E3 2011 hasn’t officially kicked off yet but the vibe is in full effect, not only because I’m at a hotel located a few blocks away from the L.A. Convention Center, but because we’re getting some major reveals. We all know that Sony and Nintendo will have the goods this year with the NGP/PlayStation Vita and Project Café, which is now rumored to simply be dubbed Nintendo. But with Microsoft things are a bit more up in the air since aside from established games like Forza Motorsport 4 and a few reveals from the Halo and Fable franchises, we really don’t what the hell is going on. This year is going to be an important year for Microsoft to solidify the Kinect as a proper piece of gaming hardware, but I honestly don’t think that will happen if Kinect Star Wars is any indication.
Last year Microsoft had a major surprise of sorts when they unveiled the Kinect Star Wars prototype video. The Kinect Star Wars demo may have had a few weak spots (the biggest of which being that it was totally staged and wasn’t being played in real-time), but amongst core gamers and sci-fi nerds, Kinect Star Wars served as a shining beacon for the potential of the Kinect down the road. Now with Microsoft poised to show some of their new Kinect offerings, we have the first gameplay footage for Kinect Star Wars and I don’t think even think a Jawa would be willing to pick up the game for a few measly credits.
To put it simply, Kinect Star Wars looks like it embodies everything that is wrong with Kinect games these days. The concept of full body motion control is intriguing and should be explored by gamers and developers, yet what we have a year after the release of the Kinect still looks a bit stiff and far from being engaging. Demoed by Kinect frontman Kudo Tsunoda, Kinect Star Wars features some basic on-rails gameplay that consists of standard lightsaber swipes and a few Force abilities thrown in. The game itself is rather simple to control as the video below shows Kudo slashing at enemies merely by moving his arms, a bit like a fool if I may add. Kinect Star Wars basically looks like another average Kinect game that in fact looks completely terrible in a few instances. Of course I haven’t played the game myself yet, I don’t know if I’m willing to put myself out in the public view to look like an ass, but it isn’t hard to tell based on the video that Kinect Star Wars is far from being polished and fun.
There’s a lot of expectation from gamers and sci-fi fans for what Kinect Star Wars should be, but the game just looks bad even on the most basic of levels right now. Perhaps in due time the team at Terminal Reality and LucasArts will be able to polish things up a bit, but I don’t really foresee the game becoming a major hit amongst gamers, at least in the areas it counts the most. The sad thing about Kinect Star Wars is that the game will probably sell a ton of units this Holiday season because of the Star Wars name alone and Microsoft’s marketing. But it’s honestly a bit embarrassing to see that the Disney Kinect game looks better than what Kinect Star Wars has to offer, which is the bona fide truth right now.
I have no clue if Kinect Star Wars will be on the E3 show floor this week, but if it is I can’t wait to see the reactions of those who play it as the hate for the game is reaching near epic proportions right now.