How Red Steel 2 focused on the swords instead of the guns

Late last week, Red Steel 2’s creative director Jason Vandenberghe spoke to members of press — by way of satellite, all the way from France — in Ubisoft San Francisco last week. He gave a little run down on all things Red Steel 2, and had some really interesting things to say about the development on game. 

For instance, we found out that Red Steel 2 was in development since the end Red Steel 1:

The game has actually been worked on in one way or another pretty much since the end of Red Steel 1. The core team for Red Steel 2 is made up of largely the same people that did Red Steel 1. So there’s a lot of continuity there.

There was a lot of work being done in terms of research [and] about gameplay. What are we going to do? How can we make it great? The team wanted to make the next one really killer, really awesome. So we spent a lot of time really looking at the core mechanics, looking at the technologies, rebuilding that from the ground up. Making sure we can get the absolute most we could out of the Wii. There was a lot of questions amongst the team about can we really make this work with the basic Wiimote.

We tried a lot of things and certainly we got a long way. But when the Wii MotionPlus showed up, it was like “Oh okay. Well, [laughs] this is how this game should work!” was pretty much our response. When we plugged it in and tried that, wham! What happened it that [Red Steel 2] went from a shooter with a sword in it, to a sword game with guns in it. We really shifted the focus and that let us sort of go down and take our setting apart and look at it again. We created this new hero from the inside out based on that gameplay.

So it looks like the MotionPlus saved us from another generic first-person shooter game and instead we’re getting a “first person brawler” game. I love FPS games but I feel they just don’t really work all that well on the Wii. Metroid Prime 3 did a great job, but that’s the exception, not the rule.

Check back later today for a preview on Red Steel 2 where I feel they got the controls just right. 

Hamza Aziz