At present, the number of games available to make early adopters proud of their Kinect purchase is sadly low, and has only grown by a handful since the system's launch. Even now, gaming on Kinect either means dancing wildly, or betting on minigame compilations which bear almost exactly the same brands and features as their Wii counterparts. Even the label "Better With Kinect"--an indicator of extra control options--turns out to usually mean a separate, motion-based minigame has been included as an option. Hardly "Better."
But then, this little gem shows up on EA's servers. Originally part of a store listing and then removed sometime yesterday, it's an early preview of the Xbox 360's cover for Mass Effect 3. Right above the strapping, default Shepard's head is that telling purple banner offering Kinect support. If this turns out to be true, it likely marks the first AAA game to offer motion controls, and from a third-party at that!
So what could we expect from Kinect support in our favorite space opera? Well, not a dancing game, that's for certain: speaking hypothetically during an interview with GI.biz last year, Bioware's Greg Zeschuk posited the following.
Can we create a greater sense of immersion during conversations by using gestures? I think we probably could and I think that's where we'll explore. We're not going to do a party game, we're not going to do Dance Dance Krogan for Mass Effect.
Mood recognition was already part of the Kinect's early run of demos, as we can remember from Peter Molyneux' fabled "Milo" project, which read players' faces to inform the game character's reactions. It would also make plenty of sense to use gestures to direct your team in combat, adding an element of immersion that hasn't been available in third-person shooters before. And, if that all falls through, maybe the game's pre-war celebratory sequence will let us test our flexibility against Garrus' range...?
While the above boxart may seem sketchy, other outlets have noted that the image can still be found on EA's servers - so while some level of secrecy has been maintained, it's not like they're trying too hard in the lead-up to E3. We'll just have to wait until the big release shows and hope we get to see some of the action up close!