Monday, July 9, 2012

Steel Battalion Heavy Armor: Cruel and Unusual Punishment

Steel Battalion Heavy Armor

Steel Battalion Heavy Armor. Can someone tell me what possessed me to try out this game? To waste money on it? Can someone tell me why others have as well? I can tell you. It's all in the name! I, like so many others, thoroughly enjoyed Heavy Armor's predecessor and can only shake my head and ask WHY? Why God? Allah? Buddha? Shiva? Zeus? Mars? Superman? El Ron Hubbard? Science? Oprah? Why did I waste my hard earned money on a game like this? I'm very sad. What a massive disappointment. There are many positive reviews in this blog. This will not be one of them. I'm just at a loss of words. Hold on a moment.... just let me regain some composure.... wait for it.....   Ah c'mon! Really? You're gonna make me do a review of this trash? Is that how it is? Let me do a review of a good game like The Witcher 2. Or Halo Reach. Or Gears of War 3. I'll even do a review of that Animal Kinnect game. I'll do Jurassic Park. I'll bump up my Lolli Pop Chainsaw score to a 6 if I have to. So???           FINE!!!!

Steel Battalion Heavy Armor: A controller! A controller! My Kinnect for a controller!

When I read that Steel Battalion Heavy Armor would create this hybrid mix of kinnect and controller I was pumped. I thought that was a great idea and couldn't wait to see what it would be like to play a game that more or less emphasizes both elements equally in terms of gameplay. I even told some friends how much I liked the idea. Well, looking back... I'm surprised I didn't choke on my own words. Because although I was right in premise, a game really would be cool if it could pull it off, Heavy Armor does not. Not even close. It is a colossal failure and I rue the day I decided to play the game. Woe is me.

Steel Battalion Heavy Armor Trailer

Steel Battalion Heavy Armor: Graphics

Steel Battalion's graphics are actually pretty good in my opinion. Perhaps I'm more easily impressed than some of the other game reviewers out there when it comes to aesthetics and visual appeal. I thought they were solid, not eye-popping extravagance, but pretty good all things considered. The thing is, it's just not consistent. One part of a level will look downright beautiful, whether its the calm before the storm or during battle. The environments are crisp, clear, and detailed. And the next second you get smacked in the face with this sort of washed out, bland, almost blurry nightmare you have to stare at. I wear contacts, see. And for a moment I thought that maybe my contact lenses had blurred on me for a sec. I blinked a few times to clear them up and realized the game really looked that bad. And it was so abrupt, I just couldn't understand at the time. In a game like this you need jaw-dropping visuals that will have you grinning like an idiot at your screen as all the chaos and mayhem of war consumes you in a pulse-pounding experience. If you wear glasses or contacts like me, do yourself a favor. Take em off/out. At least then you're expectations will be lowered as far as what you can see.

Steel Battalion Heavy Armor Gameplay (You'll wish the game was this consistent)

Steel Battalion Heavy Armor: Gameplay

You cannot control this game if you're life depended on it. I'd wager that even the guys who made this game have a hard time and any demo they show you of them actually playing themselves is staged and practiced to the point of pure memorization and muscle memory. In other words, they played the small section they show you over and over and over and over until they practically become the bit they play. You may not be good at some minute task for whatever reason, but I guarantee you, you do nothing else for a few days straight and you'll do it like a pro.But who has time to do that for every single minute of this game? Not me. You're trying to look through the narrow window to spot your target and you end up spinning round in your chair and molesting your comrades in the cockpit. Keep your hands to yourself! Other times you're trying to push yourself forward in the mech and you end up opening the hatch to poke your head out and having it blown off like a moron. Then you're trying to load a special type of ammo, like armor piercing rounds and you're arms are flailing around in front of you, smacking the buttons around and groping the guys sitting next to you. That's sexual harassment. All the while, you're under heavy fire and the kinnect is so bad it just never knows what you're trying to do and will have you doing one thing half-way, changes its mind, has you do something else half-way, then pushes you back in your seat, closes the little visor thing that allows you to see through the tiny window, and then pushes you up through the top hatch. WHILE YOU'RE JUST SITTING THERE DOING NOTHING. I'm not exaggerating. I literally sat there and the guy I was "controlling" was fumbling around like an idiot. Meanwhile, the mech we're in is getting blasted by other mechs. That's right, this kinnect game is so bad at reading player movements it actually acts on its own while you sit perfectly still.

Steel Battalion: Why Even Play It?

So, why play Steel Battalion heavy Armor? There is no good reason. Other than you went out and bought it and ignored the horrible scores like I did. And if you're stubborn like me, you'll suffer through a whole level just because you don't want to admit defeat and say you couldn't play the game and comp out behind the "It's the game's fault" excuse. Only in this case it's a valid excuse. You can't play this game. I bet even the few of you, I'd say something around the .05% of you who have actually purchased or rented this game, will be able to play it and actually be good at it and master the controls and get them to do exactly what you want at any given time. Actually, .05% might be a bit optimistic.

Steel Battalion: Wasted

This game would have been sooooooo much better if it was only a controller-based game. Easily earning a 6 or even a 7 out of 10. Having to strategize on the fly and react to perilous situations; loading up armor piercing or heat rounds, utilizing different tactics and maneuvers, controlling all the different commands in the cockpit, and blasting the enemy into shrapnel is what this game could have been and definitely what it should be. Every window of opportunity, ever scrap of potential is WASTED with the kinnect. Absolutely wasted.

Steel Battalion: Missions

The missions are just.... gah.... one mission you're just STANDING there for a few minutes to spot a single enemy which you and your comrades lay waste to, and other missions are exceedingly difficult and all the more challenging, due to the fact that having to use the Kinnect is a death sentence! All you'll end up doing is, between constant blunders and just trying to get the game to do what you want it to do, is walk out of cover, blast your foe, and then waddle back behind something big enough to conceal and protect your from fire. And you'll do this over and over and over again...... While spazzing out in the cockpit.

Steel Battalion Heavy Armor: Redemption?

NO. There is no redemption for this game. But my friends and I managed to salvage one and only one good thing about this game. Once you're done screaming and hollering at this game until your voice goes out, try this: Monologue everything you're doing. Actually throw in a roll-playing twist to the experience. Have some friends do the voices of the other guys in the cockpit with you, and have one of you do the voice of the guy you're controlling and just roll with it. It's like an improv video game and we laughed until our sides hurt and we leaked tears. I've dubbed my character (When doing the voice of the guy you actually control) "**** it Butters!" My pal calls him "The Moran" and my other buddy named his character The Huckleberry. Doesn't make sense, he just likes the name.

Steel Battalion Heavy Armor: Final Verdict

The controls for this game are broken. Anther swing and a miss for the Kinnect. Okay graphics and characters. Good sound overall. CAN'T CONTROL YOUR MECH. Enough said. Steel Battalion Heavy Armor just manages to steal a 2 out of 10. You'll notice I'm placing ads below just like all my other reviews. That's because I realize this review is, obviously, just my own opinion. So if you want to try it out anyway, fine. Purchase at your own risk. I'll be blogging right here, waiting to say I told you so.

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