When Microsoft pulled the curtains back on their always-exciting Summer of Arcade lineup last week at E3, I wasn’t one bit surprised to see Wreckateer filling out the XBLA Kinect slot. I’ve already extolled its virtues in my PAX East preview, and that was just based on a few minutes with the game. Recently I had the opportunity to stop by Iron Galaxy and catch up with CEO Dave Lang on why everyone should be keeping an eye on this exciting new XBLA game.
For a long time, fans of XBLA knew little about Grounding Inc’s so-called Project Draco – it was being developed by the same guy who made the classic Panzer Dragoon games, it would be an on-rails shooter, and the Unreal Engine made it look unbelievably gorgeous – but that’s about it. Fast forward to about a month and a half ago, the title was officially announced to be Crimson Dragon and a little more information trickled out. It was still hard to get a grip on how exactly this title would turn out, so we took some time at PAX to stop by the booth and play through the demo so we could fill you in on why exactly Microsoft is so stoked about this game.
If you’ve played Child of Eden, you already have a basic idea of how the gameplay will work. Before we go any further though, I want to assure each and every one of you: this game plays a heck of a lot better than Child of Eden. Don’t get me wrong, I loved both Rez HD and its spiritual successor, but at the time it came out the Kinect controls just felt a little… off. Crimson Dragon takes all the best parts of the control scheme and pushes them to a whole ‘nother level – and it works beautifully.
Back in the days when men were men and XBLA was for arcade games, a beautiful little title called Geometry Wars 2 hit the marketplace. For many XBLA lovers it was the pinnacle of arcade-style gameplay, featuring six modes of score-attacking frenzy and leaderboards that to this day drive people back into the game’s depths to try and catch their friends. Unfortunately, as the production and development effort of XBLA titles increased the platform has mostly moved on from games like Geometry Wars 2, but there is hope. The launch of Kinect is bringing a whole new crowd of gamers into the fold, and developers are picking up the challenge in a big way, releasing amazing games like last year’s Fruit Ninja Kinect and (the reason we’re talking about this) the upcoming Wreckateer.
Wreckateer is a title that looks from a distance like it shouldn’t cause much of a stir, but the second you see it in person you know it’s something special. The basic premise of the game is that you’re trying to destroy structures by launching things at them. Sound familiar? Even the folks at Iron Galaxy know that their game will draw comparisons to Angry Birds, but they’re totally fine with that. As they told us, Wreckateer is essentially a mash-up of the aforementioned pig crushing simulator, Boom Blox, and Burnout Crash, which to anyone keeping score out there means it is essentially an awesome mash up of some of the greatest quick-fix arcade games to come out in recent times.