• Publisher: Ubisoft
  • Release Date: Nov 19, 2006

Mixed or average reviews - based on 54 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 54
  2. Negative: 5 out of 54
Buy On
  1. 50
    Don't be fooled into thinking Red Steel reinvents the FPS. It's nothing more than a ho-hum shooter with a creative but flawed gimmick stapled on.
  2. AceGamez
    Sadly, positives such as the great audio are counterbalanced and often outweighed by missed opportunities and poorly executed gameplay mechanics. This leaves a game with a great concept and a few innovative ideas that sadly leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
  3. A huge disappointment. The general concept is decent, but the game never evolves past that. The controls are frustrating, and the aesthetic / story of the game is such a yawn fest that only those with tremendous patience will be able to persevere for more than ten minutes at a time.
  4. This one simply has almost no replay value and its action isn't as refined as I expected it to be.
  5. The visual swagger of Red Steel is that of a been there, done that affair.
  6. You won't confuse a Red Steel with "Gears of War" or "Resistance: Fall of Man," but it’s clear that the Wii has some power in its corner.
  7. It's a superb shooter with a great plot, innovative gameplay and some really brilliant moments that will surprise even the most seasoned of gamer. It's a decent length too, with a good 15 hours of play in the main mode. But some control issues and patchy inconsistencies (mainly in the physics and level design) pull it short of earning that juicy [90] score.
  8. It is a fun and skilled gamer experience that requires some learning and patience. You will enjoy Red Steel the first time around, but I don’t see any space for replayability value.
  9. The main selling feature of this game, the control, has some really great ideas, however this time around they were not fully realized and the promises of great wii-mote control just never fully panned out.
  10. 50
    Horrible graphics - even by Gamecube standards - and a lousy presentation make this game something you'll be ashamed to show your friends.
  11. It's a decent FPS, with great (for the system) graphics and audio, and makes for a decently enjoyable run, although it's only worth making the run once. Rent it first.
  12. Edge Magazine
    It's easy to over-rate launch titles thanks to the shock of the new, doubly so when the control scheme is as interesting as this one, but at its heart Red Steel is just another lever-pulling trawl through big rooms and S-shaped corridors. [Christmas 2006, p.77]
  13. Electronic Gaming Monthly
    Once you strip away the nifty new controls, you're left with a flawed shooter that does nothing I haven't seen a million times. [Jan. 2007, p.62]
  14. There are still some minor control issues, and the game is still incredibly inconsistent in terms of visual acuity, but in spite of this Red Steel is still an unquestionably fun game to play.
  15. It has inspired moments and a substantial single-player venture, but the whole thing is undermined by the terrible presentation and the all-permeating impression that Red Steel isn't quite finished, from the story-board-sketch cut-scenes to the jerky animation and weird, basic, placeholder textures.
  16. Red Steel is one of the most interesting and ambitious launch titles for the Wii, and even though it doesn't provide a flawless experience, it's still fun.
  17. 60
    The enemies almost seem to know you’re at a disadvantage, control-wise. They’re far from the brightest opponents, often standing around seemingly bored when they have clear shots at you. This does keep things from becoming frustrating, but in this era of challenging AI in games like "FarCry" and "Gears of War," Red Steel can sometimes feel like a throwback.
  18. Most of Red Steel’s faults lie with the game’s presentation. Enemies shout annoying obscenities in your direction during every firefight, the cheesy score is bad enough to incite chuckles, and the jaggy graphics look worse than many Xbox and PlayStation 2 games.
  19. A time machine that only goes backwards to the age when a glut of no-name shooters clogged the shelves.
  20. The final big problem for Red Steel is its learning curve. You have to use the Wiimote + Nunchuk together in motion and in button pressing. This can lead most seasoned gamers to be thrown off for a good hour before picking things up. And with a short length of only 9ish hours, it’s a learning curve I’m not sure many will be willing to go for.
  21. Although it acts as a wonderful selling point for anyone considering developing an FPS for the Wii, Red Steel is too much of an unsatisfying tease to succeed as much else.
  22. 65
    It's buggy and unevenly presented, which spoils what fun there is to be had. However, it did give me a taste of how FPS games can and will change on the Wii, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the genre will play out in the future.
  23. Red Steel is a good first try for Ubisoft in the arena of Wii shooting games, and the new, unique experience of actually being physically involved with the in-game action may be all that is needed to overcome some of the weaker aspects of the title for some gamers.
  24. Games Master UK
    Some clever ideas and enjoyable moments, inside an average (but solid enough) shooter. [Christmas 2006, p.78]
  25. games(TM)
    For every moment of satisfaction, there's an equal moment of frustration to match it. It's probably just as well for Ubisoft that the novelty of Nintendo's Wii Remote will carry Red Steel as a launch title. [Christmas 2006, p.110]
  26. What can’t be overlooked though is the poor dialogue and voice acting, which ranges from stereotypical to absurd.
  27. Red Steel introduces a promising control scheme both for shooting thugs and for slashing them with samurai swords, but wraps it in a buggy, thoroughly unimpressive game.
  28. 40
    It's a broken, buggy game, and if the statement about learning curves were true, it would still take far too long to gain wings before the average gamer would grow disenfranchised. The game feels completely rushed to retail in time for the launch.
  29. An average run-and-gunner that wouldn’t deserve a second look if it weren’t for its use of Wii’s unique controls. Pacing is horrible, with levels constantly being interrupted by overblown dialogue.
  30. Once the final credits roll and only the memories of your experiences remain, underneath the oddly coloured skin of different environments, controls, and concepts, Red Steel is very much a first person shooter like all those other 'normal' first person shooters.
  31. It’s a game like no other, but it takes a great deal of patience before you’re able to truly enjoy it.
  32. Those who do not wish to hold up their controllers and have the patience to learn a new control style will not be enthused. Give the game the time it deserves, however, and you’ll find that, in spite of its repetition, this is one very cool and exciting shooter.
  33. A pretty average game. If Ubisoft would have delayed the game and worked a little more on the controls and making sure stuff doesn’t explode because of a sword slash, the game would have been a lot better.
  34. It blazes a lot of new trails but doesn’t make much headway, and the traditional shooter elements aren’t done very well. The multiplayer really needs more depth, but hopefully the inevitable sequel will do it better, because I can’t imagine playing deathmatch very long with the controls as they are.
  35. 60
    It nails everything except gameplay control, which is absolutely and indisputably the most important factor. It's especially unfortunate because the game's aiming sensitivity is fine.
  36. 55
    Unfortunately, Red Steel was built on the premise that the controls would bring a new level of immersive gameplay and fun never before seen in the genre. This was never truly delivered and in turn has done more harm to the game then aid.
  37. Yeah, the game feels unfinished, but it gives a good impression of what the future of First Person Shooters is capable of on the Wii.
  38. I'm rather disgusted with all those other media establishments and their unfair razing of what's a truly decent game. Again, it's not perfect, and will likely frustrate the hell out of you at some points. But try to work through that and give Red Steel a chance, you may find a hidden layer of entertainment that those guys apparently didn't.
  39. What Red Steel has achieved in its mildly clumsy and visually under-whelming way, is to have laid down the promising foundations that not only prove that the FPS genre can and will work on Nintendo’s console, but also that the Wii can be much more than a glorified ‘mini-game machine’.
  40. Nintendo Gamer
    It's liquid movement... A massive improvement on previous console FPS control... Not only making excellent use of the Wii's controllers, this is huge fun in its own right. For a launch title to get so much right is an indicator of great things to come. [Dec 2006, p.70]
  41. Nintendo Power
    Not only is there a lot of game to enjoy in Red Steel; it's a great jumping-off point for Wii development. [Jan. 2007, p.106]
  42. Red Steel's FPS control style is superior to a standard console controller, but that's a credit to the Wii, not the game; Red Steel does its best to ruin what the system provides.
  43. The overall gameplay in Red Steel would have been much better if it had just focused on the shooting part and dumped the swordplay. Most of the game's controls are not very intuitive. There's nothing special about the game's story or its gameplay, either.
  44. Official Nintendo Magazine UK
    Clearly designed with the hardcore gamer in mind. It's slick, addictive and as close to "cool" as a game can get. [Christmas 2006, p.68]
  45. 80
    Red Steel is an achievement both in its own extremely playable right, but also as a benchmark that other developers must meet - and hopefully exceed.
  46. Pelit (Finland)
    The level design is a little boring and the sword fighting should have been much more intuitive. The game seems to have been rushed for the Wii launch. [Jan 2007]
  47. Play Magazine
    What makes Red Steel shine is a mixture of slick graphic novel-style cut-scenes, deft use of the hardware(reflection maps abound)and its wonderfully orchestrated gun and sword play. [Jan. 2007, p.48]
  48. Playing with the controller is so much fun that it takes a while to realize that the game is pretty unexceptional. You basically run into a room, shoot a bunch of guys and do that again and again. There are some nice ideas, like a shootout in a car wash, but for the most part this is a conventional, predictable shooter.
  49. It's not the best use of the motion controls, as it's really just an extension of the previously standard dual-analog controller. It's among the prettiest games on the Wii, and has a fun, if tacked on, multiplayer component.
  50. 75
    Red Steel simply screams that it's a rushed launch game, which is a shame. The game has a stylish presentation and a unique premise that, with another months of development time and polish, could of worked well.
  51. Sadly, Red Steel is nothing more than a rushed launch title that will inevitably end up in bargain bins across the globe, and that's unfortunate. Why? Because Red Steel has a ton of potential.
  52. Thanks to clunky gameplay and having been recently spoilt by unbelievably detailed environments on competing platforms, with more than passable gameplay to boot, Red Steel, despite its novel approaches feels anything but next generation.
  53. If you demand your A.I. to be spot-on and choose cover that isn't made up of boxes of grenades, or if you get annoyed easily by not quite having the timing right to trigger pre-recorded sword combos, then maybe you should sit out this rather imperfect – but fun – FPS for the Wii after all.
  54. 40
    The swordfights, which seem to promise the ability to jump around and swing your Wiimote like a living room ninja, are a profound disappointment.

Awards & Rankings

#3 Most Discussed Wii Game of 2006
#4 Most Shared Wii Game of 2006
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 122 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 122
  2. Negative: 25 out of 122
  1. Jun 14, 2015
    Red Steel is a big empty promise, the sword fights are just boring and the gunfights is full of bugs (your aiming point goes back on theRed Steel is a big empty promise, the sword fights are just boring and the gunfights is full of bugs (your aiming point goes back on the center of the screen for no reasons in the middle of your gunfights) it would have been even more annoying if the game was difficult, but at least the game is very easy and you'll just have to walk your way through the levels to finish it (shouldn't take more than 8 hours). The story comes right from a 80's D movie, so does the actors, and will at best make you smile for its stupidity. To finish with this list of problems, the graphics are pretty ugly even for a Wii launch game, and I'd just like to emphasize that the absence of blood for a game named RED steel, is also a bit dumb.
    But in the middle of all this there is some nice destruction and even a bit of fun.

    I could have ignore the ugliness if the controls were better thought and without bugs, but Red Steel is barely not a pain to play and doesn't deserve almost any kind of money from your pocket instead of other games out there.
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 18, 2011
    I didn't enjoy this game at all. The controls are totally not intuitive and don't feel natural for how a samurai would move. The gun is nearlyI didn't enjoy this game at all. The controls are totally not intuitive and don't feel natural for how a samurai would move. The gun is nearly impossible to aim. When get the game and hate it so much that I can't even bare to play it again after the first time, that can't even be considered a game, rather an expensive demo. Full Review »
  3. Aug 15, 2010
    Red steel is a hard game for me to review because I liked the game overall, but many of the game's glitches/problems could have been easilyRed steel is a hard game for me to review because I liked the game overall, but many of the game's glitches/problems could have been easily fixed. The hook of the game is that it is part shooter part sword fighter, but sadly the sword slinging is clunky and most of the time not much fun. The gun motion controls are also a bit of a problem, while most of the time they work fine some of the time they will freak out and you will start spiraling in a circle for about a second, but keep in mind this is very rare problem (it will happen once or twice the entire game.)The graphics of red steel are not award worthy or great because they are bland, gray, and overall terrible even for a wii game, but there are some decent explosions. Too add to this seemingly never-ending list of problems the story seems to be taken out of a d movie, and while some will laugh at this story other will just skip it altogether. Possibly the largest problem with this game is that it is only 5 hours long with no on line, but since the game now is the price of a wiiware game I guess that isn't a huge problem. Even though all these problems are true and in the game I am giving it a 6 because even though the game has its faults is also has many fun mini games, a variety of weapons, good local multi-player, an original idea, and most of the time fun fast paced shooting action. Now to recap I do not recommend this game to everyone, but to those who can accept its faults should definitely buy the game used or rent it. Full Review »