While they are commonly known for their instantly recognizable characters and strong platforming properties, the next offering from Rare instead looks to try and be one of the first games to really take hold of the Kinect 2’s power. Up until this point, it has served gamers well as a microphone and camera for connecting with one another. With Kinect Sports Rivals though, it will be taking center stage as the primary gaming implement as gamers battle it out in extreme sports on an exotic island.
In the newest trailer for Rare’s upcoming addition to the Kinect Sports series, Larry Hryb, director of programming for Xbox Live and Louise O’Connor (Rare’s art director) give gamers an in-depth look at the landscape that will play host to the events of Kinect Sports Rivals. These events include soccer, rock climbing, target shooting, bowling, jet skiing and tennis. Rather than being your run-of-the-mill sports game though, Rare has put the focus on the environment as much as the events themselves.
Fancy trying your hand at some rock climbing? You could take to the rock spires of the Stone Forest but if that seems too conventional, why not attempt to climb a decrepit cruise ship hanging precariously over the harbor. Realism does not seem to be taking the forefront in this newest addition to the Kinect Sports family, but that could be precisely what the series needs.
Rare is most well-known for their inventive characters and landscapes. Even though this may not be the next Banjo Kazooie, it’s refreshing to see them putting a focus on one of their greatest strengths. Sports games have a very distinct audience, but with a healthy dose of the extreme, Kinect Sports Rivals stands a good chance of reaching a wider audience and alleviating any worries the Kinect may have caused Microsoft.
Whether sports games are your cup of tea or not, Kinect Sports Rivals at least looks to change the landscape of sports games. Gone are the generic stadiums of old. While it may not be the Rare game that players have been waiting for, if there’s a company out there who stands a chance of cracking the Kinect’s intricacies and finding a way to effectively integrate it into gameplay as a primary means of input, it’s Rare. Only time will tell if it manages to stick the landing or lose its footing on the way up.
After having trouble finding its footing as a primary gaming implement, do you think Kinect Sports Rivals will represent an improvement in the hardware’s use as a controller? Would you rather see Rare go back to their roots and release a platforming game than a sports title?
Kinect Sports Rivals is due to crash onto the Xbox One in spring of 2014.
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