While everybody is in agreement that Kinect is a pretty awesome bit of technology, we're still yet to see the motion / voice sensing technology used to good effect wrapped up inside a video game. Dead Space 3 is hoping to be the exception to the rule, with today's new trailer showing off how the EA horror survival effort is "better with Kinect". Spoiler: Co-op voice commands.
But is the game really better with voice activation? Steve Papoutsis claims that Kinect will help gamers from having to "fumble around with the controls" - but who really fumbles with a button press or two?
In most games - and particularly survival horror - speedy reactions are key. Muscle memory develops pretty quickly so your finger twitches for a button before your brain can even compute quite what it is you need to do. Adding that little pause before remembering just what to say (and how to say it) could be the difference between life and (virtual) death.
We're not even touching the other risks of voice commands: My Kinect still somehow translates silence into commands, and struggles with my voice at the best of times. Dog barks and other ambient noise trigger all sorts of responses - what's it going to be like with two gamers in a room yelling at the TV?
Still, for some people, this might be just what they've been waiting for, and Dead Space 3 really will be "Better with Kinect". For the rest of us, it's not much more than a gimmick.
Jimmy the Geek