There are two main reasons we should expect to see blood in Red Steel 2:
- The game's very title strongly implies the presence of blood on a sword. The first game's box art actually shows a bloody sword.
- The series involves using a sword to hurt people, and this aspect of gameplay is apparently being showcased much more in the sequel, thanks to Wii MotionPlus.
Now to be clear, I'm not saying that Red Steel 2 should be super bloody and full of over-the-top gore, like MadWorld. There's a huge spectrum of how violence can be portrayed in a video game. But the presence of blood in a sword-based game is not a minor detail, something easily ignored. It's no more a technicality than gravity. When you use a sword on someone, he bleeds. That is, in fact, the primary result -- severe injury or death may occur down the line, but that's no guarantee.
Removing blood from a sword-based game leads to certain consequences. The action is less satisfying because the player doesn't get the logical result. It's more difficult to gauge how effective you have been in combat, so artificial indicators have to be added. And on a more philosophical level, you are misrepresenting violence by removing the natural consequences.
So why would a developer raise these issues by removing bloodshed from a game that clearly begs for it? Ubisoft claims creative reasons, in the June issue of Nintendo Power magazine:
"The gore just doesn't fit for us and what we're trying to do…"
First, blood and gore are not the same thing. Second, let's just be honest: they are going for a Teen rating because it allows them to market the game to a wider audience. But that shouldn't stop them from showing a reasonable amount of blood that is appropriate for the kind of action in the game. It is possible, under the convoluted ESRB system, to have blood (without gore) and still get a T-rating, as is the case with The Conduit, Batman: Arkham Asylum, and X-Men Origins: Wolverine (Wii/PS2/PSP versions). Obviously, severing limbs or releasing internal organs would go into the "gore" category and would automatically push the game into the M-rating, but there is room for compromise here. Yet indications from the first game and what little we know of Red Steel 2 are that blood will be avoided altogether.
I'm not saying that blood is always good or that every game should have it, but this game is going to look downright weird without some visual feedback for the swordplay that is, supposedly, "as real as you'd always dreamed!"