Kinecting In to Everything…
With E3 done and dusted for another year, let’s take a look back at what Microsoft presented at their press conference at the start of the exhibition.
I’m probably just one of many who stayed up ’til 2:30am to watch it all unfold live. It was an excellent presentation, with lots of great-looking games – most, of course, Kinect-enabled. I personally am unsure how this will pan out, but am open to see where it goes.
The Kinect accessory for the Xbox 360 has had a quiet year since last year’s E3 conference. It looks like that’s all about to change… In their 2011 E3 press conference, Microsoft opened the flood gates and showcased over a dozen exciting games that will be coming out for the Kinect. This includes several upcoming EA games, such as Tiger Woods, Madden, FIFA, Sims Pets, and one more unannounced game. The popular indie PC game, Minecraft, will also get a version made especially for the Kinect, which will give a neat twist to the game.
There is a strong family appeal coming out from Microsoft this year, with lots of kid-friendly games like “Disneyland Kinect Adventure” and “Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster” leading the way. “Disneyland Kinect Adventure” will feature a virtual copy of Disneyland, including many rides, for you to explore. “Kinect Star Wars” is an on-rails action gamethat lets you use your lightsaber to take down enemies as your Jedi character runs forward automatically. Other titles include “Kinect Fun Labs”, “Kinect Sports Season 2”, and “Dance Central 2”.
The Kinect has also been tossed into several upcoming “hardcore” games as well, mainly utilizing the voice command feature of the accessory (providing it works with an Aussie accent by then). However, “Fable: The Journey” (the next installment in the series) will be another on-rail game that uses the Kinect as a controller. Strangely, the word from people playing the demo at E3 says it’s defiantly an off-the-rails game too so I guess we’ll just wait and see.
“RYSE”. a Kinect powered, Roman-era game, looks to be a very interesting title made by Crytek. This game looks awesome and hopefully will play just as well as the upcoming Ghost Recon title seems to.
Speaking of “Ghost Recon:Future Soldier”, it’s been announced that the game will have a Minority Report-style gunsmith mode that lets you wave your hands in the air to customize your weapon right down to the trigger, which will bring a whole new element into the customization of in-game gear etc. “Mass Effect 3” will also be utilizing the power of Kinect with in-game orders to team mates and in the conversation choice selection. It will be interesting to see how well these features work and if they change the way gamers are immersed in different settings and worlds.
And last (but not least) is “Gears of War 3”. The live demo released over a month ago was awesome and is pretty much guaranteed to be a hit with all Gears of War fans. The game play looks to be improved even more over its predecessors and the visuals are really good too. This will be one of the many must buys this year.
Finally, we have the all important Halo announcements. Microsoft saved the best for last, as “Halo 4” was announced at the end of the press conference, revealing the return of Master Chief (yay!!), along with an anniversary version of the original “Halo: Combat Evolved” that came out ten years ago. The anniversary edition will feature updated HD graphics, online Co-Op and 7 original multiplayer maps to be played on Xbox live as well as other improvements.
So overall the Conference for 2011 wasn’t the greatest one but it still had some great surprises up its sleeve, Over the next year, gaming potential will be fantastic, there are so many games this year that I would class as must buys – but that means my wallet sure will take a hit in November with over 5 major releases happening within a 2 week period. Time to start saving!
What were your thoughts of this year’s conference? Leave a comment below.