We've been subjected to some bad Kinect games this past year and a half. Maybe it's time for a really good one? I'm stepping on board the fully mechanised Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor bandwagon, because here is a Kinect game that looks fun and — this is key — appears to use the Kinect sensor sparingly.
Have From Software and Capcom figured it out?
Take a look above at five minutes of June's Xbox 360-exclusive Steel Battalion, shot by me at PAX East in Boston this past weekend. The graphics on the TV may be hard to see, but I wanted people to be able to observe what the players do to control the game. They mostly use the Xbox controller. From time to time, they use Kinect-tracked gestures to literally reach beyond those controls.
My favourite touch: When you stand up from your chair, you are basically standing in your Steel Battalion mech, popping your head out of the hatch above to survey the landscape beyond the tank.
My second-favorite touch: The thing that happens around 1:50 into this video, though that's not part of the game. It's just a perk of shooting Steel Battalion on Easter Sunday.