Wreckateer out of the gate had an uphill climb when it comes to winning over gamers. From a glance the game looks like a first person person Angry birds with Kinect controls. After playing through the game for a while I started to realise something. Wreckateer may be the poster board game for casual gamers the Kinect has been waiting for.
The gameplay in the beginning is pretty simple. Pull back a ballista and launch a giant rock at castle. Sounds familiar right? Think again. Wreckateer takes familiar concepts from angry birds like games and improves upon them. The game makes these mechanics more active and in some ways more enjoyable.
There are tons of different kinds of shots, or rocks, that you shoot out of the ballista. Spread shots make you spread your arms out for a wide range of destruction. The speed shot will break through objects and continue through multiple targets. The jump shot doesn’t launch very far but gives a lot of control with booster jets and that is just the tip of the different kinds of shots. The different shots make for different strategies as well as changing gameplay all the time.
There are also a ton of different kinds of collectables that you can shoot for on a Wreckateer map. These collectibles do anything from giving you a higher score to altering the physics of a shot. Some examples of these are the speed power up or explosive goblins that go for a ride and cause massive damage. They may be kind of corny, but again it is a new mechanic that expands on an old style of game. These power ups on the level make playing more active and more challenging. Hardcore score hunters have incentive to return to levels to find the best combination of shot and power ups and lengthen the enjoyment of the game.
The scoring system is also a big draw for this game. The score multiplier is based on how much of the map you destroy. This means early on in the map a wide destruction will lead to higher scores later. Finding the right combination of score and destruction is intriguing. This again allows for more strategy and all around more game than most casual titles.
The Kinect detection is actually decent too. Every time I finished a level I felt the score was justified. The game uses big motions and gestures like raising both arms that the Kinect can easily recognize. Relying on big gestures makes the game accurate and playable, which is more than a lot of Kinect games can say.
That being said there is one way in the Kinect hinders gameplay. I consider myself a pretty fit guy. I ride my bike everywhere and work out regularly. After two hours of playing Wreckateer I found myself bent over awkwardly and my back feeling someone had stabbed me all over. This won’t be a problem for most people who only play the game in short periods. When the Kinect asks you if your sore and tired you may actually want to evaluate your physical condition.
You might check yourself before you rickety Wreckateer yourself more often than you would think because there is a ton of levels and content. Each world has 4 or 5 levels and a challenge level. There are plenty of worlds and content to keep a players attention for quite a while. There is also multiplayer that puts friends in the same living room up against each other. Also, there is online leaderboards with the top score for every level shown to everyone playing. There is a surprising ammount of game wrapped up in this Kinect package.
Everything about this game screamed bad. Thankfully I was pleasantly surprised. Tons of content with a decent control scheme give this game an edge on the Kinect competition. Check it out now on Xbox Live for 800 MP.
This review is based on a retail copy of the Xbox 360 version of Wreckateer