The Red Star Hands-On Preview and Video

We’ve updated our preview with new hands-on video! Check it out to see what this episodic PS2 brawler looks and plays like on the iPhone.

Greetings, comrades! Are you ready to join in the glorious People’s Revolution? In The Red Star, a port of the 2007 PS2 game based on a series of comic books, you’ll be beating up bad guys for the sake of an alternative-history Mother Russia.

The first thing we should point out is that this won’t be a full PS2 game– at least, not at first. The Red Star is being released episodically, so the first chapter will cost between two to five dollars and include three to five hours of gameplay.

There are three playable characters in chapter one: Mekita, a light but speedy rebel, Kyuzu, a plodding but strong soldier, and an unlockable sorcerer named Maya. This type of character balance should be familiar to anyone who’s played a beat ‘em up before.

In the first few levels we played, you have to march along a 3D industrial catwalk, knocking bad guys off the ledge, pummeling them to death, or shooting them with your guns. Separate controls for melee attacks and ranged weapons kept the combat feeling varied, and there’s also a special attack that slowly recharges over time. However, aiming your weapons is a little tricky, because moving and aiming use the same swipe-anywhere controls.

Another thing we’re not too keen on is that there are no checkpoints, and you have to beat a level to save your game. That also means you can’t quit at a moment’s notice or get interrupted by a phone call without losing your progress. We know it’s a PS2 port, but this still doesn’t make sense on the iPhone, where your gaming fun can be ruined by a telemarketer with bad timing.

The Red Star should be out by the end of the month, and we’re always excited to see console ports make it onto the iPhone. If you like PS2 brawlers, comic books, or potato-based alcohol, you should check out The Red Star when it launches.

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