Kinect Sports Rivals
Rare’s Kinect Sports was a premiere title used to showcase the Xbox 360’s motion-detecting Kinect camera. The developer is at it again with Kinect Sports Rivals for the Xbox One. The game features the ability to scan your face so your digital avatar can jet ski, rock climb and more. I had my likeness copied and then stepped up to the wave race challenge during a pre-Gamescom preview event in Cologne, Germany.
Kinect Sports Rivals harnesses the new Kinect’s enhanced hardware to recognize players’ faces, hair color, and skin tone. The camera studies your face while asking you to look up, down, and to the sides. After one failed attempt, the Kinect eventually produced a stylized version of myself. It got the basics like my blonde hair and pale skin, but the face seemed a little generic. I doubt anyone would look at champion Tim and recognize me.
Kinect Sports Rivals includes new old favorites like soccer and tennis, along with new games like rock climbing, shooting, and wave racing. We checked out the latter. Players steer the invisible jet ski like a bike, weaving through sunken ships, avoiding floating mines, and doing stunts off ramps. Performing stunts earns you a speed boost, which is easily activated by lifting your leg. The Xbox One’s Kinect feels much more precise. The game recognized the slightest adjustments in my imaginary steering, including an open or closed hand which controlled throttle. I could even lean left or right to take sharper turns, a movement that felt natural the first time I tried it. I felt at home with Kinect Sports Rivals right away, and took first place with little effort thanks to the accurate motion controls.
Rare’s game collection features two-player events, uploads your performances to the cloud for your friends to compete against, and four-player online play. Kinect Sports Rivals won’t be an Xbox One Launch title, but will release next year. Hopefully the other games play as well as the solid wave race event.