Review: Kinect Star Wars PDF Print E-mail

Star Wars was one the first titles announced for the Kinect and for good reason - the promise of using the power of the Kinect to wield a lightsaber and command the force is too much most fans to resist.

In the story mode, The Dark Side Rising, you play a Padawan helping the Jedi master Mavra Zane stop a plot to destroy the Galactic council.

After a short tutorial, you're thrust into battle while visiting Kashyyyk, the Wookie home world. You battle groups of baddies, who strangely come at you a few at a time. Mastering the use of the lightsaber and force is key to success in the game.

I found the Kinect controls frustrating and a bit awkward. Your right hand controls the lightsaber and you can strike the baddies or wave it around to deflect bullets, while your left hand is used to lift and throw objects or smaller baddies using the force. Moving forward requires you step forward then back and jumping on the spot launches you over a baddie.
Overall, the controls are unresponsive and jumpy. The combat quickly degenerates into you blocking heavy strikes for a few seconds then jumping over baddies and swinging your arms randomly to attack them from behind. The movements are so strange that it disengages you from the combat.
Unfortunately the game's other modes are just as poor. The duelling mode uses the same mechanics as the ingame lightsaber fighting and the controls for the pod racer mode are also very awkward. It requires a number of arm crunching movements to speed up or slow down. There is also a "Rancor Rampage" mode where you control a giant monster causing as much destruction as possible.
Strangely, the dancing game is only portion of the game where the controls work. It uses similar mechanics to Dance Central or Just Dance, where you're required to repeat the motions of the on-screen character. To add to the humour the songs you dance to, are remixes of modern songs. For example "Hologram girl", is a rip off of Hollaback Girl, the Gwen Stefani song. The improved controls and the added humour is welcome break from the frustration of the rest of the game.
Kinect Star Wars is an unpolished game. The controls are jumpy, the story is weak and graphics are average at best. Even though the title held the promise of 'making you feel like a Jedi', it lets you down on too many areas. Unfortunately, the final result is a game that will leave most fans of the series disappointed.
Pros: Dance mode is fun (and unfortunately the best of all the game modes)
Cons: Controls are awkward and unresponsive, story mode is not engaging, other game modes are boring
Time to completion: Campaign is about 3 hours
Score: 5/10
Achievement difficulty: 4/10

Newer news items:
Older news items: