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E3 2011: Star Wars Kinect First Impressions

Feature; Jun. 11, 2011; Channels: Video Games; By Robert F. Ludwick
Subtypes: Opinion, Preview
The Force could be strong with this one
Los Angeles, CA, USA

Star Wars Kinect is one of the new Kinect titles covered at E3 this year, getting a spot in Microsoft's press conference as well as at its booth. If you watched Microsoft's press conference, you will have seen the E3 demo of Star Wars Kinect in its entirety. Fortunately, Microsoft also allowed boothgoers a chance to play that demo for themselves.

Star Wars Kinect

Star Wars Kinect is an on-rails first-person game where you take control of Jedi in the Star Wars universe. You will have a variety of moves at your disposal, from using your Lightsaber to Force-pushing or lifting enemies to either temporarily or permanently disable them.

The demo begins with the player jumping down from a dropship to fight battle droids. By using your right hand, you can swipe and slash with your lightsaber, carving up your enemies if you're close enough. If you're not, you can use the lightsaber to deflect blaster shots. You can also kick your enemies in the gut to disable them if you're within melee distance.

Another attack in your arsenal is a Force-push or lift. Your left hand activates this one. All you have to do is raise your hand. It doesn't work from a long distance, which is a bit counterintuitive because you'll still see the Force-push wave effect on the screen without your opponent being attacked. Overall, using these three moves felt pretty intuitive, and the game responded well to the movements.

Once you've cleared the area of enemies, you'll have to move a downed armament in order to progress further. By using both hands in the same gesture as the left-hand Force-push, you can move the debris from your path and continue to another platform to battle more droids. Once you've cleared those, two Droidekas appear. These cannot be attacked from the front thanks to their shields, so you need to get close and jump over them before attacking with your lightsaber. By leaning forward, you can speed forward and close the gap on your enemy very quickly.

Once you're inside the building behind the destroyed Droidekas, you'll encounter a couple more platoons of battle droids to defeat. Now inside another room you must fight two bodyguard droids. Like the Droidekas, these opponents must be leapt over to effectively defeat them. Once these enemies are dealt with, the demo ends with two silhouetted figures, likely Sith, each powering up two red lightsabers.

The game looks pretty good, and the Kinect-enableed control was responsive and intuitive. For fans of both Star Wars and Kinect, Star Wars Kinect will likely be a good title to go out and grab. Hopefully, LucasArts will continue to add other game play experiences like using two hands to Force-lift an object from your path. The more Kinect-enabled movements you can do in-game will make it a deeper experience that won't get repetitious.


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