Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor (Video Game Review)
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor is set in the futuristic world of 2082. A silicon devouring virus has made computers and other technologies obsolete, and wars are now fought using massive mechs known as Vertical Tanks or VTs. You play through the game as Lt. Powers and receive help piloting your Vertical Tank from three team members throughout the game's campaign. As you make your way through various missions across the world in order to free the United States and the rest of the world from the threat of Asian power houses, you'll encounter a variety of challenging mission objectives throughout each of the game's seven campaign chapters. Still, the strongest feature in Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor's story is the comradery you feel as you communicate, bleed and fight alongside your companions in your Vertical Tank adding to an overall immersive experience.
The control scheme in Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor is one of the features that sets it apart from any other game on the market. While moving around and firing off weapons in your Vertical Tank is almost entirely controlled with your standard Xbox 360 controller, you'll have to utilize motion gestures with your Xbox 360 Kinect to perform many other helpful techniques such as moving around inside the Vertical Tank, interacting with the other pilots and using different view points to assess situations. While the controls work well for the most part, there is a pretty steep learning curve when trying to remember all of the Kinect commands when you first begin playing the game; keep your instruction booklet handy.
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor is nearly overwhelmingly difficult at times, and this problem can easily turn off most casual gamers. While missions do offer variety in objectives, you'll find occasional missions that will challenge you to use all you've learned to progress through waves of enemies that can single-handedly destroy you and your comrades if not dealt with promptly. Your tasks become all the more difficult when you have to account for a cracked visor, smoke filled interior of your Vertical Tank or the mistakes of your teammates. If you are able to overcome the challenges the game throws at you, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment that is hard to replicate in modern games.
Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor has a spectacular presentation that offers up some amazing high definition battle sequences that are made dramatically intense thanks in part to the game's realistic graphics and animations. The game is powerfully immersive because of the game's unique control scheme that allows you to perform far more actions than the Kinect sensor or standard Xbox 360 controller could manage alone. Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor also offers up a pretty intense soundtrack that couples with some amazing voice acting talent to create a high quality sound design. If you already own an Xbox 360 Kinect, you should definitely try out Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor. While everyone won’t enjoy the game either for its difficulty or its somewhat complex control scheme, you can't argue there is a sense of satisfaction teaming up to pilot a powerful Vertical Tank and blasting away your enemies to complete missions. The overall atmosphere of the game can only be described as phenomenal, as you feel like you're in an actual Vertical Tank alongside your three teammates. Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor is the type of game Kinect was built for, and you won't find another game as unique for Xbox 360 Kinect.
Developer: From Software
Rating: M for Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Thems & Strong Language
Xbox 360 Exclusive
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Prepare for Battle!