Force rails!

June 16, 2010 by Tim

So the E3 floodgates are open, and it’s been a good one so far. Not the best in memory as far as announcements and “wow factor”, but with the dark days of E3’s near demise still so recent, the show doesn’t have to do much to look good in comparison.

I think it would be safe to say that a large focus of the show this year has been motion controls, with the Microsoft Nat… Kinect getting a lot of attention. Alongside the new name and a release date, we were also introduced to some of the titles in the works. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who dared a grin when a Star Wars title was on the list.

I feel as though I can speak for a majority percentage of geekdom when I say that when motion control first started getting serious for next gen gaming… the Wii and now the Move and Kinect… one of, if not the first thing that sprung to mind was “We must have a lightsaber motion control game.” Or at the very least, if not lightsabers, a sword fighting game. But really, lightsabers.

For a second it looked like we were going to finally get that, only to have the dream crushed once again.

Now, I’m not talking about whoever’s incredibly stupid idea it was to have on-stage performers pretend that they were motion controlling a game at a big reveal about motion control technology. I understand that perhaps a live demonstration wasn’t ready/feasible. However, when it comes to this new, somewhat gimmicky tech (motion control, 3D gaming), gamers by nature are skeptical to start with. Either show us that it works, or just tell us that it’s going to work.

Throwing up a performer that proceeds to be out of sync with the on-screen gameplay only reminds and amplifies our suspicions that this is all a big smoke and mirrors gimmick, and that Kinect/Move/whatever are never going to truly take the place of a real controller, or produce quality games. It’s like catching a singer lyp-syncing their songs.

However, that is easily pushed to the side. It was a stupid performance idea, whatever. Perhaps Kinect will still be super cool and fun and all that crap.

The real kick in the balls came when further footage of the Star Wars Kinect game suggests that it is an on-rails Jedi slasher game. Yes. Because when I think of being a Jedi, I think of standing in one place, flailing my lightsaber hoping that I either reflect blaster bolts or some dumb shit walks into my melee range, and then dashing a few feet forward and doing the same thing.

Maybe it’ll be a blast, I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s not what gamers were hoping for. Beyond just hoping for a really cool sword/lightsaber fighting game (because deep down we all want to be Jedi) I think we’re also looking for confirmation that motion controls can provide more, daresay, “hardcore” gamers with a legitimate experience. That it’s not going to all be Kinectimals.

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