That reviewers don’t play games for long enough before putting virtual pen to paper is a well-worn comments thread complaint. Fortunately for conscientious readers, it’s pretty easy to ascertain whether somebody’s spent sufficient time in the company of Red Steel 2 to form a creditable opinion.
Simply approach the target (having first studied his habits), greet him by name and shake him firmly by the right hand. If he tears free with a disconcerted glare, or yells for security, or returns the greeting, or does anything, in fact, but scream in pain and black out on the spot, he hasn’t even made it past the first boss fight. Those who’ve burned through the full 10 hours and had a crack at completing chapters against the clock may look something like this.
Red Steel 2 is a first-person motion-sensitive sword- and gun-fighting game, see, and the most sinew-rippingly, tendon-bendingly, shoulder-dislocatingly [maybe cut this one - Ed] true-to-life example of Wii MotionPlus functionality you’ll come by. In relation to Wii Sports Resort, anyway, which admittedly is a little like saying that climbing a tree is more faithful to the experience of flying a jet than standing on the ground, but trust us: it’s as true-to-life as it needs to be. Any truer and my right arm would be lying in a hospital freezer somewhere.
Where the first Red Steel told a tale of executive hotels and sun-glassed yakuza hitmen, and got its foot royally stuck in Greyscale Generica Land as a consequence, the sequel plumps for a more lavish kind of fiction: a cell-shaded, vaguely post-apocalyptic alloy of cyberpunk LA, feudal Japan and Wild West, set within and around an embattled desert metropolis named Caldera.
Besides dustweeds and garbage collectors, the hazy streets are stalked by fearsome samurai clans, equally versed in the uses of blade and bullet. As the game begins, your old clan (from which you were exiled for some undivulged crime) has been all but wiped out overnight by yapping “Jackal” raiders and other, more sinister forces. And you? You happen to be the sullen, unnamed offspring of Clint Eastwood and Ken Watanabe, and accordingly you’re going to get in there and kick some arse.