Most gamers might not remember the name Steel Battalion. It was an Xbox game released in 2002 that spawned an unremarkably named sequel called Steel Battalion: Line of Contact. But when you ask people if they remember the Xbox game that came bundled with a giant controller that had two joysticks and thirty or so buttons, plus it sold as a bundle for $200, that tends to ring a few bells.
Very few people actually shelled out the cash to operate a fully realized digital mech that required users to start off each mission by going through a complicated series of startup operations before the thing would even move. The game was also famous — or perhaps infamous — for the brutal level of unforgiving gameplay, that featured the sadistic decision to make you feel the loss of a character by deleting all the save data associated when that character died. The mech could be destroyed, but if you failed to hit the eject button before it exploded, your poor character died a horrible death and dragged your save data with him to hell.
The second game, Steel Battalion: Line of Contact introduced online play to the series, and as of June of this year, there are still a handful of dedicated players keeping the game alive.
In what time will tell is either an ironic twist, or perhaps the natural progression of the custom-made controller, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor will do away with controllers altogether and be designed as a Kinect title. How this will work is still under wraps, as is the release date of the game, but it could be the first of many Kinect games that move beyond the “jump now!” and “dodge left!” style of game we have been seeing for Microsoft’s hands-free controller.
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor will take place in Manhattan of 2082 following the collapse of the computer microchip, which regressed the level of technology on Earth. The United States has lost most of its territory to foreign invaders, and from the stronghold of New York City, the U.S. military is planning a new offensive to take back the country. Check out the trailer below and imagine the possibilities.
Warning: This trailer may not be suitable for all ages.