The dream of a proper motion controlled Star Wars game is one that still excites the mind of Star Wars fans everywhere. However, Star Wars Kinect is still a bit of a mystery for gamers ever since it was revealed at last year’s E3. Could you have a proper Star Wars game without being in full control of your character’s movements?
I got hands-on (or should that be hands-off?) time with the Jedi Destiny mode, one of several modes developer Terminal Reality has promised will ship with the full game. The level took place on Cloud City on Bespin. I played an original Jedi character created for the game. Before the airship even landed on the ground, I had full control of my Jedi’s arm movements. The level initiated when I actually jumped in the air, which caused my character to jump out of the ship and into the heart of battle.
The controls are simple. The right hand controls the lightsaber swings while the left is used to aim your force powers. Simply swinging your right hand will move your Jedi towards the nearest droid and cut them to bits. It works really well and responds accurately to every movement of my arm. Holding your left hand over an enemy activates your force power and you can actually push your palm forwards to force push them away.
A friend can drop in for co-op action at any time by waving their hand in front of Kinect for a few seconds. The game instantly split into two screens when my partner joined in to help me tackle the droid army. Star Wars Kinect has been described as an on-rails experience but that is not entirely true. You can make your character change directions by turning your head and then lunge forward by doing so in place in front of the Kinect sensor. It works surprisingly well and allows you to slice up the nearest enemy or avoid their attacks in a swift manner. You can wave your hand to use your lightsaber to block shots as well and even kick droids with an authentic swing of the leg.
Later we came to a part where we had to use the force to move a huge ship blocking our progress. This gesture required both hands to manipulate the ship and move it to one side. After that, we moved into a corridor with more droids. We eventually came across a pair of droids we could not attack head on so we had jump over them by jumping in the air with our bodies. It feels cool to watch your character flip over an enemy before slicing him to bits. After that the game presented a cinematic teaser of our two Jedi heroes about to square off against a Sith lord before coming to an abrupt end.
The game’s visual are mixed. The world of Star Wars is faithfully recreated in HD but we have seen much better already. The animations are choppy and seem forced (that’s not a pun). The demo I played was brief but provided just enough fun to make the game seem promising. Star Wars Kinect launches exclusively for the Xbox 360 sometime later this year.