|System: Xbox 360|
|Dev: From Software|
|Release: June 19, 2012|
|Players: 1 + 2-player co-op|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Far too many of the veet's functions require bafflingly precise movements, and the game simply is not advanced enough to interpret these things in the heat of battle. Even when the veet was at rest, though, and no enemies were around to get my adrenaline pumping and make my movements more frenzied, it simply would not do what I wanted it to do.
Heavy Armor has co-op multiplayer on certain levels, which would be fun, although competitive deathmatches would have been better. It allows some modicum of vehicle customization, though not nearly as much as I'd have liked. And the story is brutal and at least fundamentally interesting - I wanted to know more about "Uncle" and how he/they came into power.
Unfortunately (and I'm loathe to admit this), I did not get very far in Heavy Armor, despite hours of attempts. Normally I'd finish a game before subjecting the internet to my opinion, but I'm making an exception this time, because whatever else Heavy Armor has to offer could not possibly offset the deeply, horribly flawed concepts at the very core of its design. I don't want to belittle the enormous amount of work that clearly went into creating this game, but those involved had to know that what they ultimately produced is broken.
Gesture controls aren't automatically preferable to traditional input methods simply based on the fact that the real life motion a player is performing is more-or-less analogous to the action of their avatar in the game. In other words: just because you're pulling a lever in the game doesn't mean it's more fun to pretend you're pulling a lever in real life, especially when the simple press of a button could produce the same effect with far more consistency and less frustration. And Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor is particularly guilty of this regrettable conceit of motion game design.
It literally doesn't work about 80 percent of the time. It either fails to recognize that you've made any motion at all or simply interprets your gestures incorrectly. How a game could have shipped in this state is a complete mystery to me, but unless they've got a game-changing patch waiting in the wings that will make this game playable, I can't recommend it to anyone at all. And that's a shame, because there's a great idea at its core. It's just everything surrounding that core that makes it unbearable.
Date: June 25, 2012