Steel Battalion reboot lacks control of the original

By Jessica Citizen
19 September 2011 08:35 GMT

When the original Steel Battalion launched for Xbox, back in 2002, it came with a comically over-sized, purpose-built controller which is now something of a collector’s piece. Nearly ten years later, the game has taken a more minimal approach, in a Kinect-enabled reboot that does away with controllers completely.

First announced at last year‘s Tokyo Game Show, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor experienced a bit of a mixed reception. At the time, Kinect hadn’t actually been released yet, so gamers were skeptical that merely waving one’s arms at a television could in any way emulate the experience granted by two control sticks, three pedals and 40 buttons.

Well, Kinect’s in people’s loungerooms now, and the game is edging ever-closer to release. We’ve gotten some more details (the game actually uses the classic controller as well as Kinect), but GamesRadar have gone one step further – a hands-off, developer-controlled preview, direct from Tokyo Game Show.

Retro reinventions have earned themselves a bit of a bad rep these days, but – from the looks of things – this new Steel Battalion may escape the curse (although the new control scheme is labelled as “a mix of useful and gimmicky,” so ultimately, buyer beware).

As much as we are slooowly getting more “serious” games for the Kinect platform, this one’s still a rarity in today’s market, but – according to GR – it could possibly be one of the first games that successfully caters to the dreaded “hardcore gamer” market, “instead of dancing grandmas and excitable children”. Sounds like something for the wishlist, then.

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