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Steel Battalion Looked Awesome At Trade Shows, But Sucks At Retail (Gameplay Video)

Steel Battalion Screen.jpeg

Reviews lambast Steel Battalion because it just doesn’t work.

Heavy Armor Gameplay

The most promising Kinect title has completely bombed according to reviewers, who couldn’t even finish the game

Impressions from Steel Battalion were, well, awesome at trade shows such as PAX which said the game was the title which utilised Kinect in a meaningful way. Working well at trade shows and in the hands of the consumer is entirely different, though, and reviewers have expressed exactly that.

Justin McElroy of Polygon did try to finish the game, but found it unplayable and didn’t complete the game therefore awarding an embarrassing 1/10. Kinect has had its issues in the past, but I’m not sure a game was unable to be completed.

Steel Battalion basically puts you in control of a tank, and you use Kinect to pull levels and control the tank. It’s a great idea in concept, and appear to work well in practice when shown off to the press. I believe there is controller support, which is required at points. It’s interesting that wasn’t mentioned, though I guess if the game isn’t working then it’s pretty hard to get to the points where a controller is used.

Kinect 2.0

Polygon wasn’t the only site to complain, though: Ben Kuchera of Penny Arcade said the game just didn’t work despite adjusting the lighting and seating. Kuchera noted the game was much better at PAX, but those events have a controlled experienced where devs have plenty of time to create optimal conditions. People simply don’t have the room and time devs do at trade events.

Alex Rubens, a freelance writer for G4, added he was being recognised by Kinect but that’s about it. Functions were performed, but not accurately, and the success rate was about 90%. Yes that’s high, but you’re input success rate on a controller is 99.9% – even 100% – so that missing 10% ruins the experience. IGN added that players basically have to be perfectly still, unless they love recalibrating Kinect.

Ultimately it sounds unplayable, and may even take the title of worst Kinect game ever — and one of the worst games ever. Presenting a game very well at trade events, and then failing to deliver at home, is pretty misleading. Did QA testing exist?

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Published: Tuesday, June 19th, 2012 Last Modified: June 19, 2012

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