Epic cancels Kinect’s Gears of War: Exile

Let’s be realistic: Trying to roadie run in a living room, no matter how spacious, would have been problematic. Chainsaw-ing giant bug men in half by waving your arms around? That’s a lot of spilled drinks and broken lamps. Epic Games have done a kindness for Kinect players everywhere then.

Completists won’t have to purchase a Kinect-only Gears of War game after all. Gears of War: Exile, the once-rumored, now-confirmed Kinect entry in the popular series has been cancelled.

Epic design director and Gears creator Cliff Bleszinski said during a talk at the PAX East convention that his team was in fact working on the game but it has since been cancelled. “Let’s bury the hatchet now: Gears of War: Exile was an unannounced game that I can’t give any details that has since been cancelled.”

Xbox 360 World Magazine originally pegged Gears of War: Exile for an E3 2011 debut after Siliconera unearthed a trademark for the game in January of that year. Kotaku actually posted images from an early test version of Epic’s Kinect technology that would have presumably been the basis for Exile. The demo showed an altered version of Gears of War 2 that worked as a guided shooter—you were stuck on a set path rather than able to explore—and simple motions like holding a hand to your ear let you open communications with your squad.

Gears of War doesn’t seem like an ideal candidate for Kinect. Forget the aforementioned chainsaws and roadie runs, it would be pretty awkward in co-op if you were Dom and had to euthanize your zombified wife by actually kneeling down in front of the Kinect. The broad motion controls used in the best Kinect games just don’t lend themselves to melodrama and frantic activity, the two things that Gears is best at.

That said a downloadable Gears game based on the Horde multiplayer mode that has you gunning down legions of badguys in waves of increasing difficulty could be a marvelously fun Kinect game. Even though the game was a little bit of a stinker, Child of Eden proved that Kinect could be leveraged for an entertaining shooting game. Rise of Nightmares proved that three-dimensional movement with Kinect is a terrible idea, so a Gears Kinect game would need to fix your position or guide you, but it could still be great.

Exile may be cancelled, but that just means that Epic has spent ample time experimenting with Microsoft’s smart little camera. That could lead to a refined, entertaining game at a later date.

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