Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Box Art(http://www.facebook.com/SteelBattalion)  Rated M for Mature by ESRB.   Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor puts players in control of giant hulking metal walkers, waging war against enemy factions in a ruined world. These metal walkers are called Vertical Tanks. They are nothing like those mechs you may remember from the old Steel Battalion–these things are slow and ancient. The story takes place in the future in 2028, where a silicon-eating microbe has destroyed all computers, and some bad “United Nations” form of totalitarian government has taken over, leaving the world in ruins. American armies are trying to get back their homeland, with most of it being occupied by the evil United Nations. Your veteran player, along with 3 other new soldiers, work as a team inside a mech, but you, the player, control most of the movements and firing, while the other soldiers do secondary things like handling the radio, reloading, cooling the engine, etc. It seems like a decent story, and the design of the mechs is very intricate and detailed. So what could go wrong with this Kinect title?

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Box ArtSteel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Logo(http://www.facebook.com/SteelBattalion) Rated M for Mature by ESRB.  Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor puts players in control of giant hulking metal walkers, waging war against enemy factions in a ruined world. These metal walkers are called Vertical Tanks. They are nothing like those mechs you may remember from the old Steel Battalion–these things are slow and ancient. The story takes place in the future in 2028, where a silicon-eating microbe has destroyed all computers, and some bad “United Nations” form of totalitarian government has taken over, leaving the world in ruins. American armies are trying to get back their homeland, with most of it being occupied by the evil United Nations. Your veteran player, along with 3 other new soldiers, work as a team inside a mech, but you, the player, control most of the movements and firing, while the other soldiers do secondary things like handling the radio, reloading, cooling the engine, etc. It seems like a decent story, and the design of the mechs is very intricate and detailed. So what could go wrong with this Kinect title?

 



Graphics:
Being a Kinect title, Steel Battalion features some fairly impressive graphics. It takes on a realistic look, compared to the cartoony vibe most Kinect titles have. You’ll see the glossy, sweaty faces of your comrades in your mech, as well as the gritty cracks and blood on your mech’s glass window, too. The environments and lighting are really well done, which adds to the realism.  Thankfully, destructible environments are also included in Steel Battalion Heavy Armor, which makes everything you shoot at so much more fun and entirely satisfying to shoot at.

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Screenshots Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Screenshots Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Screenshots

Sounds:
Being in a mech with 3 other characters might seem a bit claustrophobic, and it sure feels like it from your character’s inside view of the mech. With the mech being this crowded, you’ll hear a lot of chatter from your companions inside. The voice acting here is solid, and they’ll change emotions in stride with how your mech is doing on the battlefield. It helps add to the battlefield environment, and makes you really strive do your best to keep you, your mech, and your friends alive.

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Screenshots Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Screenshots Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Screenshots

Gameplay:
When you actually try to play Steel Battalion Heavy Armor, you may find yourself attempting to break your controller in half, or shutting off your Xbox. Steel Battalion’s controls are terrible, and they make the game virtually unplayable. You sit down while playing Steel battalion, and use your hands to reach and employ various things in the cockpit, but then have to pick up the controller to actually steer the mech and use the weapons. The problem lies in with the Kinect controls–the sensor will never properly read what you are trying to do. When I tried to engage my mech, the Kinect thought I was trying to hit the self destruct button, and then had me pulling out various panels in the mech. It’s terribly frustrating, and probably could have been solved if they would have just given the game some more time. There is multiplayer in this Steel Battalion, but it’s just a mess too, since no one can pilot their mechs with the terrible Kinect controls. 
 

 

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Screenshots Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Screenshots Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Xbox 360 Kinect) Screenshots

Longevity:
Steel Battalion attempts something innovative by using both Kinect and controller controls in one package, but it fails to do this. Some may be able to actually play Steel Battalion Heavy Armor by some stroke of luck, but actually using the mechs, and properly controlling one for more than a few minutes, is almost impossible. The broken controls are Steel Battalion Heavy Armor’s downfall, and with a little more time, this game could have been a pretty trip into 2028.

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