Earlier this month, in an interview with Videogamer.com, George Andreas, Rare's design director, said the following:
"You would just have to rethink the way a shooter works [for Natal]. Shooters work the way they do at the moment because they’re based around the original Xbox 360 controller. You throw that interface away and here’s a completely different interface. Now how do we create a shooter for this? Does it mean that you have to run, strafe, turn, throw grenades in the way that you’re used to? Maybe not. Maybe there’s another way of doing shooters."
Fair enough, George. I have my doubts about games that have your on-screen avatar carrying an actual weapon of some kind. If I’m waving my arms and legs about in “Perfect Dark 2” but not holding something to represent Miss Joanna Dark’s weaponry, the cognitive dissonance might be too much to handle. But if you make a shooter where you shoot stuff from your hands, well, that might just be a treat. Andreas’ enthusiasm for the tech has me thinking about what games would be perfect fit for the machine:
Now here’s a Natal-shooter match made in heaven. Make it a first person rail-shooter that has you locking on with a point of the finger and holding your palms out to release righteous pulse shots of superheroic justice. Maybe they can even work in some first-person interactions with Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow for an “Iron Man 2” tie-in. (Man. That got pervy quick.)
Fighting games might seem like an obvious choice for a system tracking your whole body, but think about the logistics. Are you really going to do dragon punches in your living room? No. No amount of Red Bull will ever get you that pumped. Boxing’s already been done. Sumo, on the other hand, is damn near perfect. Trading slaps and slowly advancing on your TV to toss around a digital, morbidly obese Japanese man sounds like a hell of a good time to me.
Sixteen years ago, everyone on Earth with access to a computer was playing “Myst”, but by the time the franchise shut down in 2005, the games had drifted from the mainstream. What better way to re-launch the brand than by making a brand new world that you can touch and move about in yourself. Forget just scrolling over stuff and randomly clicking it. See an interesting pot? Pick it up and look inside.
This one’s for you, George. I want to like the "Viva Piñata" series, I really do, but those games may have the most cumbersome controls of all time. I want to make a delightful garden for my piñatas to romp around in, of course I do. It’s just too annoying right now. If, on the other hand, I could get my own hands in the soil and dig around, that would clear up all the problems.
Well, duh. I never thought I’d say this, but to hell with lightsaber fights. There’s plenty of lightsaber fighting in the world. I have enjoyed those fights and now I want to use The Force. Throw me into some nasty swamp on Dagobah and let a green midget teach me how to lift spaceships by pointing at them. I don’t want to play your weird dodgeball game, Microsoft. I want to force-push Jawas down a sand dune.