• Publisher: Capcom
  • Release Date: Jun 19, 2012
Metascore
38

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 58 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 58
  2. Negative: 39 out of 58
  1. 75
    The game's mission objectives shouldn't be this frustrating, but much of that aggravation washes away when your limping, cracked-visor, ammo-depleted mech fires off a miracle shot to live another day. War has never been this intense, and you should try to take part.
  2. Aug 1, 2012
    70
    This is a game that left a lot to be desired. It's a mixed bag of good and bad, with the good being the graphics and basic controls and the bad being everything having to do with the Kinect controls. I know that developers want to utilize the Kinect, but it really should be limited to optional usage in a game like this.
  3. 70
    In spite of or maybe even because of some of the gameplay barriers, I will remember my experience with it forever. I love it, I hate it and I love hating it.
  4. 70
    The new Steel Battalion is going to divide people, in case you hadn't guessed. Some players will choke on the interfacial blunders, gag at the sporadically entertaining missions and walk away calling it the worst game ever. Others, however, will regard even the flaws as a thrown gauntlet.
  5. Jul 2, 2012
    65
    If From would have nailed the motion controls down, this would have been one of my favorite games of the year because it's so engaging and fresh. Unfortunately, dealing with the sketchy controls can be wildly frustrating.
  6. Oct 17, 2012
    60
    For what it's worth, if I wanted a simulation of being crammed into a tiny, metal, low-tech claustrophobic coffin while people yell and attempt to kill me repeatedly while I struggle with basic controls, then Heavy Armor offers up quite the war experience. However, that's not what I was looking for, and I suspect that it's not something anyone else is after, either.
  7. Jun 26, 2012
    60
    The first hardcore game for Kinect: A good concept ruined by a bad peripheral.
  8. Jun 25, 2012
    60
    If you're a "Kinect skeptic", Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor will not change your mind. At all. Motion controls may work better or worse depending on the room, but they'll never be accurate enough to let you survive an ambush.
  9. Jun 21, 2012
    60
    The game gets increasingly difficult, so much that you probably won't want to play through the game upon completing it once or twice except to snag some elusive achievements.
  10. Jun 21, 2012
    60
    With its unusual blend of Kinect and controller – of simple missions and complex control – Heavy Armor is a modern rarity: a game designed to be hard work. Whether that translates directly into it being a game for the 'hardcore' is debatable, but From Software has made the best of a bad situation and, aptly, delivered a game that asks you to do exactly the same.
  11. Jun 19, 2012
    60
    But much of the time, the controls simply don't work, and instead of feeling immersed, you feel enraged and helpless. If the graphics, story, or even gameplay mechanics weren't as good as they are, I wouldn't be wasting my time with a game with such messy, unreliable controls.
  12. Jun 19, 2012
    60
    It's full of problems, but it's also full of charm and ambition. Undoubtedly some of you will fall in love with it, viewing even the input issues as the latest in a long line of challenges thrown at you by From Software. Others will regret their purchase nine deaths into the first mission, unable to even think about how difficult the rest of the game could be.
  13. Jun 19, 2012
    60
    Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor is the first genuine hardcore Kinect game, something that makes it so much more appealing. Despite some flashy visuals and a hard as nails single-player mode, there's a sense that Heavy Armor would be a little dull if played exclusively with a controller.
  14. Jul 16, 2012
    59
    What many were hoping to be one of the first real hardcore Kinect games turned into a very frustrating experience; the core concept is good and it's got some nice visuals too, but the motion control is too cumbersome.
  15. Jun 21, 2012
    54
    Despite a solid story and decent graphics Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor fails to implement the Kinect in an acceptable manor. And so frustration prevails over the pleasure of gaming.
  16. Jun 27, 2012
    51
    Heavy Armor is certainly an interesting experiment but one that never quite manages to convince. Most missions feel like trial and error rather than a test of your own skill, plus the Kinect wobbles that are thrown your way can have mission ending consequences that are far from satisfactory. When things do work then there are some small rewards, especially in the off the cuff moments with your crew, but Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor feels too much like punishment rather than entertainment.
  17. Oct 27, 2012
    50
    This could have been a brilliant game. The problem is that it just doesn't work. The Kinect controls work only when they want to, and most of the time they don't, something that ruins an otherwise great experience.
  18. Aug 11, 2012
    50
    Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor is back eight years after and a generation later, but despite all that has changed in the meantime, the same problems can be found in the experience. Confusing, frustrating to play and never able reach the full potential inherent in this concept.
  19. Jun 25, 2012
    50
    Would Heavy Armor be a better game if it ditched Kinect and focused purely on the tried-and-tested buttons? In all honesty, no - because without the novelty of raising your arm to pull down a periscope or punch your fleeing co-pilot in the face, this would be a comparatively dull experience.
  20. Jun 28, 2012
    48
    Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor has been crushed by its own zest for innovation. A unlucky and frustating experience.
  21. Oct 17, 2012
    45
    When it is working, Steel Battalion Heavy Armor is an exciting, engaging and immersive game – but to get to the end of the campaign you're going to need to love mechs and Kinect. A lot. The problem is the Kinect experience is a significant detractor to the point of annoyance. If you could just use the control pad it would have been a far better game, even more so if an adapter could have been provided to use the impressive controller from the first game.
  22. Jun 19, 2012
    45
    Unfortunately, a few bits of clever design simply can't make up for the fact that Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor fails on the most fundamental of levels. First and foremost, a game is meant to be played, and Heavy Armor's unbelievably inept Kinect controls make that a far more difficult prospect than it has any right to be.
  23. Jun 27, 2012
    44
    The problem is it doesn't work consistently, effectively shattering the sense of immersion each time you reach out and hit the wrong lever or button and then comically try to undo what you just did. There's a potentially entertaining game here, but it's buried underneath the Kinect's infuriating limitations.
  24. Jun 22, 2012
    42
    It's a pity that Capcom constricts the new Steel Battalion with Kinect. Without the motion controls this could have been an entertaining mech shooter.
  25. Aug 24, 2012
    40
    Coming back from the dead, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor won't present a pleasant experience to the player yet with its gameplay handicapped by the use of Kinect. The game developed by From Software is simply not enjoyable to play, and never offers a moment when situations take fully advantage of the original features and the good work made on the general atmosphere.
  26. Jul 26, 2012
    40
    Never before has a game's potential been squandered so much just because the hardware was unable to keep up with the vision. [Issue#87, p.80]
  27. Jul 25, 2012
    40
    Even if you're starving for a new mech experience outside of the Armored Core series, there's no reason to pick up this game, no matter how cheap it gets.
  28. Jul 6, 2012
    40
    The truest hardcore game on Kinect has great ideas, but totally abysmal implementation.
  29. Jun 25, 2012
    40
    Sadly the story of Sergeant Powers will be seen as a failure, which it is, but certainly only of execution.
  30. Jun 25, 2012
    40
    As combat plays an integral part to Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor and if the Kinect controls worked flawlessly, this game would have been a blast as you fought your enemies. To make matters worse, checkpoints between deaths are far too long which makes it an effort to continue.
  31. Jun 19, 2012
    40
    Whenever the recognition is working, Kinect really does enhance the experience of Steel Battalion, enabling the fantasy of piloting a very real walking tank and delivering a thrill of satisfaction with every confirmed kill. When the tech fails, however, at least in my experience, it fails in such a fundamental way that it's impossible to ignore.
  32. Jun 19, 2012
    35
    Steel Battalion is riddled with erratic flaws of the most insidious kind, the kind that make you think you have a chance to master them. You don't. You can only endure them, and on a handful of levels, endure them with some friends in limp online co-op. But Steel Battalion is still miserable, even with company, so unless you're a glutton for punishment, it just isn't worth it.
  33. Aug 20, 2012
    34
    The Kinect idea is a solid one, but the problem is that with a poor implementation and no customization (save the underused controller itself), you're looking at a potentially unplayable game.
  34. Sep 24, 2012
    30
    I applaud Capcom for thinking big with Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor; the experience they tried to create while keeping the price tag down is commendable. But trying and doing are two separate things, and the Kinect-based controls just don't cut the mustard. I remember the first Steel Battalion, and I was eager to see what its next-gen kin could do. Unfortunately, all it did was frustrate me time and again.
  35. 30
    Perfect example of how sometimes more doesn't mean better. Kinect controls are far from precise and don't make the game more playable at all. [July 2012]
  36. Jul 20, 2012
    30
    Steel Battalion has some bold ideas that makes me imagine how the games in the future will implement Kinect into them. Unfortunately it's poorly executed, and despite great ambitions and some good parts, the brutal difficulty and the lack of precision (both controller and Kinect) makes this game so bad that it's going to be featured in articles about the worst game this year.
  37. Jul 17, 2012
    30
    Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor is a great game when Kinect decides to obey to your actions, but when there are simply too many switches, levers, and buttons in the game for Kinect to decipher what you are actually wanting to do, it just makes the experience extremely aggravating.
  38. Jul 13, 2012
    30
    Avoid this crap at all costs, it's a crying shame Capcom let this game destroy the Steel Battalion franchise.
  39. Jun 28, 2012
    30
    If you look at it as an action game, then it falls at almost every hurdle. Aiming is jerky and hard, and the controls are too complex to engage in fast-paced combat. However, if you look at it from a simulation point of view, enthusiasts of mech-games certainly have something to get excited about at being in the cockpit of one without forking out the £200-odd for the previous game.
  40. Jun 28, 2012
    30
    While the concept is intriguing, the motion controls of Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor fail at making a game that's any fun.
  41. Jun 25, 2012
    30
    Everything surrounding that core that makes it unbearable.
  42. Jun 24, 2012
    30
    It highlights Kinect's flaws rather than showcases its strengths, sending out one, clear, reverberating message – Kinect simply isn't refined enough to unite the hardware with the hardcore.
  43. Jun 21, 2012
    30
    Simply unplayable. If the controls of a game don't work in every single case, that game is not ready to release, Kinect or not. Would you have a Mario where the jump worked "sometimes"? Well, this is what this Steel Battalion Heavy Armor offers. Avoid.
  44. Jun 19, 2012
    30
    This motion never works consistently, and the controller itself (which the game says you need to hold, as both movement and firing are done from it) even blocks your hands from the sensor sometimes. This basically means that in the heat of battle, you're putting your hands in front of you back and forth constantly just to see/shoot/move, and go back to view your instruments.
  45. Jun 19, 2012
    30
    It's one of the best ideas on Xbox this year, but ultimately it's also one of the system's worst games.
  46. Jun 19, 2012
    30
    The mech-combat genre isn't overflowing with alternatives, but they do exist. Save yourself the aggravation and pick any one of those. You won't do any worse.
  47. Aug 8, 2012
    20
    The Sisyphean feat of defeating a level doesn't leave you elated, but instead gives you the urge to release the boulder and let it crush you to death so you don't have to do it all over again. [Sept 2012, p.69]
  48. Jul 23, 2012
    20
    It's a sad truth to report, but the great ideas of Steel Battalion: Heavy Armour have been laid on some considerably crooked foundations. If anything, it's an indictment of the Kinect's over-promise, as its unresponsive method of control ends up drowning out any potential of its ambitions coming to life in a truly satisfying manner.
  49. Jun 29, 2012
    20
    When I first heard about Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor I was intrigued. As the first Kinect game that required a controller as well, it had the potential to provide the fun of motion controls while maintaining the prevision of a controller. Unfortunately the motion controls, especially the one most basic to the game, simply do not work. After about 15 tries I was able to successfully complete the first mission, although at that point it seemed like more random chance than anything I had done differently or better.
  50. Jun 25, 2012
    20
    Do not buy Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor. If you do, don't play it.
  51. Jun 25, 2012
    20
    The idea of colliding the casual Kinect with the hardcore Mecha game Steel Battalion was interesting. In the end, sadly, it fails miserably because it simply doesn't work: the war you are trying to get through is not the one of the game but the one of getting the controls to work.
  52. Jun 19, 2012
    20
    It's designed in such a way that only pixel-perfect aiming and split-second responsiveness will get you through its missions unscathed, but your ability to react quickly and take in your surroundings is so severely compromised that you'll die, repeatedly, in each attempt.
  53. Jul 9, 2012
    10
    The game premise is a fantastic idea that is broken in execution.
  54. Jul 1, 2012
    10
    You can say a lot about Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor but it all comes down to one thing: It just doesn't work.
  55. Jun 30, 2012
    10
    So called 'hardcore gamers' looked disapprovingly at Microsoft's Kinect. Capcom heard these defying cries and decided to invest a lot of time and money into Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor, to prove once and for all that Kinect is completely useless for controlling deeper games.
  56. Jun 25, 2012
    10
    Aiming to be the first Kinect game for the hardcore audience, Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor fails miserably at the most fundamental necessity: motion controls that actually work. The story lacks any substance and can't make up for this horrid attempt at creating a follow-up to one of the most-revered mech-shooter series to date.
  57. Jun 19, 2012
    10
    The control problems I encountered were so pervasive, so detrimental, that I firmly believe there is no amount of visual, musical or narrative mastery that could make this an experience I could in any way recommend.
  58. Jul 24, 2012
    6
    At some point, From Software must have been aware that their game was literally unplayable, but by then it was too late and they had to grit their teeth and carry it through to its infuriating, fumbling conclusion. [Sept 2012, p.100]
User Score
2.3

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 23
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 23
  3. Negative: 17 out of 23
  1. Jun 19, 2012
    1
    Probably the best game ever, and I am not saying that just because I work for Microsoft. From the get go, you a robot in the future/past. Your name is withheld, and you get to talk to three major stereotypes as squadmates a lot. You try to get some reading done when you need to recalibrate Kinect. Have I ever mentioned how Kinect is awesome and really works well? Oh, it sure does. Don't let the absolute worse site reviews fool you, this is a solid one out of ten. Full Review »
  2. Jun 19, 2012
    7
    It´s not so bad. It is a hard game, not for children. A combination of joystick and motion control is another experience level that everyone should try. Kinect is far away from perfection, but with adequate space and calibration it works well. Full Review »
  3. Jun 19, 2012
    8
    "Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor" is a Mech simulator in a wartime environment, developed by From Software (Chromehounds and Armored Core) and produced by Capcom, being a continuation of the original Xbox game (2003).

    The story takes place in 2082, in a world which since 2020 has lost all the latest technology and computers. In this shattered world, China has become a
    world power, and dominates much of the world on an iron fist, even having dominated the USA. In this future, the technology is based on mechanical elements only, and in battle armors called VT (Vertical Tanks), which are species of tanks with legs for locomotion. You assume the place of the protagonist, Lieutenant Powers, a war hero, and commands a VT in a battle for regain the USA - from the landing on the coast of NY where the game starts.

    The game has great graphics: the CG and openings are the standard of From Software, that is, stunning and realistic graphics that resemble photo realism and showing bloody and realistic battle scenes. The visual in-game is also excellent: the game goes on inside the **** and its crew of 3 men, and the control panels of the VT, and you can put your head out of it.

    The graphics and overall ambiance of the game are Retro, remembering movies and equipment of World War II. The details and movements are fluid and well realistic, and the game has strong colors with a filter that resembles the colors of the colored movies from WWII. The internal environment of the VT is well
    detailed, with multiple instruments, and damage to your TV are shown as having actually taken place.

    The look of the VT is old, resembling WWII tanks mounted on mechanical legs with rough textures and appearances. The same applies to soldier's uniforms, which resemble the past, not the future. The atmosphere inside the VT transmits the sensation of a claustrophobic environment, of a inside of a war tank, for example.

    Audio: The game has dialogue lines extremely well told and acted, conveying the sense of the crew, and the ambient sounds in battle are realistic and differentiated, with various effects like bullets whizzing by, the mechanical walking of the VT and realistic explosions.

    The gameplay is of a battle simulator within this retro Mech: everything happens in 1st person, being the controls a mixture of Kinect with the conventional controller. With the controller, you can move your VT, turn around, and can use weapons with left and right triggers. With Kinect, you commands the Mech, sitted: you slide the screen to the side to visualize your crew, and extending your arms at different points at the screen, on the various existing controls on the inside, that controls the functions of the VT, as to adjust the speed, type of ammunition, fire hatches and enter and exiting the scope, where you see the battlefield and commands the VT.

    If standing up, Powers put the body out of the VT (being an easy target), and can use his hand at eye level to use binoculars. Inside the VT, sited, you use the scope to move and fire in your targets. The missions have objectives, and you should try and achieve them, while trying to stay alive and avoid losing members of the crew: the structural damage to the VT are shown by points in various locations within a diagram of it on the screen, and shots located affect specific things, and may kill members of the VT. At the same time during some parts, you can interact with the crew, greeting them, or holding someone in despair.

    The battles are complex due to the variation of controls, but nothing that we don't get after playing a bit, and a nice tutorial shows the commands before the battle, in a training camp. But the games is not easy, being realistic and we must make strategic decisions, because the shots can destroy your VT quickly.

    The game also features an online mode on Xbox Live, where you and 3 friends over control a battalion of four VT, each commanding one, and that should make the campaign very interesting. In the main game screen, we can see a picture of his battalion showing the names and who is dead, and we customize the appearance and weapons of your VT.

    In short, the game became the 1st Hardcore game to use Kinect, which reacts very well to commands and have realistic visuals, making it the best Kinect game to this point, along with Rise of the Nightmares. The sum of Kinect and Xbox 360 controller works perfectly, I just missed some auxiliary functions for the remaining buttons.

    The game ends up being an excellent choice for people who like games of battles, near simulator style, having a gripping story, excellent graphics and gameplay that, although intuitive, is strategic and difficult at times. If you like serious war games and Mechs simulators, pick up this game - if you don't play the Demo before because this game style isn't for the average gamer.
    Full Review »