Now that I’m a Kinect owner, I’ve become a little more interested in what the future holds for the peripheral. I mean, it would be stupid of me to buy a Kinect and just let it sit idly by, collecting dust while I enjoy the rest of what my Xbox 360 has to offer. So I took the initiative to look into our office’s crystal ball (yea, we have one of those) and do some digging to unearth the five biggest titles compatible with Microsoft Kinect that are planned for release in 2012 (it wasn’t easy, mind you, the pickings are slim).
Before we begin, please remember that the following games represent the opinions of one man — me! Your thoughts on what constitutes a “good” Kinect title may vary. And that’s what the comment section below is for. So please feel free to sound off below to let us know what Kinect games you’re excited to play in 2012 (if any).
Mass Effect 3
Is it cheating to include this one? Maybe. While not a Kinect exclusive game per se, Mass Effect 3 will allow Kinect owners the ability to use the device’s voice recognition software to bark orders at their squad. The gameplay tweak is completely optional, but for a guy who loves ordering his Xbox around via voice control, this feature seems right down my alley to make Mass Effect 3 even more immersive than it already will be.
Garrus, make me a sandwich. Miranda, love me. Man, sounds like a good time.
Kinect Star Wars
OK, alright, yes, judging from what we’ve seen thus far, this game looks like utter shit. But to that, I retort: it’s Star Wars! I’ve long been waiting for a Star Wars lightsaber experience that lets me pretend I’m a Jedi in my living room, and it’s finally coming our way in 2012 after being blasted out of 2011 like Alderaan. Sure, the game looks to be completely on rails, with imprecise lightsaber movements to boot, but I can’t help but be giddy at the thought of fighting alongside Kit Fisto in my underwear…alone. I’m both excited and terrified by what this game could do to my perception of my favorite franchise — this coming from a guy who actually likes the prequels should speak volumes.
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor
Steel Battalion returns this year thanks to developer From Software (makers of Dark Souls). Thankfully, a gigantic controller with roughly 3,000 buttons will not required for this new iteration of the mech simulation series. Instead, the experience is all Kinect controlled. Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor could be the first core Kinect title that actually succeeds at satisfying the core gaming audience. We’re staying optimistic on this one, but we’re also not holding our breath.
As of this moment, we’re assuming Ryse is going to drop in 2012, but we haven’t heard much about the game since it was originally unveiled during Microsoft’s 2011 E3 press conference. For the uneducated, Ryse is a first-person hack ‘n’ slash set during Roman times developed by Crytek, the makers of Crysis. The E3 demonstration for the title impressed visually — when does a Crytek game NOT look good? — but the gameplay remains unproven. But we like what Crytek is going for with Ryse, and we’re holding out hope that it lives up to the studio’s standard for quality gaming experiences.
Minecraft has become a gaming phenomenon since its beta released roughly a year ago. And with that kind of notoriety, major corporations take notice of the money-making potential. Enter: Microsoft, who talked Minecraft creator “Notch” and his team at 4J Studios to create a port of Minecraft for the Xbox 360 with built-in Kinect support. How Kinect will be integrated is anyone’s guess as of right now, but we’re intrigued by the possibilities. With that said, our arms dread the thought of constantly moving up and down in a tomahawk motion to chop up little blocks for building. Then again, maybe us gamers can actually build some muscle mass to impress the ladies with by playing a video game. In that case, bring it on!