Bringing Back The Classic Multiplayer Atmosphere
Remember when a multiplayer game meant sitting in a room full of friends enjoying a game of Goldeneye? While multiplayer gaming has exploded over the past decade, the actual social interaction in these games has greatly diminished. Kinect Sports Rivals sets out to recreate the atmosphere of classic multiplayer and bring the social aspect of current multiplayer. Whether you’re frantically grasping for air during a climbing event, or kicking like a mule in a soccer match, Kinect Sports Rivals is guaranteed to bring the fun back into playing with others.
Impressive Body & Facial Recognition Capabilities
Kinect Sports Rivals displays huge advancements compared to the previous generation by completing a comprehensive scan of your body type and face. Simply follow the guide of where to position your body and face, and you have your own strikingly familiar character to compete with. Once you have created your character, you are taken through a series of demonstrations of the Kinect controls and voice commands. Similarly to the Xbox One operating system, the voice commands and motion controls work exceptionally well.
Single Player Gameplay
Once the character creation process has finished, you move on to training sessions. Each game type begins with basic training and introductions to your Rivals. These “Rivals” are the Eagle Legion, Wolf Clan, and Viper Network teams. The first goal is to finish each event in order to unlock the next gameplay type. There are six different types of mini games: Wake Race, Rock Climbing, Shooting, Soccer, Bowling, and Tennis. Each event has a distinct feel and unique challenge to keep gameplay fresh. The controls for each game type are similar to the movements you might use if you were participating in these activities in real life. Once your basic training is done, you progress by competing against the aforementioned teams. One of the more enjoyable aspects of the game are the rewarding experiences achieved by successfully completing tasks such as blocking a goal, bowling a strike, or performing tricks in wake race. I specifically want to mention the rock climbing game type because it requires the most effort. I found myself, surprisingly, to be slightly winded after this event. Fighting off challengers and occasionally jumping for the next slightly out of reach area is not only particularly entertaining, but tiring as well. These experiences are what makes Kinect Sports Rivals so unique, simply because you are physically involved in the gameplay.
Multiplayer Experience (Great way to host a party or entertain a crowd!)
Kinect Sports Rivals is a fun single player game, but the real fun lies in the multiplayer experience. Finding a few friends to play with won’t be hard and will guarantee hours of fun. Gameplay is completely changed when the player you are competing against is right beside you.
This is where the truly exciting moments occur. The thrill of fighting for position on a rock wall is intense. There are several power-ups that add to the experiences such as a speed boost, attack, or shield against attacks. These power-ups are designed to give an immediate advantage and bring excitement and sudden change to any of the challenges.
Microsoft and Rare did an excellent job integrating the motion tracking technology used in Kinect. In several hours of gameplay Kinect never had any glitches or difficulty in distinguishing between myself or my opponent. Make sure and get your dance moves ready for when you score a goal in soccer or complete a shooting match, Kinect will track your every move and put them on display. Rare may have not intended for this to be as enjoyable as it is, but it’s another aspect of the game that is fantastic. Little moments like this separate Kinect Sports Rivals from other multiplayer games.
Overall Kinect Sports Rivals is an extremely well made game. That being said, there are a few small issues I experienced during the first few hours of gameplay. One of the few problems is the confusion that occurs during the rock climbing game type. Kinect sometimes has trouble distinguishing when you are reaching across your body. This resulted in several rage inducing moments of grabbing for higher handholds and reaching the wrong way in game. The good news for gamers is that Kinect functionality has already seen improvements, and functionality will be further improved through game updates.
Although Kinect Sports Rivals was initially pushed back from being a launch title, the wait has proven well worth it. Kinect Sports Rivals is a game that is fun to play alone or with a group of friends. The revolutionary Kinect motion controls work well and do a great job displaying what the Xbox One is capable of. There is enough variation in gameplay and game types to give gamers endless hours of replay value. Kinect Sports Rivals truly reminds me of what it’s like to engage in real life interaction with other gamers in a completely new way.
Published by: Microsoft Game Studios
Developed by: Rare
Release Date: April 8, 2014