Co-Optimus - Review - Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Co-Op Review

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor

  • Online Co-Op: 4 Players
  • + Co-Op Campaign
  • + Co-Op Modes

Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor Co-Op Review - Page 2

A quick primer on gameplay views:

The cockpit: Here you can see the ammo count, fuel consumption, engine temp, and a tiny sliver of the battlefield. You'll use this view to get stuff done in your Veet as well as interact with your crew. Every now and then I had to literally slap them around to keep them from abandoning ship.

The viewport: The "default" and suggested viewing angle. I found it useless at medium and long range, By the way, there's an enemy VT in the center of the crosshairs up there. Those are the three and a half vertical lines in the center of the screen. Can't see him? Don't worry. He can see you.

Field View: Stand up to see everything outside of the iron coffin. If you do this in battle you will be killed instantly. Raise your left hand to use binoculars to scout the area before the battle begins. Standing up is the only motion the Kinect captured 100% of the time.

Periscope view: Shrinks horizontal field of view and depth of focus. Essential for hitting enemies at anything other than close range. For some reason impedes turn speed.

Camera view: I could actually hear the developers laughing at me when I tried to use this in battle. I had to push a button to toggle front, left, right, and rear views. 

Almost every mission, no matter how short, seems to have one and only one proper way to complete it. It's as if there is a set path, and if I strayed from the rest of my platoon I was quickly cut to pieces by artillery fire. This brutal trial and error process will fry most gamers’ patience. Think of a quick time event, the enemy has a gun to your head, and the game tells you to shoot him with your pistol. Do you try to aim with the twin sticks? Do you pull the trigger as fast as you can? Or do you simply extend your arm in his direction, waiting for your onscreen persona to fire? One of these is correct. The other two choices will kill you or a crew member, sending you back to the last checkpoint, or permanently removing a member of your platoon. That's SB: HA.

On top of all of this, you MUST keep platoon members alive. On my first playthrough I lost several soldiers. If they die, they stay dead. I got a chance to revive them once I finished the game. Basically I had to go back and play the mission they were killed in, only this time I had to be faster/better/take less damage/find them.

On my second playthrough, if I lost part of my VT crew I would restart the mission immediately. My first time through I was left without a right loader in the French campaign, and I found it impossible to continue. I just couldn’t realistically take on six artillery emplacements and at least five enemy VTs while simultaneously reloading every single shot of my own main cannon (using Kinect controls, of course). I had to restart the whole damn game. After completing the final French mission with a full crew, I did see that it was possible to beat it without a loader, but I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.

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