The lights are on
I was watching a movie on my Xbox 360 the other night, when I had to go upstairs. The controller had long turned itself off. My hands were full of empties. Rather than drop everything onto the floor (my immediate instinct), I just said “Xbox, pause,” and the system obediently put the action on hold. I couldn’t help but agree with my wife as I trotted upstairs. Her statement? “That’s insane.”
Now that it’s been out for a while, we’ve gotten a pretty good sense of how developers are choosing to incorporate Kinect in their games. It’s disappointing. If you didn’t know any better, you’d think all it did was give people an excuse to jog in place, jump, and stretch their arms out like airplanes. All the while, the peripheral’s most powerful and interesting functionality is ignored. That’s insane.
When I played Mass Effect 3, I was able to command my squad with my voice. I didn’t have to enter a menu. I didn’t need to interrupt the action. I could just say, “Liara, singularity,” and she’d fire off her biotic attack, neutralizing Cerberus soldiers while I finished them off. After Bethesda released a patch for Skyrim, I could easily access my map, quick-save my game, and even rattle off dragon shouts with ease. And again, I did it using my voice.
Getting Kinect to recognize my body is often an exercise in trial and error. Entire limbs will suddenly cease to exist, or at least they will virtually. And I don’t know how many times I’ve had to futz around in menus after someone on the couch has the nerve to move an arm. In contrast, Kinect correctly responds to my voice with stunning accuracy. It doesn’t matter if people are having a conversation in the background or the in-game audio is blasting away. It works, and it works quite well.
Steel Battalion was a failure for many reasons. When I review a game, I review what’s in front of me, not what I wish the game would be. I can’t help but believe, however, that the game would have been more successful had it incorporated at least some voice commands. You’re stuck in a mech with three other people, and you’re only able to silently bat at the air? Why didn’t players have the option of directly commanding their crew in battle?
It’s easy to carry cynicism around like a trophy, and I’m certainly guilty of it. I’ve been disappointed by Kinect, but I’m not quite ready to abandon all hope. Kinect has incredible potential, and I wish developers would push themselves to take advantage of it, instead of focusing on full-body waggle.
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If I remember right Rainbow Six Vegas (1 or 2) had some voice commands simply with headsets, just like everything should be able to do without buying this stupid accessory.
Socom on the PS2 had that headset awhile back where you could direct your squad around via voice commands... worked great too... nothing new here. It's just finally getting recognized by the media/masses.
Kinect has that simple functionality built in, which is nice, but it's real purpose is to compete with the other consoles at motion gaming... their ideas for controller-less gaming were awesome, but the implementation suffers terribly.
Voice features ftw.
so kinect only good quality is something that headsets has been doing for years now!yea, that's potential for you. Developers have not use it long before kinect arrived becouse sooner or later the appeal just go away or you get tired of it, last game i played (and enjoyed it too) using voice controls was tom clancy's End war, so why do u need a 150 dollars mic for that?! just to say "xbox, pause"?! sorry i have a less lazy way of life (and i know you were not beeing lazy, not at that time anyway:), turning on my controller is not that big of a deal.
I still like that assassins creed kinect idea. Just make it a mini-game ubisoft! I wanna fight some templars!!!!
My wife buying me a Kinect lead to the rule that my wife can no longer buy me video games/consoles/video game accessories.
the kinect SUCKS!!!
Kinect isn't worth the money and that is why I have never bought it. I really don't think that I ever will get it b/c it is just a gimmick that developers haven't figured out how to utilize yet.
The voice commands for ME3 and Skyrim are the only real selling points for Kinect as far as I'm conscerned. One thing I'm wondering though, is that I already have a $100 dollar set of headphones with a mic, so why do I really need to pay another $100 dollars for something that I'll only use the voice commands for, especially since I already have that mic? I wouldn't mind a Kinect Lite that only utilized the voice commands.
I don't use Kinect so I can't say it's bad or anything, but like GamerInformer, I believe it does have a lot of potential.
I would love to see this actually used full to all of it's potential.
I am considering buying a kinect just to use it with skyrim and to navigate the menus. It seems like anytime hype builds up for a kinect only game it just epic fails.
It's crazy how much the voice function isn't thought of.
i barely ever use my kinect,the only reason i used recently was to try the ME3 voice commands
Seamen did the voice thing too as well as infiltrated for the commodore 64
kinect seemed like a good idea at first- just like the wii, but kinect is going to crash so much harder when people realize how bad it is. but I think I've known this for about a year,.
The Kinect has turned out exactly as expected... it's a very expensive paperweight better left in the hands of non-professionals. A glorified microphone otherwise.