E3: Rise of Nightmares Hands On (Plus, a celebrity appearance!)

I finally got my hands on (well technically, my hands were not on anything) with Rise of Nightmares. The game’s brought to you by the same team behind the House of the Dead series and it shows. This is by far the most violent and gruesome Kinect title ever released: Kinectimals it is not. It starts off with your character waking up and watching as a mad scientist has another victim tied to a chair. He chops off the man’s hand just for the hell of it and then stabs him in the head. Before he can get to you, his nagging wife calls on the phone and he leaves you with a nurse zombie in your care. Just before this nurse checks your pulse with her teeth, another ally comes out and slices her in two. A gruesome way to start a game, but after he frees you it’s time to go find your wife and slaughter some zombies.

The game is done with a full first person perspective. It’s the first Kinect game I’ve played where you have total control of your movement. You can move forward by simply putting one foot forward and leaning into the camera. You go backward by doing the opposite and putting a leg behind you. Turning is done simply by moving your shoulders, and it’s very sensitive to that too. I was at first twisting my shoulders too fast and the camera spun too quickly. I then just very slightly moved my shoulders a few degrees and it turned much slower. It’s an amazing accomplishment of just how sensitive the Kinect is to your movements. If walking around feels too troublesome, you can simply raise your right arm like you’re doing the boy scout oath to move automatically.

You find items you can interact with by just putting your hand over them to pick them up. You’ll find weapons such as saws, brass knuckles and chainsaws lying around for you to use on the undead horde. Anything you interact with, you use as if it’s in real life. If you open a door, you make a pushing motion. If you have a blade, you make a swinging motion at the zombies. You can also defend yourself by holding your arms up in a defensive stance, but you’re not invulerable so don’t overuse it. The only weapon I had a problem controlling was the chainsaw. It was a bit unwieldy, but I don’t think I was holding the chainsaw pose quite right. It was satisfying to slice some zombies up with it though.

As I made my way through the gruesome dungeon, there were some puzzles and traps along the way. One switch I pulled caused two giant saw blades in the room to pop up and move back and forth. In this case I had to not only fight off a zombie horde, but avoid the giant blades as well. Of course, this works both ways and the blades can just as easily slice them up. As I made my way out of that room filled with now diced and sliced zombies, the demo ended.

This game is quite the accomplishment. It offers full 360 degree of movement while still giving you an arcade action feel. Imagine House of the Dead with just melee weapons and full off-rails control of the camera and you get a decent idea of what this game is like. The Kinect controls were very impressive and worked well once you got the hang of it. Rise of Nightmares comes out in September, and I highly recommend any Kinect owner check it out. Oh, and get this. I met a celebrity also playing the game!

It’s Angry Joe! From the popular Angry Joe show on thatguywiththeglasses.com and blisteredthumbs.net. Poor Nuckles87 was looking for him all week and I was lucky enough to run into him myself. I took a few pictures with him and told him what a huge fan I was of his show. Also, I told him how my 6’3/320 pound frame managed to beat Sonic Free Riders while he couldn’t beat one track on this so-called “broken game”.

Yeeea. That didn’t go over too well.


5 responses to “E3: Rise of Nightmares Hands On (Plus, a celebrity appearance!)

  1. Great impressions! Sounds like a lot of varied actions and the game sounds fun.

    Cool that you met an internet celeb. His Sonic Free Riders review also comes to mind whenever I see him, I'd have totally questioned his "broken" statements. lol, Perhaps you should challenge him to a race.

    Anyway, lookin' forward to Nightmares!

  2. Chaosmaster8753 says:

    Sounds like an interesting Kinect experience.

  3. All the videos and impressions from this game really make me want to try it. Leaning, twisting, and stepping to move a character around seems like an interesting experiment, especially if it can be mastered.

  4. cube_b3 says:

    I expected you both to be holding hands and staying together throughout E3.

    Did a Sega rep confirm this is made by WOW?

  5. Shigs says:

    No. The only info I could find on the developers was online and it was pretty vague. They did say HOTD team.

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