noting that there was "no comparison between the two." Classic Game Room received the game well. Bussler claimed that this was the best motion controlled first person shooter that "I ever played".
Not all non-video game publications gave the game moderate success. The Escapist gave it four stars out of five and said, "Over three years after the Wii hit store shelves, Red Steel 2 finally delivers the motion-controlled swordplay we expected from the original Red Steel, and it more than makes up for any niggling flaws in the level design." The Daily Telegraph gave it seven out of ten and called it "effortlessly likable". Wired also gave it seven stars out of ten, saying, "I've never played anything quite like Red Steel 2, which lets you use swords and guns simultaneously, switching back and forth between wild swinging and precise aiming." The A.V. Club gave it a C+, saying, "Though the pesky lag is largely gone, all too often, gameplay still devolves into breathless, embarrassing exercises in flailing."
Ubisoft originally expected to sell 1 million copies of Red Steel 2, but after poor sales of their game Avatar, they slashed their sales predictions in half. According to Jason VendenBerghe at his keynote speech at the 2010 European game developers conference, Red Steel 2 has sold approximately 270,000 copies worldwide.
In April 2010, a French website spread a rumor that according to Nintendo magazine, Red Steel 3 was in development.
Jason VandenBerghe feels enthusiastic about making a sequel, but in his opinion the current state of the motion control market does not yet justify making a sequel. It was reported by rumors that it would likely be a Wii-exclusive making use of the Wii Vitality Sensor. However, since the launch of the Wii U, no further news of Red Steel 3 has surfaced. This likely indicates that this game won't come into production.
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