Steel Battalion is a problematic series in the modern-day age of gaming. The tank simulator is perhaps most famous for its elaborate controller, an elaborate mechanism meant to mimic what one might see in an actual tank. The problem is, we’re now living in a world where games development folk are doing their damnedest to minimize the number of devices cluttering our living rooms. Capcom announced the the series’ next release, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, at Tokyo Game Show last year, and a newly released trailer reveals that the Xbox 360 exclusive will harness the power of the Kinect, which should hopefully convey what it would feel like to command an invisible tank.
A fact sheet reveals that the From Software-developed game is set in the year 2082, a world in which all computers have been destroyed by some sort of microbe and where war is now waged with simple weapons (relatively speaking). You play as Lieutenant Powers, fighting around the world from the comfort of your Vertical Tank. Things get a little strange once the topic shifts to the game’s controls.
The control scheme in Heavy Armor apparently involves a hybrid of Kinect motion controls and Xbox 360 gamepad inputs. The physical controller is what you’ll use for navigating through the world and raining destruction down on your enemies, probably some approximation of a standard control scheme for a first-person shooter.
The Kinect, on the other hand, will keep track of your “upper body gestures,” to fire up your tanks, make use of the scope and switch over to the vehicle’s machine gun turret. You’ll also use Kinect to interact with your fellow crew members… which hopefully means that the game will offer some sort of co-op component as well. There’s still plenty more information to be revealed in advance of Heavy Armor‘s planned 2012 release.