Review: Kinect Functionality and Issues in Halo Anniversary
343 Industries decided to take things a step further when they remasterd the original Halo: Combat Evolved by not only including HD graphics and a 3D mode, but they also added in some kinect functionality. Now while purists and haters who are too cheap to own a kinect will sh*t all over the inclusion of it in this Xbox classic, I for one appreciate that developers are at least trying to integrate this amazing, but often overlooked motion sensor. Luckily the kinect functionality in Halo Anniversary doesn’t require my fat a*s to be up and about physically, because it is just limited to voice commands. I’m not going to claim that the kinect features of Halo Anniversary are perfect (there are definitely some issues especially with the exclusive library/analyze/scan function), or even a selling point, but overall they work pretty well and offer some exclusive albeit boring content.
I was quite surprised to see how many voice commands I could utilize with the kinect in Halo Anniversary. I was under the impression that they’d be limited to some basics commands such as “Reload” and “Grenade”, but that isn’t the case at all. You can interact with multiple functions of Halo Anniversary, which range from toggling the game’s 3D mode to altering the brightness of your screen’s picture. Overall there’s 20+ voice commands that can be used while you’re playing H:A. For the most part they work pretty well, but not well enough for me to use them over certain controller based functions.
Full list of kinect voice commands minus those used with Terminals
I’ve found the commands that are directly related to gameplay such as “Grenade”, “Reload”, and “Change Weapons” really can’t compete with the same commands executed on a controller. There’s just a slight bit of lag from the time you issue the command to the time where Master Chief executes it on screen. Besides, I think most of our brains are so wired to controller button presses for commands such as these, so they just don’t quite feel natural. The kinect also seems to get a little finicky while recognizing your voice commands, because sometimes it’ll ignore me all together, so I’m left looking like a mental patient who only knows how to say “Grenade” over and over.
Another issue that I’ve found with the kinect controls in Halo Anniversary is the fact that the game really does nothing to teach you how to use them effectively. There’s no real demo outside of a quick pop-up box that disappears before you can even get a chance to read it. If I wasn’t so anal about the settings in every game I play I would have never even come across the kinect menu that lists all of the voice commands. I would’ve like to have seen a little more assistance from 343 in regards to the use of the kinect, because then I wouldn’t have wasted close to an hour trying to figure out why the kinect exclusive “Library” function didn’t seem to work on my system.
The only error I’d get while trying to view it was a message about needing a kinect sensor installed. I’m no gadget dummy, so I know it was indeed installed and functioning, so I couldn’t figure out for the life of me why the Library wasn’t working. I later found out that I needed to say “Analyze”, and then “Scan” to add objects to the library, which was never clearly explained in the game itself (I’m thinking that this was supposed to be in that lone tutorial box that popped up, but it didn’t last long enough for me to compute it).
This is what it looks like when you get the Library function to work
Do you need a kinect to fully enjoy Halo Anniverary? Not by any means, but it does add a little bit of functionality to the game to make it stand out from the original in more ways than one. I’m a big fan of being able to control my viewing environment with just my voice (feels very futuristic and Siri like), but not so much when it comes to commands tied to gameplay. I think if the Library function was explained better in the game it would have come off as a pretty cool feature, but it ended up driving me insane just trying to figure out how to use it because there’s no real tutorial to learn from.
If I had to rate it I’d give it an EB 7 out of 10 Buddhas. It’s definitely gimmicky, but a nice feature to play with if you already own a kinect (I wouldn’t recommend buying one just for this game). If you’re interested in seeing the kinect functionality in action head on down past the break to watch a short demo I found on YouTube. You’ve been feeling like you’re in Star Trek with this whole kinect voice command stuff…
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Video Source [colin9413c]