Preview: Rise of Nightmares is horror that sees you

August 7, 2011

Outside of Dance Central, Kinect games have failed to impress a majority of gamers, but if Sega has anything to say about it, that may soon change. Rise of Nightmares is perhaps the most ambitious Kinect title to date, though we’re not sure yet how well it will all come together in the end.

Rise of Nightmares is something we never thought we’d see: a House of the Dead-inspired Kinect game. This makes sense, since it is from the House of the Dead team, but it isn’t a rail shooter, it’s a free-roaming first-person slaughterfest.

We got plenty of time to learn how it controls, which is important, given this is the first Kinect game with full control over where your character goes in the game. By putting your right foot in front of your body, you’ll move forward, while putting your right foot behind your body will make your character move backward. Turning your torso left or right will rotate you in the game. This led to many an unintentional death, when shifting our bodies caused us to move directions we never wanted to, often into the path of an oncoming zombie. While actually using these movements is awkward at this point, they are impressively accurate and responsive.

As awkward as the movement is, the combat is equally enjoyable. Using each and every weapon is as easy as pretending you are holding the real thing and using it. If you’re holding a pipe, swing your arm as you would if you wanted to pummel someone with one for real. Throwing items is as easy as pretending to flip a throwing star, while the most enjoyable thing we experienced was using a chainsaw on the many zombies we had to fight.

Rise of Nightmares has potential, but given our little time with the game, we can’t say much for sure how it will work out over the course of a full game. Look for it to make an appearance later this year.