European Cover Art
|Release Date||November 19, 2006|
|Genre||First Person Shooter|
Red Steel is a first person shooter video game published by Ubisoft for Nintendo's Wii console. It was developed by the Ubisoft Paris studio and was unveiled in the May 2006 issue of Game Informer. It was released on November 19, 2006 in North America, the date of the first Wii launch.
The game takes advantage of Wii's motion-sensitive controller, along with the Nunchuk attachment, to control a katana and a firearm. Twisting the controller while handling the gun causes the on-screen gun to twist as well. Players can push objects to use them as cover by pushing the controller forward. Shaking the Nunchuk attachment or pressing "right" on the D-Pad reloads the gun. The player can also throw grenades underhand or overhand, employing the controller as the object being thrown.
The AI characters can "care for themselves" according to project leader Roman Campos Oriola; enemies are aggressive, moving around objects and the environment to attack the player (like jumping on a table instead of running around). The developers hold the computer game F.E.A.R. as their standard for the AI. Template:Fact
The AI allows the player to force the enemy mob bosses to surrender, rather than take their lives. The player can shoot the weapon out of the enemy's hands, causing him to surrender. In the swordfighting aspect, a similar option exists. After winning a swordfight, the enemy gets on his/her knees and the player has the choice of whether to deliver a coup de grace or to show mercy. This actually becomes beneficial, as the bosses may then help the player if the player can convince them to join the player's faction, possibly handing over new weapons or paths. A violent approach is also possible, but it may result in the bosses' factions joining Tokai (instead of the player) in his quest for Yakuza control, making the final confrontation with the mobster more difficult.
Recklessness is strongly discouraged by a system that adds 'freeze points' for accuracy/efficiency while using one's weaponry. When a certain number of points is accumulated, the player is able to momentarily freeze time thus allowing for more accurate attacks.
Another aspect of multiplayer is that when playing a Killer match, the remote acts as a telephone using its internal speaker. It rings for the player to place it against their ear. The mission objectives are then given without the other players being able to hear what they are.
Red Steel's way of playing makes it a unique experience compared to most first person shooters. Up to four players can play together on four different maps: Dojo, Restaurant, Games, and Docks. The multiplayer mode is split-screen multiplayer with traditional deathmatches. According to the project leader, "Perhaps most impressive is the fact that although split-screen reduces the amount of on-screen space you are playing in, you don't have to make smaller movements —you can gesture as wildly as you want, and it won't interfere with the other player's on-screen quadrants."
Red Steel features three multiplayer modes, Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Killer:
- In Deathmatch, each player fights for himself and must kill as many people as possible to win.
- In Team Deathmatch, the players are in two teams. The team with the most kills wins.
- In Killer, each player fights for himself or herself. This mode consists of rounds. At the beginning of each round, each player receives a secret objective through the speaker of the Wii Remote. The objectives are private. A timer is set that defines the duration of the round. The first player to complete the objective wins the round. Depending on the difficulty of the round, players will be rewarded by different quantities of points. Killer mode is only playable with four players.
Another feature of Red Steel multiplayer is the notion of "bonuses". Before beginning play, each player chooses one of three bonuses: More Damage, More Life, or Unlimited Ammunition. During play, the bonus meter increases for each enemy killed. Once the gauge begins to fill up, players can press the "1" button on the control to activate their selected bonus for a period of time proportional to how full the meter is. It is not possible to use the sword fighting mode in multiplayer.
Scott Monroe, the protagonist of the game, is engaged to Miyu Sato, daughter of Isao Sato. At a hotel in Los Angeles, California, Scott is to meet Isao for the first time. A gang manages to disguise themselves as the hotel staff and open fire on Sato's room. Scott tries to help, but is knocked unconscious. He awakens and grabs a pistol off a dead bodyguard and meets up with Sato on the roof, who is injured.
Scott learns the ways of the katana from Sato after being attacked by a waiter with a sword. Sato and Scott retreat to Sato's personal suite, where Scott covers Miyu, Sato, and Ryuichi, one of Sato's guards, as they head to their car in the parking lot. Scott eventually meets up with them, but Ryuichi turns on them and kidnaps both Sato and Miyu. Scott pursues the car and saves Isao after shooting the car and besting the driver in sword combat. Ryuichi manages to escape with Miyu.
In Little Tokyo, they meet up with Tony Tanaka, Sato's friend in Los Angeles, Sato is revealed to be the Oyabun of one of the largest Yakuza families. To track down Ryuichi, Scott raids the Angel's Heaven, whom Ryuichi's mistress, Angel, owns, and Extreme Wheels, Ryuichi's car workshop. Ryuichi confronts Scott at an airport and bests him in combat, but spares him. He escapes to Japan with Miyu. The enemies will only hand Miyu over if the Katana Giri, a katana once used to execute dishonorable godfathers, was given as ransom. Sato gives Scott the Giri, and dies of his injuries.
At Tokyo, Scott makes contact with Otori, a samurai, and Harry Tanner, nightclub owner, who assist him in tracking down Ryuichi. Harry leads Scott to a waste processing plant off the coast of Tokyo, where Ryuichi delivers Miyu to Tokai Kawaji,the antagonist of the game. Ryuichi duels Scott again, but is defeated. Scott spares him, but Ryuichi is murdered by a sniper while giving information to Scott.
Tokai is revealed to have taken over the major districts: the financial, gaming, Geisha houses, and docks, bringing down the Sanro Kai, the leaders of these districts. Scott then goes to the four separate areas of the game, eventually managing to restore the faith in the Sato Gumi to old members of the Sanro Kai or overthrow a new leader appointed by Tokai.
Eventually, Scott delivers the Giri to Otori. Back at Harry's bar, Tokai was waiting for Scott in the conference room. Harry suddenly turns on Scott; knocking him unconscious. Scott is brought down into the cellar to be tortured by Dozan, one of Tokai's henchmen. Scott manages to grab a sword and bring down Dozan, and escape the cellar to interrogate Harry. Harry grabs a katana and battles Scott, giving him information after he is defeated and begging for his life. Whether Harry lives or dies, like most duels, is up to the player.
Harry reveals that Tokai has raided Otori's dojo, hiring the Komori, a new wave of ninjas. During the attack Otori's daughter Mariko is poisoned by Komori wielding a poisonous katana as she tries to protect the Katana Giri in Otori's shrine. The attack is thwarted, and Scott travels to one of Tokai's bases, where he is going to execute the members of the Sanro Kai. He duels Tokai, learning he wanted the Giri to kill the Kai; they killed Tokai's father Ichiro Kawaji with the sword, and he wanted to kill them with the same sword they used against him. Scott bests him and saves most of the Sanro Kai, but Tokai escapes. Scott pursues, and duels the Komori leader. He emerges victorious, but it is unknown whether life or death of the leader is canonical.
Otori and Scott travel to Tokai's private residence for the final battle. Otori is bent on avenging his daughter, and the attack the Komori brought upon his dojo and goes on his own to create a diversion for Scott. During the raid on Tokai's residence Otori is poisoned by a Komori blade. Scott battles Tokai one last time, and overcomes him. After the battle, Tokai pleads with Scott to let him live, telling him that only he has the antidote for Otori's poison. Here, the player is presented with a choice: they may either protect Tokai from Otori, or let Otori kill Tokai.
If Scott defends Tokai from Otori the Katana Giri is broken. Otori respects Scott's action and now honors him. Otori as well as his daughter is cured with the antidote. At the end of the game, all the characters are at Isao's funeral. The Sanro Kai explains that they understand Tokai's motivations for his actions, but he must be punished.
If Scott lets Otori kill Tokai, then Otori and his daughter both die. Scott and Miyu escape from Tokai's estate on their own.
- Scott Monroe: The games' protagonist, a character with no backstory, except that he was Miyu's bodyguard at one point.
- Miyu Sato: Scott's fiancée and Isao Sato's daughter.
- Isao Sato: Miyu's father and powerful and well-respected Yakuza boss who co-founded the famous Sato Clan.
- Tokai Kawaji: Main antagonist in the game,he seizes control of Tokyo's major Yakuza districts in a bid for total power of the Sato Clan and seeks to acquire the clan's ancient sword The Katana Giri.
- Otori-Sensei: Former Yakuza member and close personal friend of Sato,he is the owner of the dojo where Scott comes to receive training in sword technique.
- Harry Tanner: American club owner who provides Scott with intel about the Yakuza.
- Mama San Sasori: Tokai's mistress and a beautiful, seductive and deadly sword fighter, she is the Geisha district boss under Tokai's reign.
- Kajima: Highly skilled marksman who practices at Harry's. He provides Scott with a weapons Arsenal and teaches him to use firearms more effectively.
- Ryuichi: Isao Sato's former lieutenant who betrays him and kidnaps his daughter Miyu and takes her to Tokyo. He is one of the game's principal antagonists.
- Tony Tanaka: Reformed Yakuza member; teaches Scott basic katana combat.
- Mariko: Otori's Daughter who is assigned by Otori to teach Scott Kata combos.
- The Sanro Kai: Five Yakuza leaders who served under Sato when his gang was still powerful. They consist of Geisha district boss Mama San Reiko, finance district boss Kenzo Chiba, gambling district boss Tetsuo Misumi, shipyard & docklands district boss Inoue Makoto as well as group leader Akira Matsubara.
- Ichiro Kawaji: Father of Tokai Kawaji,the main antagonist of the game and old friend of Otori-Sensei.He was the enemy of the Sato Clan leader,Isao Sato and the Sanro Kai . He was killed by the Sanro Kai by seppuku pledge. He was the original owner of the ancient sword The Katana Giri before Isao Sato claimed as its own and the symbol of the Sato Clan
The May issue of Game Informer magazine had the first ever screenshots of this game, Polaroid photos of which leaked onto blogs and fan sites all over the Internet. Ubisoft Paris claimed they were rendered in real time. The demonstration of the game during Nintendo's E3 2006 press conference seemed to confirm that the in-game graphics were very similar to the shots seen in the magazine. Since the E3 demo, Red Steel went through a major overhaul, to improve the graphics further.
The associate producer of Red Steel Jean-Baptiste Duval, said in an interview with Australian video game magazine Hyper that the game runs on a modified Unreal Engine 2.5. He said that much of the Ubisoft staff had worked on the engine and knew its strengths and weaknesses. The graphics of the game have been designed to achieve a defining artistic style rather than photorealism.
In the September edition of the Official Nintendo Magazine of Europe, there was a featured article that looked at the newest build of the game. The magazine staff who had the opportunity to play it said that the graphics were looking far more incredible than before, and that "People should be expecting visuals that are a prettier version of Resident Evil 4".
Red Steel was the first third party game on the Wii to have screenshots released. This caused a massive amount of excitement among Nintendo enthusiasts. However, the game was met with a negative response initially at its showing at E3 2006. Many critics complained that the controls were too loose and that the sword fighting portions did not mimic the player's movement with the Wii Remote. Ubisoft later announced that they received the Wii Remote development kits about a month before E3 2006, so they couldn't make the game function in the style that they had originally intended. Ubisoft took this criticism into account, and had announced that the game was being fine tuned. When released, there was notable discontent with the control scheme due to its differences from what was expected. Despite generating mixed reviews, Red Steel has sold over one million copies worldwide.
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