Red Steel

Content review for this game:
Pertaining to the ESRB rating.

Content sum up: This is quite mild, with no blood or gore, and the suggestive themes are extremely mild. But, there is a moderate amount of language and even though there is no blood/gore, it is pretty violent and chaotic. Add all this with the tricky, frustrating controls, and kids 13- could find better alternatives than this game. So, I recommend this game for ages 14+.

Language: There are under a dozen uses of d*mn, hell and God, two uses of bastard, and one use of a**. Other than the main script, enemies will say, "D*mn!", "Stop you bastard!", "What the hell?!", "Dumb a**!", "Sh*t!" (only used in two levels), and "God d*mn!" during gunfights—later in, enemies solely curse in Japanese.

Mild suggestive themes:

  • An early level takes place in a Japanese "massage parlor," where you see some of the women workers and their bedrooms. However, there's no actual "clients" in these rooms. Near the end of the level you see a man with two hired girls in hot tub, but they are all fully covered, and there is nothing going on.
  • A later level's objective is to save Geisha girls; you see a few scantily clad and dancing on a stage, before they run for their lives when the gunfight starts.
  • A couple of songs in the soundtrack have girls moaning and singing in a slightly suggestive tone—this is offset by the fact that said songs are very grating.
  • A few characters are seen drinking or holding bottles of alcohol; there's a level that takes place in a gambling joint; and there is light drug reference.

Violence: The story begins with the protagonist, Scott, meeting his girlfriend's father (a Japanese gang lord). When you are about to be introduced, gunfire breaks out, and Scott's girlfriend and her father are taken by a rival gang. Scott ends up rescuing the father, but Miyu (Scott's girlfriend) is still in their grips, and he'll have to master both the sword and gun if he ever hopes to rescue her...

This is all about flat-out action, and is moderately intense, with partially destructable enviroments; but overall, is still quite mild compared to other games of its kind. Your character starts out with just a pistol, and ends up aquiring a shotgun, machine guns, sniper rifle, a sword, (etc.), and you will be using them to fight against the dozens of Japanese gang members. There is no blood in cutscenes or gameplay, but when you shoot enemies in the head, you will hear a brief squishing/crunching sound on impact; A more mild form of this carries into the sword play whenever you or the enemy are hit by a sword. Gas-tanks, cars and electrical panels can be detonated to dispatch of nearby enemies, And there are also several one-on-one sword fights; when rivals are defeated, they will drop to their knees and await their fates...

You will then have an option to either give them a final swipe with your sword (killing them) or you can pull it back and spare their life—the game rewards you with respect points if you choose to do the latter. Also worth mentioning is that you can't shoot or kill civilians or allies. The last technique (with firearms) is the Focus mode. With this, time stops, and you can then target specific parts of multiple enemy bodies, meaning you can aim for the head and heart, killing them, or aim for their gun and shoot it out of their hands—If you do the latter, you'll also gain respect points.

Content review posted: 06/02/2008

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