Becoming a Jedi: Hands-on with Kinect Star Wars
LOS ANGELES - The moment has finally arrived: "Star Wars" is coming to the Microsoft Kinect motion gaming system. Now you can be a Jedi in the "Star Wars" universe — light saber, Force powers and all — with Kinect Star Wars. We tried it out at the E3 gaming expo in Los Angeles, and bottom line, it's just plain fun.
The experience of swinging a light saber and using the Force to push enemies away and lift heavy obstructions is exciting and simple. The Kinect motion control system tracks simple hand gestures to control the onscreen avatar. It's even possible to play with two people at once.
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That’s not to say that it's perfect, or even completely immersive. Kinect Star Wars suffers from some of the same problems as any Kinect games. Any obstruction of the camera, or even playing in too small an area, can cause lag and other problems that mar the experience. Another aspect that might frustrate gamers is the limited control over where the character goes. The character goes from one scripted event to another without direction from the player, and the Kinect system tries to guess which way the player wants to turn during a battle, usually just choosing to send the character toward the nearest enemy.
In short, you don't play this game for the world discovery element.
What you do play it for is the feeling of slashing with a light saber, of sending battle droids flying with a Force push, of vaulting over mechanical guards and attacking before they can turn around. It's about the experience of controlling the Jedi powers without necessarily controlling the Jedi itself. And in that aspect, it's a lot of fun, especially when playing alongside a friend. May the Force be with you … in your living room.