Kinect Star Wars

Kinect Star Wars As Rough As Ever At TGS
by Dan Ryckert on Sep 15, 2011 at 05:13 PM
Publisher: LucasArts
Developer: Terminal Reality
Rating: Teen
Platform: Xbox 360

If you've followed our coverage of Kinect Star Wars, you know we've expressed plenty reason for concern. Phil came away unimpressed when he played it at E3, Jeff Cork experienced recognition problems during the Gamescom demo, and the game has been delayed because of quality concerns. Despite the issues and criticism this title has faced, Microsoft is showing it off once again at their TGS booth. After checking it out, you can put me in the same camp as Phil and Jeff when it comes to my thoughts on the game.

The demo starts with your Jedi descending via ship to a landing platform. It started as a one-player full-screen view, but it easily switched to split-screen multiplayer when the Microsoft booth attendant stepped in and waved at Kinect. Movement is extremely limited, with the primary action being a dash performed by leaning forward. All running is done automatically, so it's basically a matter of leaning forward until you get to an enemy, waving your arm around for a bit to slice them up, and then leaning forward again to get to the next one.

Some enemies require you to jump to get around to their back, and some scripted sequences featured the ability to sidestep lasers. On a couple of occasions, I was able to move my arms to force push an object out of the way. While in battle, I found it frequently difficult to close the gap between me and the enemy, which resulted in a lot of leaning forward and jumping in an effort to get in closer proximity.

Lightsaber duels are lackluster, with little in the way of strategy or defense thanks to the often laggy Kinect controls. "Flailing" is a term that's used a lot when people describe motion controls, but that's exactly what you'll be doing as you face off against battle droids.

I walked away from Kinect Star Wars thinking it felt like an unimpressive amusement park ride, shuttling you along on rails from battle to battle. With limited options in terms of navigation and combat, it feels less like you're playing a game and more like you're performing a checklist of motions in a specific order. Based on what I saw, Kinect Star Wars is definitely in need of its delay to 2012.