6 ways Kinect could be used for Halo… and why each would probably be rubbish

There's no way any 'integration' is going to be better than a pad. Full stop

Aiming

This would be the Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon method of aiming, whereby the player uses their left hand to point the gun (causing Master Chief to turn when the reticule meets the extremities of the screen area) and firing with… well, we suppose the 'flash jazz hands' action will have to suffice. Unless you use a control pad.

How well would this work?

Rubbish. Let's say, for argument's sake that lag isn't an issue and that you can shoot at what you want to when you want to. Answer me this: How are you going to move around the level? Hello, Mr Control Pad… oh, but now you can't use your arms to aim. Maybe you could do that with the sticks?Oh, now there's athought…

Grenade lobbing

If Kinect could be programmed to tell when you're just holding a controller, it should be able to detect a large motion away from it, like lobbing a grenade. It could even let you lob to the left or right – conceivably even behind you.

How well would this work?

Rubbish. Aside from the occasional malfunction and throwing it straight up in the air, there's the simple fact that you have to take your hand away from the buttons to perform this move. Sure, you can't fire during the grenade animation anyway, but not being able to turn until you've finished throwing is a step backwards compared to using a pad.


Above: Sorry, Jeff. There was a wasp in the room. You OK mate? Says here you've disconnected...

Head Tracking

Being able to turn your head and look about you is another step closer to a true Holodeck experience and one that Kinect should be able to deliver easily. In fact, it's already happening in Forza 4, so this should be fine.

How well would this work?

Rubbish. If you need to turn your head to look, it would have to be just a subtle effect with the aiming reticule NOT affected by your head. Why? If you turn your head left and that becomes 'forward, you're playing with your eyes looking right. What if you need to aim more left? You can't see the telly. Instead, it would have to be a leaning action (which is pointless when you can just move left or right) or a small shifting glance, like Zelda 3D's gyroscope-enabled look mode. And that's a novelty at best.

Hand gestures

Again, assuming Kinect can tell when you're using a pad (we're just going to assume full aiming isn't going to happen because it would be awful), raising your hand to make arm gestures in multiplayer team games could be fun. You know, like waving someone to head off in one direction while you take another, to create a pincer attack. Granted, it would be better suited to Ghost Recon (something Ghost Recon doesn't do, so there's even less chance of it happening here), but as fun for nothing, we'd like to see it.

How well would this work?

Rubbish. Even if Kinect could see fingers, it could neverreally work. If you raised both hands, you'd drop your gun. And if you didn't, Kinect still has to work out when you're back in aiming stance. And presumably raising an arm would be used for changing weapons or some other tacked-on functionality anyway… so this is a pipe dream.


Above: There is one use we can think of for Kinect that could work brilliantly: Teabagging

Changing weapon

If aiming with Kinect is a totally controller-free experience, you'll need a set motion to change weapons. A set hand gesture is a possibility, or perhaps a Child of Eden-style left arm primary/right arm secondary fire.

How well would this work?

Rubbish. Aside from the fact you won't be able to move around in the game world while you're doing any of this, you're going to end up with a ridiculous number of different, wholly unrealistic semaphore-like commands for various actions. Unless you use this next idea:

Voice control

You could use Kinect's impressive voice recognition system to take some of the control scheme's intricacies away from motion control, leaving the player free to jump up and down, wave their arms around and flash their hands.

How well would this work?

Rubbish. One of the reasons the game is even getting a re-release is to allow online multiplayer. Even two-player co-op would be bad enough, but can you imagine a deathmatch with headsets enabled? A cacophony of 'JUMP!' 'RELOAD!' 'GRENADE!' 'SWAP WEAPON' would make actual formation of any semblence of battle strategy an impossibility.


Above: Voice control in Halo Anniversary could work for one-player. More than one? Not so much

So... can it ever work?

The only Kinect-exclusive system I can come up with that retains 100%all of the pad's functionality is this:

Aiming primary weapon: Left hand aims, open right hand to fire
Aiming secondary weapon: Right hand aims, open left hand to fire
Look:Turn your head (while keeping your eyes on the TV)
Strafe left: Lean left
Strafe right: Lean right
Lob grenade: Say 'Grenade'
Lob sticky grenade: Say 'Sticky'
Jump: Jump
Pick up object: Say 'Collect'
Man a gun turret: Say 'Turret'
Reload: Say 'Reload'
Move forward: Make a walking action on the spot
Stand still: Stand still
Move backwards: Make a walking action on the spot, while poking your tongue out
Rocket jump: Aim downwards with right arm, jog on the spot, jump while still jogging, flash left hand, aim upwards with right arm, poke your tongue out. Sporadically, of course,depending on intended landing point.

OK, enough. I'm going to make an informed guess and say that this could prove once and for all that hardcore games and Kinect do not mix.Here's hopingMicrosoft can prove me wrong. Or, more likely, just use it for menu navigation, which could still be marketed as'Better withKinect'. Either way, it's over to you, Master Chief.

20 Jun, 2011

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The longest-serving GR+ staffer, I was here when all this was just fields. I'm currently Reviews Editor but still find time to speedrun Sonic levels and make daft Photoshop articles.
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