Right now on the Xbox 360 that much is obvious, but that doesn’t mean the concept of Kinect is bad or that with the Xbox One’s next-gen Kinect it can’t ever be good.
The current defence of Kinect is difficult, though. What can we really say beyond ‘Dance Central’s not bad’ and ‘Ummmmm’.
That’s just it, whenever a studio has attempted to make a game for us, you know, gamers, Kinect has failed miserably, just look at Fable: The Journey.
Can we honestly say the prospect of Xbox One’s Kinect being used to make a sequel?
No, no one wants Fable: The Journey 2, do they?
There’s something fundamentally wrong (and very worrying) about the direction Lionhead is taking the Fable series if The Journey’s forced implementation of Kinect is anything to go by, and it’s made even more disturbing by one simple fact; we love Fable.
Or, we loved Fable, right up until we were forced to flail our arms around and play a rubbish light-gun game with our hands and as much as we want to get excited by these hints that a new Fable could be announced at E3 this year (or a Fable HD remake?), we’re more than prepared to be disappointed.
Which is ridiculous. It’s Peter Molynuex’s job to disappoint us when it comes to Fable (although that is usually because we’ve invested in whatever mad claim he’s recently made). Without him, though, Fable feels soulless and as if it’s pushing an agenda.
Now that every Xbox One comes with a Kinect sensor, and Microsoft claims it is superior in every way to the really quite awful original, we’re once again faced with the proposition of a Kinect-enabled future for the majority of Xbox One games.
Is that really what we want? Lets for the sake of argument say the Xbox One’s Kinect is better and more responsive; do we still want a Fable game (or any game for that matter) that forces you onto your feet? This is a 40 plus hour RPG with intricate storytelling and a vast scope, can it even work with motion control?
No matter how many times Microsoft tells us Kinect is the future of gaming, we can’t help but look back at our favourite games of the last ten years and think ‘none of these are brilliant because of motion control’.
None of them would ever be made better because of Kinect’s inclusion. Or, more importantly, we can’t see how they would be made better with Kinect. But we’re not developers or the ones with any ideas on how to make it work.
If we’re about to see Fable 4 (or Fable: whatever) utilise Kinect in someway that’s more than just a control pad extension, we’re concerned the series might never capture players in quite the same way.
But going by past examples (see any Kinect game ever made and Fable: The Horse), we just don’t think that’s going to happen.
What does this mean for the future of the Fable series and Kinect, though?
Well, we sincerely hope the two never cross paths again, but this really highlights a larger problem at the heart of Xbox gaming and the future the Xbox One is presenting us.
Even if the Kinect bundled with Xbox One is perfect in every way, reading and interpreting our motions perfectly, we still don’t want to use it.
It’s that simple.