news\ Feb 14, 2012 at 12:38 pm

Mass Effect 3 Xbox 360 Kinect demo impressions


So I just played through the Mass Effect 3 trailer on Xbox 360 with the Kinect active.  I have to admit that the Kinect feature is definitely enjoyable.  At first I felt a little strange in the office yelling “Anderson, concussion shot.”  The weirdness soon faded though.  Once I got comfortable with the system I started to get really into it.  Then once I had a full squad I felt the feature was really natural.  Remember, you are Commander Shepard and not just Shepard.  Telling my crew mates where to go, who to use abilities towards, and what weapons for them to use really draws you into the ‘commander’ roll.  I felt myself rarely using the radial menu for my abilities, squad abilities, and weapons.  The flow of combat was incredibly smooth, especially for a demo.       

The thing I was concerned about was just how responsive the Kinect would be in ME3.  After playing through the demo my mind was blown.  You say “Liara, singularity” and she uses the ability at whoever you have selected, you say “Garus, overload” and shields drop, and if you say “shotgun” and “adrenaline” Shepard draws her big-bang buddy and bullet time occurs.  It REALLY is that smooth.  While I was hesitant about the Kinect’s function in ME3, those feelings are long gone now.  Plus, I was only playing the demo – I assume the official game will only be better.  

The gimmicky function wasn’t so much a turn off as just silly.  I’m not going to tell Kinect to open doors and talk to NPCs.  Anything I can just press a button to do in non-hostile situations is completely unnecessary.  I find it strange to yell “bypass” when I can just press the ‘A’ button instead.  On top of that, I also found the non-combat commands to be less responsive.  I had an ‘activate’ option once and it took about five attempts.  All of the combat stuff worked smoothly.  I do appreciate having the option but I know I won’t use the Kinect for non-combat actions.

The last point I wanted to make is the ‘trollability’ of the Kinect for Mass Effect 3.  The Kinect is only listening for voices, not YOUR voice specifically.  My coworkers kept making me use abilities or switch to my pistol in the middle of combat.  I know if I was in their shoes I would have done the same thing though, bastards.  Be wary of trolls while playing this game for Xbox 360. 

About The Author
Andrew Clouther Human, historian, teacher, writer, reviewer, gamer, League of Pralay, Persona fanboy, and GameZone paragon - no super powers as of yet. Message me on the Twitters: @AndrewC_GZ
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