With the news that Capcom are releasing a new, updated version of Steel Battalion for Kinect, I thought it would be good to have a quick look at the original game on the Xbox.
Steel Battalion was released on the Xbox here in blighty in 2004, slightly later than the U.S and Japanese launches. Numbers were limited, literally down to a few thousand units, if that. The reason for the limited nature of the game was the controller.....it was a behemoth! A monster of a controller, around 2 ft wise, 40 buttons, foot pedals.....it would put most light aircraft to shame.
The game itself was played from the cockpit of a huge walking tank, and as the pilot you fought in virtual battlefields, commanding other units, and taking down enemy walking machines, tanks and anything else stupid enough to get in your sights. The way that the game interacted with the controller, such as when the screen got dirty you could wipe the windows, and the way lights would flash informing you of a shortage of ammo really sucked you into the game world. It was big, brash, explosive and most importantly, unique.
If you never got the chance to see the game or the controller in action, i've shot a small video for you all, so you can revel in it's brilliance. Please excuse my croaky voice, I think I have some sort of man-flu-cat-aids that makes me sound like i'm on 20 Park Drive a day.
Awesome, isn't it. And as I say at the end, it's something that could only really be done in the video game world. Yeah, ok, you could argue that Rock Band/Guitar Hero also immerse you in the game with the controller, but in my humble opinion no other game managed to fuse together the two in such a unique way.
It was, and still is, the video game equivalent of Concorde. Expensive, prohibitive, but a class above the rest.
So lets here it for Steel Battalion. It's one of a kind.