Finally... there's a game coming to the Xbox One that's not coming to the other consoles, and it's making full use of gesture and voice controls. Unsurprisingly enough, it's not an AAA blockbuster title, but rather a Kickstarter called There Came an Echo.
The game comes from indie group Iridium Studio, the same company who pumped out the game Sequence. The title stars popular cultural nerd Wil Wheaton from Star Trek fame and the game itself is an isometric, tactical strategy game featuring a squad of soldiers that will be at the command of players. It's a classic throwback to the olden days of X-Com and Breach (and not the new Breach but the old one).
Both OXM and Destructoid reached out to Iridium Studios after an update on the Kickstarter page mentioned that the game would be getting a slight push-back delay due to polish and the further implementation of some of the gesture and voice commands. More specifically, they're implementing Intel's RealSense Technology.
Quite naturally, this sounded like the perfect combination of software tools to make full use of the Xbox One's Kinect 2.0. Turns out, it's actually going to be used for the Xbox One's Kinect 2.0.
Finally, the Kinect is going to be used for more than just an NSA Spybox.
For quite some time now I've been saying that Microsoft needed to secure software and pump money into exclusives to do exactly what Iridium is doing. Microsoft has the rare opportunity to make full use of a full-body motion peripheral, and for the first few months out of the gate they've let it go completely to waste, as a gaming accessory.
For the most part, Kinect is being whittled away in its importance for the Xbox One as nothing more than a side-show for voice commands to control TV on your TV, and it doesn't even do it all that well.
However, getting more games to experiment with Kinect is no different than getting developers to make use of the Wii U's Gamepad. Both devices need a bit of loving and both companies need to secure more exclusives from third-party studios that are willing to make love to them.
Thankfully, gamers have There Came an Echo to look forward to.
It's funny because there have been a lot of Xbox fanboys decrying the growing girth of indie titles in the PlayStation and Wii U's line-up throughout this year and next, but as I mentioned in the C4 Engine article, Microsoft will need these studios to secure a fleshed out library of games or if they hope to stay competitive throughout eighth gen. A few big AAA titles every year will only get you so many sales, but you need those mid-budget titles to prevent people from trading in the system and getting something with a meatier library. And you know how gamers love them some curves on their console's software library.
You can look for There Came an Echo to launch for PC at the end of this year and on the Xbox One in early 2015. You can learn more by visiting the official Kickstarter page.