Why Steel Battalion Failed

Why Steel Battalion Failed

Kirk Hamilton, Kotaku features editor, appeared with Anthony Carboni on revision3’s New Challenger to discuss the shambling pile of fail that is Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, why scathing reviews differed so much from optimistic previews, and what this means for core games development on Kinect. The segment is about 10 minutes long. [YouTube]


  • It’s a shame that a game that attempts some form of innovation is almost universally panned by critics for being garbage. I could see what the team behind the game was trying to do; they saw the potential in the Kinect and the way it could ‘enhance’ gameplay.

    It’s a shame their idea didn’t come through clear enough (maybe the issue was with the game type), but the reviewers could have been less harsh with their criticism. Innovation is so dead in game these days and when you get panned by critics for trying to be innovative, what is the point in the end?

    • It didn’t get panned for trying to be innovative. It got panned because it sucked. Reviewers are supposed to judge games on what they are, not what they’re trying to do. Trying to be innovative isn’t good enough – you still have to make a good game. Or at the very least a game that works.

      • Sorry Teemo, i’m with Braaains here. This isn’t diving, nor gymnastics, and there is no part of a review score that should be given for ‘Degree of Difficulty’. For every successfully executed ‘innovation’, there are numerous who have tried and failed to execute it, and these become the stepping stones towards their eventual acceptance. While it is bad news for those involved in developing SB, their attempt won’t be for naught, doubtless other studios will pick up what they were *trying* to do, execute it better, and reap the reward for doing so.

    • I think the reviewers’criticisms are fair.They panned it because it was a shoddy product. If you read most reviews they mention how they were excited and impressed at the potential of the game, the game just didn’t work.

      Innovation is good but Capcom are asking for our money for a product that doesn’t work.

    • Try the Demo, I did. I tried so hard to just do things like vent the smoke or look through the tiny view screen to be able to see what I’m doing. The Kinect is not good for fine controls, and a valid comment was some things should have been mapped to the spare buttons on the controller.

      We all wanted this game to be good, we all wanted a game that made the Kinect work that made you go DAMN, this is it, this is what gaming should be. Unfortunately if the Controls don’t work the game can never be good.

      Steel Battalion should be a big Arcade Machine so they can give you the physical controls it deserves.

  • So your saying they should ignore the simple fact that this GAME is absolute shit BECAUSE it is an unsuccessful ATTEMPT at innovation???

  • i tried the demo and found when it worked, it was hella fun. then there are things that are just to close together and the thing just gets lost.

    that said i love mecha so i got a copy… have not been brave enougth to open it

  • I feel like reviewers scoring games based on some objective ‘quality’ of the game is meaningless. Trying to rank whether, say, League of Legends or DOTA2 is better-made is ridiculous. It’d be better if game reviewer scores were based on how strongly that reviewer recommends the game, which most reviewers subconsciously do anyway. Stop pretending it’s a verdict.

    Won’t change Steel Battalion’s score, as most reviewers wouldn’t recommend it anyway.

  • IMO the problem is that it uses Kinect.
    Sure it is a great piece of technology but I think it is too little, too soon for something as complex as video games and as basic as a TV screen.
    When we have the VR/holographic tech to actually use the power of a 3d sensor sure but right now it’s no better than a Wii-mote – still trying to make an image on a screen mimic a vague physical action.

  • Played the demo with high hopes. The controls sucked. I thought that i needed to recalibrate… Nope, still sucked! It literally made me feel like I was retarded because the game kept asking me to do shit that it simply would recognise or i had yo move my arm ever so slowly it was like i was performing with a puppet on strings. Disapointed not surprised at the review scores.

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