The original Red Steel was a key launch title for the Wii, serving as many consumers’ first experience of the FPS genre on the format.
The game enjoyed plenty of hype while in development and was relatively well received when launched – despite some saying that the game’s unique combat left them wanting.
The major selling point for Red Steel was the ability to fight off enemies with either guns or a sword – an ambitious combination that intrigued many gamers when the game was revealed.
More than three years after the original Red Steel’s release, Ubisoft is now set to revitalise the franchise and truly realise the potential of this appealing mechanic.
“Red Steel is one of Ubisoft’s key brands – it has a heritage on the Nintendo Wii,” says brand manager Matt Benson.
“Red Steel 2 is the final title at the end of a challenging fiscal year for the industry so we are giving it the level of support it needs.”
Key to Red Steel 2’s offering is MotionPlus compatibility. The use of the new add-on allows for much more fluid swordplay as the player’s actions are recreated accurately in-game. Gone are the specific swinging motions required to pull of each attack – now gamers can hack and slash to their hearts content.
MotionPlus also gives greater precision to the shooting aspects, making the gunplay much more intense this time around. Best of all, players can now switch between the sword and their guns on the fly, allowing them to enjoy a gameplay style that suits them.
In fact, given how essential the add-on is to the game, Ubisoft is rolling out a Red Steel 2 SKU that comes bundled with MotionPlus.
“Wii MotionPlus allows Red Steel 2 to deliver the definitive first-person action fighting experience with swordplay an elements,” says Benson.
“The game also looks great and we have a unique, artistic anime-inspired visual style, tailored for the presentation, gameplay and story elements which will keep the player engrossed throughout the game.”
Another key difference is the new location. Red Steel 2 swaps the gritty neon-lit Tokyo streets for the barren deserts of a fictional universe where Eastern and Western cultures have clashed together.
This strange new world has been rendered with an impressive anime-style cel-shaded look, setting it apart from those found in rival shooters.
Interestingly, despite its obvious hardcore appeal, Ubisoft will be marketing Red Steel 2 to a much wider audience in order to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by the Wii market.
“With the exception of Just Dance, we have seen that market conditions have been challenging,” adds Benson.
“Our media strategy in particular has not been to position the title solely at hardcore audiences, so we’re confident sales will meet expectations.”
Ubisoft will be supporting Red Steel 2 with print advertising in Nintendo specialist press, both in the run-up to the launch and in the weeks afterwards.
Similarly, TV advertising will run both before and after release, with a campaign aimed at 16 to 22-year-old males. The publisher has also invested in video-on-demand ad placements on services such as Sky TV Player.
Finally, there will be a range of POS materials available to retailers in the weeks leading up to Red Steel 2’s debut.
“We’re putting a good solid weight of TV, video-on-demand and print advertising behind Red Steel 2, so we believe it will perform well with the promise of Wii MotionPlus, a strong visual style and focused marketing investment.”
Red Steel 2 will be released for the Wii on March 26th.